Department or Program

Environmental Studies


In this paper, I estimate the impact of state RPS policies on electricity prices in the US. To undertake this analysis, I assembled panel data for US states from 1990-2017. Each observation includes annual average electricity prices, regulatory information, and average January and July temperature. I measure an RPS policy using three slightly different binary indicators, as well as a formula for policy stringency. I include an interaction term between each of these RPS variables and indicator for electricity market deregulation to examine how the rate impacts of RPS differ among regulated and deregulated electricity markets. I also include state and year fixed effects, and time trends. Using a differences in differences empirical approach, I find that RPS policies only lead to significant electricity rate impacts in states with Golden 2019 26 deregulated markets. However, these rate impacts have lessened as the policy has matured and renewable energy has dropped in production costs. I additionally find that increasing RPS policy stringency does not have a significant impact on electricity prices.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Lynn Lewis

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages



Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.