Brattle principals Mark Berkman and Jürgen Weiss recently co-authored a report that evaluates the expansion of a renewable energy program in Rhode Island. The report, “Distributed Generation Standard Contracts and Renewable Energy Fund: Jobs, Economic and Environmental Impact Study,” was co-authored by research analyst Stephen Lagos and recently featured on a segment of the Rhode Island affiliate station of National Public Radio.
The Distributed Generation Contracts Program, or DG program, was designed to stimulate the development of renewable energy projects in Rhode Island and therefore produce more jobs and less pollution. Set to expire in a year, the state of Rhode Island now faces the decision of whether to extend and expand the program.
In the report, Drs. Berkman and Weiss find that by investing in the program, Rhode Island’s economy and environment would benefit. Additionally, extending and expanding the program can be seen as a long-term investment to develop clean energy in the state. Furthermore, the Brattle report states that the required utilities rate increases will be moderate to small when compared to the increasing fluctuations of natural gas prices.