CNEE’s Clean Energy Innovation Series
Since the late 1990s, state Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS) have been the largest drivers of the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. However, state target dates are quickly approaching: by 2026, 29 RPS and 11 EERS policies will need to be extended or replaced in order to maintain market certainty for continued investment and business growth.
In this paper series, the Center for the New Energy Economy analyzes energy efficiency policies (Parts 1 and 2) and renewable energy policies (Parts 3 and 4). Parts 1 and 3 discuss the prospects for extending and enhancing established policies and Parts 2 and 4 propose innovative options that could work with or without an EERS and RPS.
The first paper in this Series discusses the conventional policy that has historically driven the energy efficiency market—the EERS. Thirty-three states have adopted an EERS policy but the stringency of these policies has varied significantly from state to state and many have expired altogether or will in the near future. The first paper of this series offers opportunities to improve EERS policies and the second paper explores alternative energy efficiency pathways.
State Policies to Expand Market Certainty for Energy Efficiency without an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard
Mandate driven policies such as the EERS have long driven energy efficiency markets, but alternative pathways to drive market certainty exist. Other public policies “beyond the EERS” exist to encourage use of this low cost and low investment risk resource and ensure a level playing field for the least cost resource. CNEE suggests that a suite of policies and best practices could be as or more successful in prompting energy efficiency deployment than a mandate.
RPSs have been important drivers of renewable energy markets. The third paper in this series begins with an overview of historical RPS adoptions and amendments, existing market certainty associated with these policies, and the outlook for future market certainty. The paper highlights the fact that by 2026, 29 states will have reached their RPS target dates. The paper offers suggestions for mitigating the potential impacts from expiring RPSs on state market certainty.
Private Procurement, Public Benefit: Integrating Corporate Renewable Energy Purchases with Utility Resource Planning
The final paper in the series examines policies to enable large corporate purchases to procure more renewable energy. The companies CNEE interviewed pursue renewable energy for a variety of reasons: as a means to reduce GHG emissions, as a profitable long term investment, and as hedge against electricity market price risk. In many states, however, the regulatory and electricity market frameworks discourage or even inhibit private procurement of RE generation. This report discusses and analyzes policies to successfully facilitate large customer purchases of renewable energy.