Montpelier, VT — Today the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) released a new report, titled The State of State Renewable Portfolio Standards, that analyzes state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) laws as a policy mechanism, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and assessing their impact on the growing national renewable energy market.

The report, which was made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Energy Foundation and is a product of CESA’s State-Federal RPS Collaborative, highlights several key achievements of RPS policies, including:

• State RPSs face some significant challenges, but the RPS as a policy mechanism has proven to be sufficiently flexible and adaptable. Policymakers will likely be able to adjust RPSs as necessary to keep them relevant.

• RPSs have proven to be popular with the public and are helping to diversify the electricity supply while reducing the environmental impacts of energy use, all at a manageable cost.

• One of the key strengths of an RPS is that it establishes a long-term direction that can create policy stability while still allowing for flexibility.

The report discusses five current challenges that could threaten the ability of RPSs to continue to be successful. It also recommends two steps states may take to increase the effectiveness of their RPS laws.

“State RPSs have accomplished a great deal — not just leading to considerable renewable energy generation, but also altering the decision-making and operations of electricity regulators, utilities, the energy industry, and other stakeholders, as well as creating local jobs,” said Warren Leon, Executive Director of CESA and author of the report. “We hope this report will give policymakers the information they need to address challenges to RPS laws in their states.”

Download the report:

Download the press release (PDF).


About Clean Energy States Alliance: Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing state and local efforts to implement smart clean energy policies, programs, technology innovation, and financing tools to drive increased investment and market making. CESA works with the leading state and public clean energy programs and provides information sharing and technical assistance to states and local governments on “best in class” clean energy programs and policies. CESA also facilitates collaborative networks to coordinate efforts between states, federal agencies, and other stakeholders to leverage accelerated progress on deploying clean energy projects and markets. 

About the State-Federal RPS Collaborative: The State-Federal RPS Collaborative is a joint project of CESA's States Advancing RPS project and Clean Energy Group. Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Energy Foundation, the Collaborative provides a forum for the exchange of experiences and lessons learned regarding the implementation of state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies and the marketing of RECs or renewable energy credits across the U.S. The Collaborative provides an opportunity for participants to learn about and discuss other factors that impact the realization of RPS targets, and provides via CESA staff technical assistance to states in the process of implementing an RPS, as well as those that are considering passing RPS legislation. For more information, visit



Marissa Newhall
Communications Director
Clean Energy States Alliance

(202) 527-9196

(202) 527-9196