By Amy Harder
One of the most popular climate-change policies in America — renewable energy mandates — is also expensive, a new study says.
Driving the news: Standards in roughly 30 states that require a portion of electricity to come from renewable sources, mostly wind and solar, are driving up power prices and imposing a high cost to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new report out today by the University of Chicago.
The big picture: Urgency about climate change is growing around the country, with numerous states ramping up their renewable-electricity requirements and lawmakers in Washington mulling similar policies as proposed in the Green New Deal.
This report, one of the most comprehensive analyses of its kind, questions the conventional wisdom that says these policies are effectively addressing climate change.
“The headline result here and the most important result in the whole exercise: signing up for these policies increases electricity prices, full stop. Second point: what do you get in exchange for that?”
— Michael Greenstone, lead author & director of the university’s Energy Policy Institute
Where it stands: The study indicates that such mandates do reduce carbon emissions — but at a far higher cost than more market-oriented policies like a carbon tax, said Greenstone, a former top economic adviser to President Obama.
The report analyzed renewable-electricity standards in 29 states and the District of Columbia, most of which were put in place in the early to mid 2000s.