The Electricity and Markets Policy Group has released a new report, authored jointly by Berkeley Lab and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, titled, “A Survey of State-Level Cost and Benefit Estimates of Renewable Portfolio Standards.”
Renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies are in place in more than half of all U.S. states and have played a critical role in driving renewable energy deployment over the past decade. In many states, however, fierce debates have recently arisen regarding the cost of RPS policies, and proposals have been introduced to repeal, reduce, or freeze existing requirements. This report seeks to inform these debates by summarizing available data on the costs and benefits of RPS policies to-date and by highlighting key methodological issues that must be considered.
The report draws on a variety of data sources, including estimates developed by utilities and public utility commissions (PUCs) as well renewable energy certificate pricing, to summarize the net (or “incremental”) costs incurred by utilities to comply with RPS requirements. The report also surveys recent studies that have assessed the magnitude of potential broader societal benefits (though for a variety of reasons, those benefits estimates cannot be directly compared to RPS compliance costs).
Key findings from this study include the following:
Important caveats and context for the findings cited above are explained fully within the report, which can be freely downloaded at the URL below.
Findings from the report will also be presented via a free webinar on June 10th at 9:00 am Pacific Daylight Time. Registration for the webinar is available here: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/475292614
This research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (Strategic Programs Office and Solar Energy Technologies Office).