ABSTRACT

The economic analyses in the preceding chapters examined the effects of changing the market penetration levels and the costs of renewable energy sources. These impact analyses were conducted for two different price trends for conventional (or nonrenewable) fuels. One of the principal reasons for performing these analyses was to obtain insights and draw conclusions about appropriate government policies toward renewable energy. This chapter investigates the policy conclusions relating to renewable energy resources. It should be noted that our perspective is economic. Therefore, policies are assessed in terms of their effects on real incomes and production in the economy, as measured by real GNP, over the period 1980 to 2000. Of course, other, noneconomic objectives and impacts (such as environmental impacts) will be relevant to any policy decisions concerning federal support for renewable energy, but these other objectives are not taken into account in this study.