This presentation mainly covers two perspectives relevant to solar energy technologies. The first one is the environmental aspect. The questions to be answered are how “green” photovoltaic technology is (embodied energy and carbon are two main indicators); and, how have these two indicators evolved during the past 10 years. The methodology for analysis is a hybrid Life Cycle Assessment. The second part involves a policy analysis of the effectiveness of U.S. renewable energy policies, such as state-level Renewable Portfolio Standards, for supporting solar energy adoption. A three-tier model of renewable energy policies will be presented, as well as a case study of Arizona’s distributed solar electric energy adoption.