One of the great obstacles to the transition to clean energy is that not everyone has an equal opportunity to participate. While previous research has demonstrated that the distribution of solar photovoltaic and battery storage technologies is correlated with race and ethnicity, income, educational attainment, and other variables, it has failed to perform similar analyses on specific clean energy incentive programs. This study evaluates the equitability of past and current state-level incentive programs for solar photovoltaic and battery storage systems in California and Massachusetts using multiple linear regression models. Among the most notable results, for the California programs that are open to the general market, whiter and wealthier populations yielded a higher average incentive amount and a higher likelihood of being served by the programs. Overall, when states are intentional about involving communities and serving environmental justice populations, their programs are more equitable than broad programs for the general public. Ultimately, this study identifies injustices that may obstruct the shift towards a decarbonized society and explores more equitable transformation pathways towards a clean and renewable energy future through distributed energy resources.
Kechkian, Trinidad A., "An Equitable Transformation of the Energy System: The Role of State-Level Incentives for Distributed Energy Resources" (2021). Harvey M. Applebaum ’59 Award. 23.
This Article is Open Access