Choosing a Replacement Renewable Portfolio Standard Program for Ohio
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My empirical research question that I find particularly interesting is within the world of energy policy, specifically the increasingly common state level mandates on utilities to produce a certain portion of their energy from renewable and advanced energy sources. I would like to establish a specific set of conditions that are repeated across the most successful implementations of a renewable portfolio standard program. It is clear that the United States will eventually face enough international pressure to sign on to a Kyoto Protocol style agreement to steeply cut emissions. In the absence of political will to take preemptive steps at the federal level, many states have passed their own laws establishing a much friendlier climate for the clean energy economic sector. To quote the United States Energy Information Administration:
“Although several RPS proposals have advanced part way through the U.S. Congress in recent years, there is currently no RPS program in place at the National level. However, 30 States and the District of Columbia had enforceable RPS or other mandated renewable capacity policies, as of January 2012. In addition, seven States had voluntary goals for renewable generation. These programs vary widely in terms of program structure, enforcement mechanisms, size, and application.”
These programs, called Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), are often controversial and debate has been fierce between all stakeholders. My research question is to take my home state, Ohio, and determine what the best system is to replace the current state RPS. While the state currently has a less-than-aggressive standard, it has faced repeated attempts to rewrite or scrap it entirely in the General Assembly. Using the case-study ...
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This information would most definitely be useful for making a particular policy prescription for the state of Ohio in the hypothetical case of the law being scrapped in favor of a clean slate. Once a set of conditions that provide the best chance of success for an RPS have been established, it would be simple to proscribe following those or at least using them as a foundation. Further, while not necessarily part of a RPS, complementary laws, further increasing the chance of success, could change other underlying conditions. A very specific recommendation could be made, down to the granular level of an exact percentage, yearly goal, and technical specification lineup suggestion. Between the qualitative and quantitative data collected, it would be eminently possible to establish a set of conditions that make up the ideal renewable portfolio standard.