University of Wisconsin–Madison

Increasing Use of Renewable Energy: Legal Techniques and Impediments

Type Policy Brief or Report
Year 2011
Level National, State
State(s) All States
Policy Areas Energy, Environment & Natural Resources, Finance & Procurement
This report outlines legal techniques that have been developed to increase the use of renewable energy. States can adopt renewable portfolio standards; impose a price on burning fossil fuels; provide tax incentives for renewables; require electric utilities to purchase renewable energy; and require substantial purchases of renewable energy by the government (otherwise known as procurement). It also describes existing impediments to the growth of renewables. These include intermittency, fossil subsidies, turnover rates of capital plants, siting and environmental impacts, and scale and timing.

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