The renewable energy industry, encompassing specialties such as solar power and algae fuel, has huge growth potential in North Carolina.
With the Research Triangle’s consistent achievements in biotechnology, information technology and advanced material sciences—plus the area’s strong supplier network and workforce, including a strong base of talent from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) — RTP offers abundant resources for green enterprises, all in one attractive and strategically located region. State and local governments have also demonstrated support for the green energy economy through business incentives, tax credits and other initiatives.
Local institutions advancing the growth of green businesses
Green Plus – Institute for Sustainable Development
This non-profit group makes sustainability more accessible to small businesses and non-profit organizations that traditionally don’t have the resources or expertise to prioritize sustainable business practices.
Biofuels Center of North Carolina
State government leaders established the center in 2007 to expand North Carolina’s local production of liquid fuels, thereby reducing the state’s dependence on imported fuel products. The center’s goal for the year 2017 is for 10 percent of all liquid fuels sold in North Carolina to be locally grown and produced biofuels.
N.C. Green Economy Resources Directory
This guide produced by the N.C. Department of Commerce and the N.C. Board of Science & Technology highlights regional, state and national organizations that provide funding, incentives and education that contribute to the state’s green economy.
In addition to institutional support, North Carolina also offers more than 1,650 watts of hydropower capacity. The state is also a leading producer of both pork and poultry, which provides large waste supplies for biomass production.
Workforce & Education
Nicholas School of the Environment
The school's mission is to advance a more sustainable future by strategically focusing its resources on addressing the major environmental issues and by training a new and environmentally informed generation of global leaders.
N.C. State University
N.C. Solar Center
The Solar Center provides workforce training, curriculum, demonstration and testing of new products, technical assistance, financial analysis and industrial recruitment services that significantly benefit firms in North Carolina.
FREEDM Systems Center
Researchers at the center, founded in part by the National Science Foundation, are working to transform the nation's electric power system into a smart grid that will easily store and distribute energy produced from solar panels, wind farms, fuel cells and other energy sources. The center operates with support from more than 60 companies involved in electricity production.
Institute for Emerging Issues
The Institute for Emerging Issues connects leaders from businesses, non-profit organizations, government and higher education to tackle some of the biggest issues facing North Carolina’s future growth and prosperity. The institute is working to build North Carolina’s future on a new energy economy that provides secure, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy sources while promoting economic development.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Center for Sustainable Enterprise
This program at the Kenan-Flagler Business School is one of the country’s top centers focused on issues related to sustainable development. The center also operates the UNC Business Accelerator for Sustainable Enterprise to support the launch and development of sustainable business ventures in the region.
Funding & Incentives
N.C. Green Business Fund
The state established this grant program in 2007 to foster the development and commercialization of the biofuels and green building industries and to attract grow renewable energy products and businesses.
N.C. Department of Environment Natural Resources
View this site for more information on funding and tax credits for clean and green businesses.
N.C. Renewable Energy Tax Credits
In 2008, the state established a tax credit of 35 percent of the cost of the construction, purchase or lease of the a renewable energy property.
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS)
In 2007, North Carolina became the first state in the Southeast to adopt a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS). Under this law, all public utility companies in North Carolina will be required to meet up to 12.5 percent of their energy needs through renewable resources or energy efficiency measures.