Document Type

Honors Paper

Advisor

Wei Zhang

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

Across the country, the cost of solar photovoltaic installation has continued to fall dramatically in recent years. New England, the six-state Northeastern most region in the United States, is characterized by relatively high energy prices. New England electricity grid operator ISO-NE identifies the solar energy as the fastest growing source of distributed energy generation. I examine the existing renewable energy policies of varying levels of stringency in New England so as to contextualize the case study of two key states within the region: Massachusetts and Vermont. A quantitative analysis follows the initial assessment of the different policies across the region. I use an econometric model to evaluate the influence of income, population and regulations in Massachusetts and Vermont on the installed photovoltaic capacity.

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The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.