Energy issues top the national, state and local agenda due to rising demand and cost; availability of new, cleaner energy sources; significant changes in the traditional mix of coal and natural-gas supplied electricity; the need to create and maintain new jobs; and a growing pubic desire for safer and more efficient energy. Regional planning organizations are perfectly situated to have the greatest impact on managing these cross-cutting issues, where local jurisdictions’ boundaries intersect and many Federal, State and local programs are conducted.

Today’s energy challenges require creative solutions that draw on the concentrated talents and productivity of our nation’s regional planning organizations and local governments. Regional planning organizations provide a new lens through which to discuss these important issues. State policy is often too sweeping and disaggregated, and local policy too specific to a jurisdiction for effective energy analysis to be conducted. The regional scale is the perfect fit to tie jobs to employers, create new educational opportunities, promote scientific advances and secure energy availability.


NARC Projects


Regional Energy Action Plan: Research and Implementation Project

NARC developed a Regional Energy Action Plan that guides the mapping and analysis of energy assurance and economic investment in a region through partnership and coalition building; data analysis and assessments of a region’s current and emerging energy; and economic capacities. Several regions are in the beginning stages of adopting NARC’s Regional Energy Action Plan. For more information, contact Lindsey Riley,


The SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership

NARC, as a part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs), is working to increase the use and integration of solar energy technologies in regions and communities across the country. Solar OPs supports local governments and regional organizations committed to making solar a mainstream energy source. Through this partnership, NARC and other partners are providing outreach, technical analysis, and assistance to expand local and regional governments’ innovative efforts to accelerate local adoption of solar energy in their facilities and community-wide. To learn more about this project, visit NARC’s SolarOPs page.


Rooftop Solar Challenge

NARC is partnering with the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), the Meister Consultants Group, Inc. (MCG), and the Council of State Governments (CSG) on the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge grant. NARC is assisting nine regional planning councils in their efforts to implement solar best management practices (BMPs), training materials and methods, and other proven implementation strategies previously established by MARC’s 2012 Solar Ready KC Initiative. Ultimately, the Rooftop Solar Challenge will result in more streamlined and standardized solar practices, and will achieve measurable improvements in solar market conditions and access for ten million people across the US. To learn more about this project, visit NARC’s Solar Ready page.


Gas Shale Survey – Baseline Project

NARC and the University of Colorado at Denver are working together to survey regions and local governments in ten states on the development of gas shale in their areas.  This survey weaves together a multitude of factors including water, transportation, economic development and other areas to determine a baseline of issues facing all regions and local governments and the best ways to address obstacles and opportunities. For more information, contact Lindsey Riley,


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