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Abstract

Abstract: Renewable energy is praised for its environmental benefits and long run energy savings, however, for the average consumer, the up-front cost of this infrastructure deters investment. On the Federal and state level, incentive programs have been implemented to break down these initial barriers and give easier access to renewable energy. Studies have shown that these incentive programs have been successful at the consumer level (Crago, 2014). What policy makers and government officials should maybe be more concerned with though, is the long-term effect of these programs. This paper will analyze the long-term effect of renewable energy incentive programs beyond the household level, to establish whether these programs are mere individual aids or true drivers for prolonged and significant production of wind and solar energy sources. This paper’s results suggest that state funded renewable energy incentive programs can be drivers for commercial renewable production. Results show that the most influential policies for long-run renewable production provide educational and technological resources to consumers and businesses, rather than simple monetary and financial incentives.

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