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Implementing renewable energy portfolio standards: The good, the bad, and the ugly in a two state comparison

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  • Schelly, Chelsea

Abstract

Understanding how household practices with regard to energy usage change and how to most effectively encourage the adoption of technologies that utilize renewable energy sources at the residential scale are important issues for addressing the environmental impacts of energy use. Here, the social practices model (Spaargaren, 2003) is applied to examine solar technology adopters in two U.S. States who were interviewed about adopting residential solar electric technology and specifically about their experiences with the rebate and incentive programs available to them. Examining the policies and interrogating their potentially unintended consequences from the perspective of the user sheds light on how residential solar incentive programs act as systems of provision, shaping the practices of solar technology adopters, in hopes of improving these incentive programs and effectively encouraging increased residential solar technology adoption. Findings suggest that feed-in tariffs offer additional positive outcomes related to broadening the context for adoption and encouraging future energy conservation while size restrictions, wholesale pricing in net metering agreements, and inconsistent policy mechanisms across utilities in the same state all have potentially unintended negative consequences. Utilizing a perspective attentive to social practice offers a means of improving the design and implementation of energy policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Schelly, Chelsea, 2014. "Implementing renewable energy portfolio standards: The good, the bad, and the ugly in a two state comparison," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 543-551.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:67:y:2014:i:c:p:543-551
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.11.075
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    2. Wang, Bing & Wei, Yi-Ming & Yuan, Xiao-Chen, 2018. "Possible design with equity and responsibility in China’s renewable portfolio standards," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 232(C), pages 685-694.
    3. Wang, Tan & Gong, Yu & Jiang, Chuanwen, 2014. "A review on promoting share of renewable energy by green-trading mechanisms in power system," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 923-929.
    4. Simpson, Genevieve & Clifton, Julian, 2015. "The emperor and the cowboys: The role of government policy and industry in the adoption of domestic solar microgeneration systems," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 141-151.
    5. Simshauser, Paul, 2018. "Garbage can theory and Australia's National Electricity Market: Decarbonisation in a hostile policy environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 697-713.
    6. Horne, Christine & Kennedy, Emily Huddart, 2017. "The power of social norms for reducing and shifting electricity use," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 43-52.
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    8. Paulo Henrique de Mello Santana, 2015. "Cost-effectiveness as Energy Policy Mechanisms: The Paradox of Technology-neutral and Technology-specific Policies in the Short and Long Term," Working Papers Working Paper 2015-02, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
    9. Dongmin Son & Joonrak Kim & Bongju Jeong, 2019. "Optimal Operational Strategy for Power Producers in Korea Considering Renewable Portfolio Standards and Emissions Trading Schemes," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(9), pages 1-24, May.
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