I've written about innovation policy experimentation and about incentives beyond IP, so I was interested in a new working paper posted by Lynne Kiesling and Mark Silberg, Regulation, Innovation, and Experimentation: The Case of Residential Rooftop Solar. They are not lawyers, but their description of incentives for the development and commercialization of rooftop solar will be of interest to legal scholars of innovation, as it underscores that the role of the state is far more complex than simply providing IP incentives. (Indeed, the paper never mentions IP.)
These incentives include a 30% federal tax credit (set to expire at the end of 2016), as well as many state-level incentives, such as volumentrically reduced subsidies to benefit first movers, net metering policies requiring credits to consumers who produce excess energy, and financial regulations that allow third-party financing to help consumers avoid upfront capital expenses. As they note, "the details matter," and "[n]ot all renewable portfolio standards are equal." This paper seems to nicely encapsulate many of those details.