U.S. State Renewables Portfolio & Clean Electricity Standards: 2023 Status Update
This report provides an overview and status update on U.S. state renewables portfolio standards (RPS) and has been expanded from previous editions to also cover 100% clean electricity standards (CES) adopted by a growing number of states. The report, published in slide-deck form along with accompanying data files, describes recent legislative revisions, key policy design features, compliance with interim targets, past and projected impacts on clean electricity development, and compliance costs.
The 2023 edition presents historical data through year-end 2022 and projections out to 2050. Key trends from this edition of the report include the following:
- Evolution of state RPS and CES programs: States continue to refine and revise their RPS policies, often by adopting higher targets and/or broader CES policies. Among the 29 states plus DC with an RPS, 16 states have RPS targets of at least 50% of retail sales, and 17 states have a 100% CES or RPS target.
- Historical impacts on renewables development: Roughly half of all growth in U.S. renewable electricity (RE) generation and capacity since 2000 is associated with state RPS requirements, though that percentage has declined in recent years, representing 30% of all U.S. RE capacity additions in 2022. Within some regions, particularly the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, RPS policies play a more central role in motivating RE growth.
- Future RPS and CES demand and incremental needs: RPS and CES policies will require roughly 300 terawatt-hours (TWh) of additional clean electricity supply by 2030 and 800 TWh by 2050, requiring total U.S. non-hydro RE generation to reach 28% of electricity sales by 2050 (compared to 17% today). This amounts to roughly one-quarter of EIA’s projected RE growth through 2050.
- RPS target achievement to-date: States have generally met their interim RPS targets in recent years, with only a few exceptions reflecting unique, state-specific issues. Most CES targets are not yet in force.
- Renewable energy certificate (REC) pricing trends: Prices for NEPOOL Class I RECs remained at roughly $40/MWh over the past year, just below alternative compliance payment (ACP) rates in the larger state markets, while PJM Tier I REC prices continued to rise, reaching $30/MWh by year-end. Prices for solar RECs (or SRECs) remained relatively stable, and continue to exhibit wide variation across states, with the highest prices ($200-450/MWh) in NJ, MA, and DC.
- RPS compliance costs: RPS compliance costs average roughly 3.5% of retail electricity bills across RPS states, though vary widely from state to state, with the highest costs (8-12% of retail bills) in states with solar carve-outs and high SREC prices.