Renewable energy is increasingly becoming a topic of discussion as the world seeks to address the issue of climate change and energy sustainability. In the United States, some states have implemented Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that require electric utilities to procure a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources. However, there is still a lot of debate about the proper policy solutions for encouraging the adoption of renewable energy across the country.
A National RPS Panel held in November 2021 brought together experts from different organizations to discuss the future of renewable energy and the role of RPS policies in achieving renewable energy goals. The panelists included representatives from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
One of the main topics of discussion was the effectiveness of RPS policies in promoting the use of renewable energy. The panelists agreed that RPS policies have been successful in increasing the adoption of renewable energy in states that have implemented them. However, there were also concerns about the varying standards across states and the potential for some states to fall behind in meeting their goals.
Another issue that was discussed was the need for a transition away from fossil fuels and the role of RPS policies in facilitating that transition. The panelists agreed that a transition to a clean energy economy is essential for addressing climate change, and RPS policies can help to accelerate that transition. However, there were concerns about the feasibility of achieving a 100% renewable energy system, particularly given the challenges associated with intermittency and storage.
The panelists also discussed the importance of community engagement in renewable energy policy. They highlighted the role of RPS policies in promoting community-owned renewable energy projects and the need for greater inclusivity in the transition to a clean energy economy.
In terms of policy solutions, the panelists discussed the need for a federal RPS policy that sets a national standard for renewable energy adoption. They also emphasized the importance of complementary policies, such as tax incentives and energy efficiency standards, to support the adoption of renewable energy.
Overall, the National RPS Panel provided a valuable opportunity for experts to explore the future of renewable energy policy in the United States. While much work remains to be done, the panelists were optimistic about the potential for renewable energy to play a significant role in addressing the challenges of climate change and energy sustainability.