Graham Sustainability Institute

Expanding the Renewable Energy Policy Initiative

Project Photo

Project Team

Barry Rabe - Ford School of Public Policy (Ford)
Tony Reames - School for Environment and Sustainability
Sarah Mills - Ford
Kristy Hartman - National Conference of State Legislatures

Project Summary

As national concern for climate change grows, federal policy and specific approaches, such as carbon taxes or renewable energy targets, have received the bulk of attention. State and local governments, however, create and enforce important tax, land use, and infrastructure investment policies that can also facilitate or undermine energy transition and justice.

Through support from the Graham Sustainability Institute, energy justice will be a focal topic of discussion at the upcoming Renewal Energy Policy Initiative (REPI) workshop, which will convene state legislators and energy policy researchers at the U-M Ford School. Specifically, Catalyst Grant support will allow Dr. Tony Reames to conduct and share new research on the role of state-level solar policies and programs in ameliorating or exacerbating racial disparities in access to clean energy technologies. These findings will inform a set of energy justice best practices, which will be shared directly with policymakers through a panel discussion, policy conversations, and a research paper. Graham funding will also double the number of policymaker workshop participants, allowing for more geographically and politically diverse representation.

The REPI workshop aims to provide feedback on existing and in-progress research, suggest areas for new research, identify appropriate opportunities for sharing research findings with policymakers, and develop a proposal for securing external funding for sustaining these research activities. Catalyst Grant support will deepen engagement with the National Conference of State Legislatures by broadening policymaker participation and enhancing the interdisciplinarity of research and solutions developed by U-M researchers.

This project received a $10,000 Catalyst Grant in 2019.