Retrospective Analysis of the Benefits and Impacts of U.S. Renewable Portfolio Standards

Jenny Heeter, Trieu Mai, Alberta Carpenter Petri, Garvin Heath, David Keyser, Jordan Macknick, Ryan Wiser, Galen Barbose, Mark Bolinger, Dev Millstein, Andrew Mills, Lori Bird

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This analysis is the first-ever comprehensive assessment of the benefits and impacts of state renewable portfolio standards (RPSs). This joint National Renewable Energy Laboratory-Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory project provides a retrospective analysis of RPS program benefits and impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions reductions, air pollution emission reductions, water use reductions, gross jobs and economic development impacts, wholesale electricity price reduction impacts, and natural gas price reduction impacts. Wherever possible, benefits and impacts are quantified in monetary terms. The paper will inform state policymakers, RPS program administrators, industry, and others about the costs and benefits of state RPS programs. In particular, the work seeks to inform decision-making surrounding ongoing legislative proposals to scale back, freeze, or expand existing RPS programs, as well as future discussions about increasing RPS targets or otherwise increasing renewable energy associated with Clean Power Plan compliance or other emission-reduction goals.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages82
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-65005


  • benefit
  • costs
  • greenhouse gases (GHG)
  • jobs
  • reduction
  • renewable portfolio standard
  • RPS
  • wholesale electricity price


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