There is much to be said in favor of a regional approach with respect to renewable energy mandates. First, uniformity in the particulars of state RPS laws would assist the growing interstate renewable energy market. Second, allowing renewable power that is generated anywhere but delivered locally to satisfy the RPS of any of the states within the region, should enhance the reliability of the market for renewable power, increase the amount of intermittent power accommodated by the grid, and lower the price of renewable power. Each of these effects will strengthen the regional market for renewable power to the overall benefit of each state within the region. Finally, while facial prohibitions upon the eligibility of power generated outside the region to satisfy a state RPS are likely to be considered just as repugnant to the dormant Commerce Clause as prohibitions upon electricity generated out-of-state, the same is likely not true with respect to non-facially discriminatory provisions designed to protect a regional, as opposed to a state, market. This is primarily because many of the benefits of such a provision, especially the air quality benefits?would be sustained by the entire region, as opposed to any particular state.
Kirsten H. Engel,
Why Not a Regional Approach to State Renewable Power Mandates?,
San Diego J. Climate & Energy L.
Available at: http://digital.sandiego.edu/jcel/vol3/iss1/4