Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies that require electricity providers to meet a certain portion of their energy production with renewable energy have been effective at reducing GHG emissions and air pollution, according to a new study. The research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that reduced levels of GHG emissions saved $2.2 billion and air pollution cuts saved around $5.2 billion in 2013. The RPS policies that exist in 29 states and Washington, D.C. were also shown to cut water consumption by 27 billion gallons and withdrawals by 830 billion gallons.
The study was designed to help states that are considering whether or not to extend or eliminate the policies see whether or not they are successful at improving public health and mitigating the effects of climate change. Additionally, the research found that RPS policies were also effective at boosting the economy – supporting 200,000 green jobs in 2013 as well as saving consumers around $1.2 billion from lower energy prices and between $1.3 and $3.7 billion on lower natural gas prices.