Data-Driven, Multidisciplinary Strategies to Evaluating Impacts of Renewable Energy Policies

April 24, 2024
11:00am EST
Mugar Hall #231
Speaker: Emily Holt - PhD Defense
Host: Deborah Sunter & Alva Couch


PhD Defense:

Renewable energy offers transformative solutions to combat climate change, presenting energy alternatives to fossil fuels, particularly as the price of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar decline. Increased deployment and decreased cost of renewable energy can help reduce energy costs and, therefore, reduce energy burden while also reducing CO2 emissions. Because of this transformative potential, decision makers are creating policies that invest in or incentivize adoption of renewable energy technologies, to further accelerate renewable energy deployment. With the increased investment in these policies, both domestically and internationally, there is a need to quantify the impact of these policies. In addition to measuring the effectiveness of renewable energy policies, there is also a need to better understand who is participating and benefiting from these policies. Understanding who is participating in and benefiting from these from policies is critical, as researchers have previously demonstrated disparities in renewable energy adoption. These findings present the need for not only more policies that invest in or incentivize adoption of renewable energy technologies, but also policies that emphasize a just and equitable transition, both domestically in the United States as well as internationally.

In this talk, we will explore data-driven methodologies to quantify the impact of renewable energy policies and investment strategies at different spatiotemporal levels. We will explore methods of measuring the impact of a state-level solar incentive policy in Connecticut, approaches for evaluating the impact of and participation in a national U.S. policy that provides federal tax credits for renewable energy and energy efficiency purchases, and models for evaluating international renewable energy investments strategies in Ethiopia. We will specifically focus on exploring who is benefiting from and participating in these policies, and how policies and strategic investments can help accelerate a just transition to renewable energy sources.