US State Policies for Renewable Energy: Context and Effectiveness

Energy Policy, Forthcoming

53 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2011

See all articles by Magali A. Delmas

Magali A. Delmas

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Maria J. Montes-Sancho

University of California, Santa Barbara

Date Written: January 12, 2011

Abstract

Over the past decade, state policies on renewable energy have been on the rise in the United States, providing states with various options for encouraging the generation of renewable electricity. Two promising policies, the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the Mandatory Green Power Option (MGPO), have been implemented in many states but the evidence about their effectiveness is mixed. In this paper, we argue that recognizing the natural, social and policy context under which MGPO and RPS are adopted is necessary in order to measure their true effectiveness. This is because the context rather than the policy might lead to positive outcomes and there is the possibility for sample bias. When controlling for the context in which the policies are implemented, we find that RPS has a negative impact on investments in renewable capacity. However, we find that investor-owned utilities seem to respond more positively to RPS mandates than publicly owned utilities. By contrast, MGPO appears to have a significant effect on installed renewable capacity for all utilities regardless of the context in which it is implemented.

Suggested Citation

Delmas, Magali A. and Montes-Sancho, Maria J., US State Policies for Renewable Energy: Context and Effectiveness (January 12, 2011). Energy Policy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1739301

Magali A. Delmas (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Maria J. Montes-Sancho

University of California, Santa Barbara ( email )

Bren School Environmental Science & Management
3518 Bren Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131
United States
805-893-8485 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bren.ucsb.edu/people/usernew.asp?user=montes

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