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Choosing a Replacement Renewable Portfolio Standard Program for Ohio

Decent Essays
My empirical research question that I find particularly interesting is within the world of energy policy, specifically the increasingly common state level mandates on utilities to produce a certain portion of their energy from renewable and advanced energy sources. I would like to establish a specific set of conditions that are repeated across the most successful implementations of a renewable portfolio standard program. It is clear that the United States will eventually face enough international pressure to sign on to a Kyoto Protocol style agreement to steeply cut emissions. In the absence of political will to take preemptive steps at the federal level, many states have passed their own laws establishing a much friendlier climate for…show more content…
This has deeply important implications across the state and national economy, for both individuals and businesses, as energy expenditures currently make up approximately 8% of the national gross domestic product , and Ohio as a national would nominally be the world’s 23rd ranked economy . This would be a causal study, in that the research design is fundamentally about cause and effect. In this case, the cause is the policy intervention of establishing a RPS, and the effect is the change the RPS brings to renewable energy generation and the state’s economy. This unfortunately could never be set up as a true experiment with control groups and set policy interventions, as no one governing body carries enough political clout to pull that off. However, by looking at the results of what is basically a natural experiment across the 36 other states with a RPS, it is possible to make real policy recommendations. The outcome of interest from this case study would be a method of establishing mandates that has been successful in states demographically and economically similar to Ohio. In particular, similar states to look at would be those with a heavy industrial and agricultural heritage, strong current focus on technological development, and a budding environmental based economy. Other states’ cause-effect relationships would most definitely still apply, but demographically similar states would have the most validity for comparison. The unit of analysis in this case
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