The Effectiveness of Renewable Energy Policies in the United States: Do Incentives Affect Capacity Deployment, Electricity Prices and Local Economic Development?
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Renewable energy sources generate roughly one-fifth of the electricity in the United States. From 2019 to 2021, over one-half of new electric capacity will come from wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies. In order to stimulate the growth in renewable energy, the U.S. government has issued hundreds of federal, state, and local renewable energy policies. Within this framework, it is important to analyze the effectiveness of these policies. First, this research outlines the current renewable policy landscape and provides state-by-state policy ranking. Second, the paper conducts an in-depth evaluation of the effectiveness of renewable energy policies on renewable power capacity and their impact on state and local economic activity. Third, the analysis delves deeper to provide insights on the causal link between regional retail electricity prices and renewable capacity before and after the implementation of different renewable energy policies. The paper concludes with the summary of policy implications.