IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Why Do States Adopt Renewable Portfolio Standards?: An Empirical Investigation


  • Thomas P. Lyon
  • Haitao Yin


Renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) for electricity generation are politically popular in many U.S. states although economic analysis suggests they are not first-best policies. We present an empirical analysis of the political and economic factors that drive state governments to adopt an RPS, and the factors that lead to the inclusion of in-state requirements given the adoption of an RPS. Although advocates claim an RPS will stimulate job growth, we find that states with high unemployment rates are slower to adopt an RPS. Local environmental conditions and preferences have no significant effect on the timing of adoption. Overall, RPS adoption seems to be driven more by political ideology and private interests than by local environmental and employment benefits, raising questions as to when environmental federalism serves the public interest.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas P. Lyon & Haitao Yin, 2010. "Why Do States Adopt Renewable Portfolio Standards?: An Empirical Investigation," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 133-158.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2010v31-03-a07

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to IAEE members and subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1433 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    3. Julien Chevallier, 2010. "A Note on Cointegrating and Vector Autoregressive Relationships between CO2 allowances spot and futures prices," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(2), pages 1564-1584.
    4. Severin Borenstein & James B. Bushnell & Frank A. Wolak, 2002. "Measuring Market Inefficiencies in California's Restructured Wholesale Electricity Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1376-1405, December.
    5. Francis A. Longstaff & Ashley W. Wang, 2004. "Electricity Forward Prices: A High-Frequency Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1877-1900, August.
    6. Paul H. Cootner, 1960. "Returns to Speculators: Telser versus Keynes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68, pages 396-396.
    7. Sascha Wilkens & Jens Wimschulte, 2007. "The pricing of electricity futures: Evidence from the European energy exchange," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 387-410, April.
    8. Huisman, Ronald & Kilic, Mehtap, 2012. "Electricity Futures Prices: Indirect Storability, Expectations, and Risk Premiums," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 892-898.
    9. Douglas, Stratford & Popova, Julia, 2008. "Storage and the electricity forward premium," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1712-1727, July.
    10. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4222 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Hélyette Geman & Andrea Roncoroni, 2006. "Understanding the Fine Structure of Electricity Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1225-1262, May.
    12. Iivo Vehvilainen, 2002. "Basics of electricity derivative pricing in competitive markets," Applied Mathematical Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 45-60.
    13. Markus Burger & Bernhard Klar & Alfred Muller & Gero Schindlmayr, 2004. "A spot market model for pricing derivatives in electricity markets," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 109-122.
    14. Emilie Alberola & Julien Chevallier, 2009. "European Carbon Prices and Banking Restrictions: Evidence from Phase I (2005-2007)," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 51-80.
    15. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1994. "Automatic Lag Selection in Covariance Matrix Estimation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 631-653.
    16. Creti, Anna & Jouvet, Pierre-André & Mignon, Valérie, 2012. "Carbon price drivers: Phase I versus Phase II equilibrium?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 327-334.
    17. Hong, Harrison & Yogo, Motohiro, 2012. "What does futures market interest tell us about the macroeconomy and asset prices?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 473-490.
    18. Daskalakis, George & Psychoyios, Dimitris & Markellos, Raphael N., 2009. "Modeling CO2 emission allowance prices and derivatives: Evidence from the European trading scheme," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1230-1241, July.
    19. Mork, Erling, 2001. "Emergence of financial markets for electricity: a European perspective," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 7-15, January.
    20. Viehmann, Johannes, 2011. "Risk premiums in the German day-ahead Electricity Market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 386-394, January.
    21. Zachmann, Georg & von Hirschhausen, Christian, 2008. "First evidence of asymmetric cost pass-through of EU emissions allowances: Examining wholesale electricity prices in Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 465-469, June.
    22. Hendrik Bessembinder & Michael L. Lemmon, 2002. "Equilibrium Pricing and Optimal Hedging in Electricity Forward Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(3), pages 1347-1382, June.
    23. Alberola, Emilie & Chevallier, Julien & Cheze, Benoi^t, 2008. "Price drivers and structural breaks in European carbon prices 2005-2007," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 787-797, February.
    24. Lester G. Telser, 1958. "Futures Trading and the Storage of Cotton and Wheat," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 233-233.
    25. Furió, Dolores & Meneu, Vicente, 2010. "Expectations and forward risk premium in the Spanish deregulated power market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 784-793, February.
    26. French, Kenneth R, 1986. "Detecting Spot Price Forecasts in Futures Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(2), pages 39-54, April.
    27. Benth, Fred Espen & Cartea, Álvaro & Kiesel, Rüdiger, 2008. "Pricing forward contracts in power markets by the certainty equivalence principle: Explaining the sign of the market risk premium," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 2006-2021, October.
    28. Kwiatkowski, Denis & Phillips, Peter C. B. & Schmidt, Peter & Shin, Yongcheol, 1992. "Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root : How sure are we that economic time series have a unit root?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1-3), pages 159-178.
    29. Pedro Linares & Francisco Javier Santos & Mariano Ventosa & Luis Lapiedra, 2006. "Impacts of the European Emissions Trading Scheme Directive and Permit Assignment Methods on the Spanish Electricity Sector," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 79-98.
    30. Holbrook Working, 1948. "Theory of the Inverse Carrying Charge in Futures Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-28.
    31. Deng, S.J. & Oren, S.S., 2006. "Electricity derivatives and risk management," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 940-953.
    32. Daskalakis, George & Markellos, Raphael N., 2009. "Are electricity risk premia affected by emission allowance prices? Evidence from the EEX, Nord Pool and Powernext," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2594-2604, July.
    33. Ibrahim Ahamada & Djamel Kirat, 2011. "The impact of the European Union Emission Trading Scheme on electricity generation," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00629900, HAL.
    34. Bierbrauer, Michael & Menn, Christian & Rachev, Svetlozar T. & Truck, Stefan, 2007. "Spot and derivative pricing in the EEX power market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 3462-3485, November.
    35. Botterud, Audun & Kristiansen, Tarjei & Ilic, Marija D., 2010. "The relationship between spot and futures prices in the Nord Pool electricity market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 967-978, September.
    36. Helyette Geman, 2005. "Commodities and Commodity Derivatives. Modeling and Pricing for Agriculturals, Metals and Energy," Post-Print halshs-00144182, HAL.
    37. Diko Pavel & Lawford Steve & Limpens Valerie, 2006. "Risk Premia in Electricity Forward Prices," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(3), pages 1-24, September.
    38. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1987. "Commodity Futures Prices: Some Evidence on Forecast Power, Premiums,and the Theory of Storage," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(1), pages 55-73, January.
    39. Jos Sijm & Karsten Neuhoff & Yihsu Chen, 2006. "CO 2 cost pass-through and windfall profits in the power sector," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 49-72, January.
    40. Anderson, Edward J. & Hu, Xinmin, 2008. "Forward contracts and market power in an electricity market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 679-694, May.
    41. Bunn, Derek W. & Gianfreda, Angelica, 2010. "Integration and shock transmissions across European electricity forward markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 278-291, March.
    42. Weron, Rafal, 2008. "Market price of risk implied by Asian-style electricity options and futures," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1098-1115, May.
    43. Kirat, Djamel & Ahamada, Ibrahim, 2011. "The impact of the European Union emission trading scheme on the electricity-generation sector," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 995-1003, September.
    44. Pirrong, Craig & Jermakyan, Martin, 2008. "The price of power: The valuation of power and weather derivatives," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2520-2529, December.
    45. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4237 is not listed on IDEAS
    46. Kolos, Sergey P. & Ronn, Ehud I., 2008. "Estimating the commodity market price of risk for energy prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 621-641, March.
    47. Redl, Christian & Haas, Reinhard & Huber, Claus & Böhm, Bernhard, 2009. "Price formation in electricity forward markets and the relevance of systematic forecast errors," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 356-364, May.
    48. repec:hal:journl:hal-00649923 is not listed on IDEAS
    49. Hany A. Shawky & Achla Marathe & Christopher L. Barrett, 2003. "A first look at the empirical relation between spot and futures electricity prices in the United States," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(10), pages 931-955, October.
    50. Nicholas Kaldor, 1939. "Speculation and Economic Stability," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 1-27.
    51. Lucia, Julio J. & Torró, Hipòlit, 2011. "On the risk premium in Nordic electricity futures prices," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 750-763, October.
    52. Breeden, Douglas T, 1980. " Consumption Risk in Futures Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(2), pages 503-520, May.
    53. Hazuka, Thomas B, 1984. " Consumption Betas and Backwardation in Commodity Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 647-655, July.
    54. Helyette Geman & A. Roncoroni, 2006. "Understanding the Fine Structure of Electricity Prices," Post-Print halshs-00144198, HAL.
    55. Lester Hadsell & Hany A. Shawky, 2006. "Electricity Price Volatility and the Marginal Cost of Congestion: An Empirical Study of Peak Hours on the NYISO Market, 2001-2004," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 157-180.
    56. repec:dau:papers:123456789/607 is not listed on IDEAS
    57. Sioshansi, Fereidoon P., 2002. "The emergence of trading and risk management in liberalized electricity markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 449-459, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2010v31-03-a07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Williams). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.