Effectiveness of State Policy to Promote Bioenergy Innovation
Minnesota is in the midst of a rapid proliferation of policies aimed at creating sustainable energy systems that simultaneously address complex issues of national security, climate change, and economic development. Adding to the challenge is the lack of knowledge about the effectiveness of our policy efforts. Dennis R. Becker (Forest Resources) will investigate the development of renewable energy in Minnesota by analyzing innovations and accomplishments resulting from a sample of existing state bioenergy policies, and their interaction with state agency programs and research initiatives. The research will analyze the implementation of state policies and relate them to policy-specific drivers, types of innovation sought, projected utilization and economic impacts, and cost effectiveness. This comparative analysis will be conducted using a case-study approach with cross-case analyses. Results of this analysis can inform state energy planning by evaluating the effectiveness of different policy tools for advancing bioenergy production, illustrating the role of policy in facilitating innovation, and revealing unintended consequences of policy incentives. The research will also test evaluation protocols, which will be employed in subsequent research investigating the effectiveness of state policies and programs across the country.