The Disparate Influence of State Renewable Portfolio Standards on Renewable Electricity Generation Capacity

Karen Maguire and Abdul Munasib


Several papers have used panel data analyses to examine the effectiveness of U.S. state-level renewable portfolio standards (RPS) in promoting renewable capacity development, but the findings are inconclusive. Estimation of average treatment effects, however, can mask the fact that RPS policies across states are disparate and the treatment states are heterogeneous. We use the synthetic control method to conduct individual case studies of the early adopter states. Our findings indicate that the impact of RPS policies varied across states. We find Texas to be unique among these early adopters in that the RPS policy in Texas has led to increased renewable capacity. (JEL Q42, Q48)

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