Interconnection Standards As Policy Innovations: An Event History Analysis
Marotta, John Peter, Jr
At this time in our nation's history, which is characterized by an increasingly polarized and slow moving Congress, many American states have taken important policy steps to diversify their energy supply, encourage local energy production, and reduce carbon emissions. There are many policies that states have adopted in a piecemeal manner, including renewable portfolio standards and net metering, which are integral and popular policy tools used to achieve these aims. A related policy instrument that I will be examining is that of interconnection standards. Interconnection standards can be thought of as the engineering and procedural corollary to net metering, in that they both incent the growth of distributed energy generation. Some scholarly attention has been given in recent years to the empirical study of why states choose to adopt these types of energy diversification and greenhouse gas reducing policies. This research seeks to contribute to this literature by conducting an event history analysis on the diffusion of interconnection standards adoption across the United States over the course of the past two decades. My empirical findings indicate that neither regional diffusion nor the existence of complementary policies can explain the diffusion of interconnection standards. However, per capita income, energy consumption, and, to a lesser extent, citizen liberalness, are positively correlated with the probability that a state will choose to adopt.
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