Dr. Wesley Herche | Medium
With all of the recent discussion of renewable energy in Arizona, many people have asked me about the costs of moving away from coal and other fossil fuels and replacing those sources with renewable ones.
This is a question I have studied carefully, both in my PhD dissertation work, and in subsequent work I published last year in a peer-reviewed study in the scientific journal Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews.
My study, “Solar energy strategies in the U.S. utility market,” looked at the rise of solar and the question of whether energy costs go up as a state raises its renewable energy standard. (This is also known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS.) For this question, I analyzed all available real-world data for the years 2005 to 2012, a period of time when many states mandated an increase in the use of renewable energy. We can speculate on what might occur with an increase in RPS, but I wanted to see if there is an actual relationship between how aggressive a state’s renewable portfolio standard is and any subsequent increase in utility rates for the states that have already successfully implemented it.