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The answer is blowin' in the wind: Do American attitudes on energy and economic willingness to pay for renewables reflect behavioral outcomes?

Lauren Knapp, PhD

Lauren Knapp Lauren Knapp
University of Michigan Energy Institute Postdoctoral Seminar
Location: Ford School of Public Policy, Weill 3240 (3rd floor seminar room) (talk will start promptly at 11:45; space is limited)

An important strategy for climate protection is through deep, decarbonization and a transition from a fossil to renewable energy portfolio in the electricity sector. There is much evidence of national, growing public support for state policies to spur such a transition, including Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and various incentive programs. Select utilities in states with RPS policies have been offering green power purchase programs that enable consumers to pay premiums (from 0.1- 7.0 ¢/KWh) for electricity from wind or solar power. Using a novel approach to compare consumer survey data to revealed program outcomes, we investigate: does sentiment for climate action translate into actual behavior as measured through ratepayer purchases of green power? The University of Michigan Energy Institute collects national data on energy attitudes and environmental concerns (U-M Energy Survey), a quarterly rider on the U-M’s Institute for Social Research Surveys of Consumers (SCA). The U-M Ford School’s Center for Local State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) collects national data on energy policy preferences, including the extent consumers would be willing to pay more for renewable energy via particular state policies. This analysis combines these sets of survey data with federally collected data on utility-level green power premiums and utility-wide demographics and electricity prices. This seminar will show initial results pertaining to the state of U.S. utility green pricing behavior, and how attitudes and stated willingness to pay premiums for green power actually correlate with behavioral outcomes. Such findings offer insights for program evaluation, increasing green pricing enrollment and informing the development of future market-based policy interventions. The presentation will conclude with a discussion to answer questions and solicit suggestions.
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When and Where

Map Weill Hall (Ford School) - 3240 (3rd floor seminar room)

January 2019

11:45am - 1:00pm

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