For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Anna Soellner
Phone: 202.478.5322

CLEAN Contracts—Making Clean Local Energy Accessible Now and Bringing More Renewable Electricity into the Marketplace

WASHINGTON - Today, the Center for American Progress released a paper called
“CLEAN Contracts: Making Clean Local Energy Accessible Now,” along with
co-authors from Groundswell and the Energy Action Coalition.

This paper looks at the one policy that has helped bring more
renewable electricity into the marketplace than any other: the Clean
Local Energy Accessible Now, or CLEAN contract, also known as a “feed-in
tariff.” These are national, state, or local policies that allow
renewable energy project owners to sell their electricity to utilities
at a predetermined, fixed price for a long period of time. We explore
how to implement CLEAN contracts in ways that create the greatest
benefit for consumers, communities, and the economy as a whole.

The CLEAN contract is designed to overcome the specific barriers that
stand in the way of businesses and consumers investing in renewable
energy projects. It helps overcome upfront cost barriers to investment
by making renewable energy projects more easily financeable. The
contracts provide certainty on the price of electricity and uptake of
that energy by utilities through long-term contracts. And they offer a
clearly understood, standardized process for developing projects, which
reduces red tape and cuts down on uncertainty for developers and
confusion for homeowners, reducing market risk and lowering the costs of
getting things built.

In short, the CLEAN contract makes it easier to run businesses, build projects, and give consumers what they want.

This paper begins with a look at how CLEAN contracts work and what
their key ingredients are. It then examines how lawmakers and advocates
can successfully move them forward given how the contracts are affected
by federal regulation. It closes with recommendations on how to make
sure the policies benefit ratepayers, workers, investors, and the U.S.

The CLEAN contract stands out as a well-crafted mechanism to make
clean energy investment a smarter choice for homeowners, utilities, and
developers of renewable energy projects. It can help speed our
transition to a clean energy future.

To read the full report, click here.

Video: Ask the Expert: Richard Caperton on CLEAN Contracts

To speak with CAP experts, please contact Anna Soellner at or at 202.478.5322.

Richard W. Caperton is a Policy Analyst with the Energy
Opportunity team and Bracken Hendricks is a Senior Fellow at the Center
for American Progress. John Lauer is co-founder and policy director of
Groundswell (formerly The DC Project), a nonprofit committed to
connecting and partnering with communities to create places of equal
opportunity and environmental balance. Courtney Hight is the co-director
for the Energy Action Coalition.


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