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Articles by Doug Allen

Doug Allen is a former full-time and current "working-remotely-as-needed" consultant at Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc., in San Francisco. Born and raised in Madison, Wisc., he is currently enjoying some time off in Southern California before returning to school to get his PhD in Communications from UPenn.

Featured Article

Adapted from a post at ad cerebrum.

Renewable portfolio standard (RPS) legislation is quickly becoming the most popular way for states to show their concern about climate change. According to the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy, 29 states (plus D.C. and Puerto Rico) have binding RPS legislation in place as of June 2011, while another eight have non-binding RPS goals. The details of these policies vary wildly in terms of the target renewable penetration and the date by which that penetration must be reached, but it seems likely that all will result in additional renewable penetration relative to business-as-usual.

Yet there is considerable uncertainty, among green energy advocates and detractors alike, about the cost of achieving this increase in renewable generation. Advocates point to studies that show wind’s cost-competitiveness with natural gas-fired generation and claim RPS policies will have little or no effect on consumer rates, while detractors cite the intermittency and generally low availability of wind and solar (as compared to a conventional fossil-fueled plant) as evidence that RPS policies will cause rates to skyrocket.

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