Hannah J. Wiseman
Clean Energy Incentives: Risk, Capture, and Federalism
Response to Felix Mormann, Clean Energy Federalism
Professor Felix Mormann’s article Clean Energy Federalism provides a compelling framework for effectively incentivizing clean energy development in the United States and for theorizing this field. The article tackles two primary questions that arise in the incentives and innovation debate, including what types of incentives work best—such as renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) or feed-in tariffs (FITs)—and what level of government should formulate and administer these incentives. My only quibble with the piece, which is a very minor one, is Professor Mormann’s conclusion that FITs should be state-based endeavors. This response begins in Part I by focusing on the importance of pluralism in clean energy innovation that Professor Mormann so cogently captures. Part II then explores why both FITs and RPSs—not just RPSs—seem well-suited to local, state, or federal control, thus perhaps not requiring FITs to become mired in the federalism debate over which level of government should control a particular policy area. Read more.