Belt and Suspenders and More: A Look at the Incremental Impact of Energy Efficiency Subsidies

Lawmakers employ a number of policy instruments to promote energy efficiency, including regulatory mandates, information campaigns, and technology subsidies. For energy-consuming durable goods, consumers often purchase products ultimately eligible for a subsidy because of their design under an energy efficiency standard and marketing subject to government-required information disclosure policies. Appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and clothes […]

Mixing and Matching Electricity Sector Policies

A number of concerns have emerged over the last decade about climate change, energy security, and energy efficiency, inspiring an equally long list of proposed policy fixes. The majority of these options, including renewables subsidies, performance standards, and emissions pricing schemes, apply directly to the power sector. Lawmakers can also choose to implement multiple policies […]

Climate Benefits from the Production Tax Credit?

A year ago, we wrote about the potential expiration of the wind power production tax credit (PTC), which has helped support the US wind industry for most of the last 22 years. The PTC provides a subsidy of about $23 per megawatt hour (or roughly 30 percent above wholesale electricity prices). It was set to […]

Space Launch Risk Redux

Indemnification, the nation’s approach to managing some of the risks associated with the launch of privately owned rockets carrying our satellites for telecommunications, Earth observations, supplies for the International Space Station, and other services, is on its way to becoming a new annual rite of winter.  Specifically, the federal government (taxpayer) indemnifies a portion of […]

Subsidies for EVs: Good Policy or an Unnecessary Handout?

In this series of blog posts, RFF researchers Virginia D. McConnell and Joshua Linn take a look at the current state of the electric vehicles (EVs) and the effect of current and future policies on the market. Click to read the first, second, third, and fourth installments. It is clear from our earlier blog that electric […]

Electric Vehicles: Myths, Reality, and Policy

In this series of blog posts, RFF researchers Joshua Linn and Virginia D. McConnell take a look at the current state of the electric vehicles (EVs) and the effect of current and future policies on the market. Click to read the second, third, fourth, and fifth installments. There have been numerous news articles and much […]

The New CAFE Standards: Are They Enough on Their Own?

The new CAFE standards may require complementary policies to meet the ambitious goals of reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In a new RFF discussion paper, I examine the new footprint standards, their implications for changes to the size mix of vehicles, and the role of credit policies on compliance and cost-effectiveness of the […]

The IMF Takes on Energy Subsidies

It has long and widely been accepted that subsidies that promote the production and consumption of energy – thereby disguising its real cost to society – do little to benefit mankind. On the output side, second-guessing the market distorts firms’ decisions about optimal investment strategies. Among users, access to below-cost energy encourages waste, with environmental […]

RFF Feature: Policy Options for Encouraging Home Energy Efficiency Improvements

New research by RFF’s Margaret Walls identifies the tradeoffs associated with choosing among loans, subsidies, and standards as policies to encourage energy efficiency improvements in homes. Read the full feature here.

Do Renewables Policies Promote Valuable Investments?

Last month, a big battle over the production tax credit (PTC) for wind ended with Congress granting a one-year extension. This month, the focus has shifted to another renewable energy policy: state renewable portfolio standards (RPSs). Just this week, the Heartland Institute recommended repealing Kansas’s RPS—the latest addition in a growing attack on state RPSs. […]