What Role Should the States Play in Boosting the Clean Economy?

January 11, 2012

A new report on the state of clean energy investment funds highlights an under-reported, but potentially important clean energy policy tool if these funds are reoriented towards innovation and economic development. Currently, 20 states have funds dedicated to investing in clean energy technologies, backed by revenue streams such as ratepayer electricity surcharges, RPS compliance payments, bonds, and other taxes. Combined, these funds have invested over $2.7 billion in the last decade. But current state policy uses these funds to invest in short-term, often times uncompetitive, existing technology projects instead of long-term industry through innovation. If states are to have a significant impact in supporting a competitive U.S. clean economy, significant policy changes are needed.