A new study spotlights state renewable energy and energy-efficiency programs that could be adopted by their neighbors to improve their economies and reduce emissions cost-effectively.
The study, produced by Stanford University's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance and Hoover Institution's Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy, is intended to help states develop plans to meet pending U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations to cut power plant carbon emissions.
Intended to help bridge the red-blue divide, ‘The State Clean Energy Cookbook: A Dozen Recipes for State Action on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy," was led by former U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman and former Secretary of State and Treasury George Shultz. The report analyzes and makes specific recommendations regarding 12 policies that states are using today to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy. It also analyzes the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) State Energy Program, which assists all 50 states.
‘Most of the policies we discuss in the report have met several tests,’ says Dan Reicher, executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center and one of the report authors. ‘They are already on the books; they are in operation in both blue and red states; they enjoy good support; and, implemented well, they can be cost-effective.’
The policies and states featured in the study are as follows:
- Energy-efficiency resource standards – Wisconsin;
- Energy-efficient building codes – Mississippi;
- Building energy benchmarking and disclosure – California, Washington;
- Utility and customer market incentives – Arizona, Washington;
- Renewable portfolio standards – North Carolina, Minnesota;
- Net-energy metering – Texas, Vermont;
- Community renewables – Colorado, California, Minnesota;
- Renewable energy tariffs – North Carolina, Virginia;
- Energy savings performance contracts – Pennsylvania;
- Third-party ownership of distributed power systems – New Mexico;
- Property-assessed clean energy – Connecticut;
- On-bill repayment – Hawaii, New York; and
- The DOE State Energy Program – Nebraska, Massachusetts.
‘We are impressed by the breadth of experience that states around the country already have in encouraging energy efficiency and renewable energy in ways that save money, reduce pollution and strengthen their energy security,’ says Shultz, who co-chairs the Hoover Institution's Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy. ‘The goal of the study is to provide a source for states to compare and contrast innovative policies, so that they can learn from each other.’
The authors reach ‘an encouraging conclusion’ in the report, noting, ‘Both red states and blue states are turning green – whether measured in dollar savings or environmental improvement.’
The report, a fact sheet and press release are available here.