Clean energy funds: An overview of state support for renewable energy

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Across the United States, as competition in the supply and delivery of electricity has been introduced, states have sought to ensure the continuation of ''public benefits'' programs traditionally administered or funded by electric utilities. Many states have built into their restructuring plans methods of supporting renewable energy sources. One of the most popular policy mechanisms for ensuring such continued support has been the system-benefits charge (SBC), a non-bypassable charge to electricity customers (usually applied on a cents/kWh basis) used to collect funds for public purpose programs. Thus far, at least fourteen states have established SBC funds targeted in part towards ... continued below

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121 pages

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Bolinger, Mark & Wiser, Ryan April 1, 2001.

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Description

Across the United States, as competition in the supply and delivery of electricity has been introduced, states have sought to ensure the continuation of ''public benefits'' programs traditionally administered or funded by electric utilities. Many states have built into their restructuring plans methods of supporting renewable energy sources. One of the most popular policy mechanisms for ensuring such continued support has been the system-benefits charge (SBC), a non-bypassable charge to electricity customers (usually applied on a cents/kWh basis) used to collect funds for public purpose programs. Thus far, at least fourteen states have established SBC funds targeted in part towards renewable energy. This paper discusses the status and performance of these state renewable or ''clean'' energy funds supported by system-benefits charges. As illustrated later, existing state renewable energy funds are expected to collect roughly $3.5 billion through 2012 for renewable energy. Clearly, these funds have the potential to provide significant support for clean energy technologies over at least the next decade. Because the level of funding for renewable energy available under these programs is unprecedented and because fund administrators are developing innovative and new programs to fund renewable projects, a certain number of program failures are unavoidable. Also evident is that states are taking very different approaches to the distribution of these funds and that many lessons are being learned as programs are designed, implemented, and evaluated. Our purpose in this paper is therefore to relay early experience with these funds and provide preliminary lessons learned from that experience. It is our hope that this analysis will facilitate learning across states and help state fund managers develop more effective and more coordinated programs. Central to this paper are case studies that provide information on the SBC-funded renewable energy programs and experiences of 14 states. These case studies are attached as Appendix A. The body of the paper both summarizes and draws lessons from these more detailed state case studies. Section II provides a broad overview of the current status of state SBC funds, including funding level and duration, technology eligibility, and program administration. Section III offers an overview of funding activity and highlights the various renewable energy programs states have established thus far. Section IV provides a summary of results to date. Section V turns to salient observations and preliminary lessons learned from this early experience. Administrative, programmatic, and strategic observations and lessons are emphasized. The paper ends with some brief concluding remarks.

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121 pages

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OSTI as DE00783499

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Apr 2001

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  • Report No.: LBNL--47705
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • DOI: 10.2172/783499 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 783499
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc718333

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  • April 1, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • Sept. 1, 2016, 6:46 p.m.

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Bolinger, Mark & Wiser, Ryan. Clean energy funds: An overview of state support for renewable energy, report, April 1, 2001; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc718333/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.