Date of Conferral
Legislated renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) may not be the key to ensure forecast energy demands are met. States without a legislated RPS and with efficient permitting procedures were found to have approved and issued 28.57% more permits on average than those with a legislated RPS. Assessment models to make informed decisions about the need and effect of legislated RPSs do not exist. Decision makers and policy creators need to use empirical data and a viable model to resolve the debate over a nationally legislated RPS. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to determine if relationships between the independent variables of RPS and insolation levels and the dependent variable of the percentage of permits approved would prove to be a viable model. The research population was 68 cities in the United States, of which 55 were used in this study. The return on investment economic decision model provided the theoretical framework for this study and the model generated. The output of multiple regression analysis indicated a weak to medium positive relationship among the variables. None of these relationships were statistically significant at the 0.05 level. A model using site specific data might yield significant results and be useful for determining which solar energy projects to pursue and where to implement them without Federal or State mandated RPSs. A viable model would bring about efficiency gains in the permitting process and effectiveness gains in promoting installations of solar energy-based systems. Research leading to the development of a viable model would benefit society by encouraging the development of sustainable energy sources and helping to meet forecast energy demands.