CIERP Header Image

Competition and Collaboration in Renewable Portfolio Standard Adoption and Policy Design: Lessons from New England

Robert Brandon Smithwood
September 2011
Energy, Climate, and Innovation Discussion Paper


smithwoodWhile the U.S. federal government has failed at passing climate legislation, how have states decided to tackle the issue?


Are neighboring states influenced by one another when developing renewable portfolio standards?


Among U.S. states, renewable portfolio standards (RPS) have been a popular policy aimed at mitigating climate change. This study looks at the interstate influences on the development of RPS, using New England as a case study. The paper examines whether states are primarily inward or outward looking while drafting such policies, and subsequently analyzes the nature of any interaction with other states. Through interviews with legislators, environmentalists, regulators and other stakeholders, Smithwood observes that RPS adoption and design are functions of interstate relations, which both promote and inhibit collaboration. The New England states simultaneously collaborate, learning from and motivating each other, and compete, pursuing leadership in the field and in exports of generation.

Read the complete paper here.

To request a hard copy of this publication, email CIERP@tufts.edu.