Improving Cost-Effectiveness and Mitigating Risks of Renewable Energy Requirements

by James Griffin

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Policymakers at the federal and state levels of government are debating actions to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on oil as an energy source. Renewable energy requirements are frequently proposed to address these concerns, and are currently in place, in various forms, at the federal and state levels of government. These policies specify that a certain portion of the energy supply come from renewable energy sources. This dissertation focuses on a specific proposal, known as 25 x 25, which requires 25% of electricity and motor vehicle transportation fuels supplied to U.S. consumers to come from renewable energy sources, such as wind power and ethanol, by 2025. This dissertation assesses the social welfare implications of a 25 x 25 policy and applies new methods of uncertainty analysis to multiple policy options that decisionmakers can use to implement the policy.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Research Approach

  • Chapter Three

    Effects Of 25% Requirement Under Initial Strategy

  • Chapter Four

    Finding More Robust Strategies

  • Chapter Five

    Conclusions

Research conducted by

This document was submitted as a dissertation in September 2008 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Robert J. Lempert (Chair), Michael A. Toman, and Steven W. Popper.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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