Shan Zhou (SS) and Professor Emeritus Barry Solomon (SS) recently published “Do renewable portfolio standards in the United States stunt renewable electricity development beyond mandatory targets?” in the journal Energy Policy. This article explores the question of whether the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) serves as a floor or a cap on renewable electricity capacity deployment in the U.S.
A panel dataset from 1998 to 2017 is constructed for 28 states that have adopted a mandatory RPS in this timeframe. Using hybrid random effects negative binomial regression models, the authors find that when constrained by renewable electricity potential capacity, more stringent RPSs are significantly associated with a lower level of non-RPS related renewable electricity capacity additions. This negative effect of the RPS on beyond RPS compliance renewable electricity development is weakened by the abundance of renewable energy resources.