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When Renewable Energy Policy Objectives Conflict: A Guide for Policymakers

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Robert C. Grace, Deborah A. Donovan, Leah L. Melnick
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Although this report focuses on the renewable energy policies of the U.S. states, the analysis of oftentimes-conflicting policy and policy goals is relevant to any legislative or regulatory body. In many cases, a stated goal of renewable energy policy is least-cost deployment. However, there are often other concurrent policy goals such as local environmental or economic benefits, or supporting emerging technologies that might not always be compatible with least-cost deployment. A tension arises between maximizing least-cost deployment and other objectives or vice versa. This report seeks to provide policymakers with the background, perspective, and tools to systematically balance least-cost renewable energy procurement with other competing renewable energy policy objectives.