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U.S. Renewable Energy Policy in Context

15 Environmental Law and Policy 33 (2015)

University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 146

61 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2015 Last revised: 15 Jan 2016

Lincoln L. Davies

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: October 26, 2015

Abstract

This article introduces and overviews U.S. renewable energy policy. It describes the shape, content, and contours of that policy, including its emphases and functions in both the electricity and transportation sectors of the U.S. economy. To do so, the article builds a conceptual model that can be used to describe national energy policies worldwide. That model highlights six core attributes around which renewable energy policies are built, namely, their: (1) structure and coordination, (2) technological life-cycle stage emphasis, (3) implementing mechanism type, (4) aggressiveness, (5) stability, and (6) market segment focus. Applying that model, the article determines that U.S. renewable energy policy is disaggregated and fragmented, diffusion-centric, quantity-focused, incremental but growing in strength, somewhat cyclical, and heavily focused on large, incumbent, and archetype firms. The article concludes by identifying five key categories of barriers to renewable energy development and deployment, and discussing which of those barriers U.S. policy addresses. By placing U.S. renewable energy policy in this overall context, the article sets the stage for assessments of other nations’ policies, as well as comparisons of policies across jurisdictions.

Keywords: Renewable energy policy, renewable energy, clean energy, alternative energy, climate change, fossil fuels, sustainable development, green growth

JEL Classification: F42, H77, K23, K32, K33, O20, O30, O32, O33, Q20, Q25, Q28, Q4, Q40, Q42, Q43, Q48, Q49

Suggested Citation

Davies, Lincoln L., U.S. Renewable Energy Policy in Context (October 26, 2015). 15 Environmental Law and Policy 33 (2015); University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 146. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2706121

Lincoln L. Davies (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.utah.edu

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