Renewable Portfolio Standards Report Highlights Recent Impacts and Benefits of Policies

Renewable Portfolio Standards Report Highlights Recent Impacts and Benefits of Policies

Deployed on a state-by-state basis, Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) continue to advance economic and environmental benefits, and highlight relevance of further developing infrastructure and technologies for sustainability.

With 29 states and Washington DC currently supporting RPS policies, the pathway towards widespread sustainability still has a long way to go. In order to support new projects, one resource includes quantitative assessments of benefits conferred by progressive industry practices. While RPS policies focus on renewable electricity generation, and the economic and environmental impacts they create, they’re one asset within a wider suite that drives communities towards a healthier Triple Bottom Line.

A new study by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) estimates that $2.2 billion in benefits came from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and $5.2 billion from reductions in other air pollution, in mid-range estimates, for state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies operating in 2013. RPS policies require utilities or other electricity providers to meet a minimum portion of their load with eligible forms of renewable electricity.

A Retrospective Analysis of the Benefits and Impacts of U.S. Renewable Portfolio Standards also shows national water withdrawals and water consumption by fossil-fuel plants were reduced by 830 billion gallons and 27 billion gallons in 2013, respectively.

In addition to environmental benefits, the study estimates that RPS policies supported 200,000 renewable energy-related jobs in 2013. Renewable energy jobs from RPS projects were concentrated mostly in California, where large amounts of utility-scale photovoltaic generation was being built in 2013.

The findings within the study also reflect a realistic expectation of benefits ranging in quantity—depending on different variables being considered, the results can vary overall, as well as by region.

Supporting and developing a closed-loop, 100%-sustainable infrastructure is among Team Gemini’s primary endeavors. Many technologies ultimately contribute to this goal, including the appropriation of waste as a source for (electric and thermal) energy production, in addition to valuable commodities like biofuels, fertilizer, compost and more. Additionally, Team Gemini closely examines and implements methods of minimizing or even eliminating any pollution, including protecting and treating valuable water resources and implementing sustainable agriculture.

In an effort to make more communities sustainable, Team Gemini works closely with commodity-intensive industries, municipalities, and other stakeholders to implement viable technology configurations that result in economic and other benefits. Independent of RPS benefits, a closed-loop system allows businesses to minimize their operating costs and maximize their potential revenue streams, depending on which technologies they choose.

To learn more about Team Gemini’s diverse technology solutions, visit Consider subscribing to our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop about key updates.

The original article can be found in the NREL News Archive.