Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Poster Paper: State-Level Policy and Non-Policy Determinants' Influence on Non-Utility Photovoltaic Installations in the US

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Riverfront South/Central (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Gilbert L. Michaud, Virginia Commonwealth University
State-level policies to incent residential and commercial (i.e., non-utility scale) solar photovoltaics (PV) have been around for roughly two decades.  However, considering the history of energy generation and distribution in the United States, solar energy technology and policy remains in its relative infancy.  Here, the implementation and use of state-level policy to support the development of solar PV is not uniform.  For instance, while numerous states have net metering laws, tax exemptions, and loan programs, their details vary greatly.  Therefore, it is of interest to examine the differences in state-level solar policy due to such variations, and to determine which strategies and practices are most compelling.  Non-policy elements such as income, electricity costs, and solar resources (i.e., solar insolation) also may influence non-utility PV deployment.  Thus, the study’s objective is to examine whether policies to encourage non-utility solar PV deployment are achieving their intention, or if deployment remains more largely a function of such non-policy determinants such as high incomes, high electricity costs, and availability of solar resources.  This research uses a hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis with cross sectional data from the years 2012–2013 to examine whether current types of state policies to encourage non-utility solar PV deployment are working while controlling for such circumstantial factors.