Renewable Energy Subsidies: Investment or Entitlement?

Maine has one of the strongest renewable portfolio standards in the country, requiring 40 percent of total electric supply to come from renewable energy sources by 2017 (with 10% from new sources). A national study finds that the alternative energy industry will continue to grow in Maine, estimating $1.9 billion in private investment by 2023. What are the economic and energy benefits of renewable incentives and how do we recognize the value of renewable energy programs?

Should ratepayers in Maine pay for solar and wind installations and incentives ? On the other hand, if we’re seeking to subsidize natural gas infrastructure to diversify our energy portfolio and reduce costs to ratepayers, why not wind and solar to diversify our portfolio?

What is the role of renewable portfolio standards, integrated resource management with long-term contracts, feed-in tariffs, community pilot projects, and rebates in Maine energy policy? And, how do we address potential integration challenges associated with greater renewable energy penetration?

These questions and issues are critically important to Maine’s energy, economic, and environmental policies, plans, and projects.

Speakers for this forum include:

Legislative Leaders:

  • Senator Garrett Mason, Senate Majority Leader, Maine Senate
  • Representative Sara Gideon, Assistant Majority Leader, Maine House of Representatives

Expert Panel:

  • David Farnsworth, Senior Associate, The Regulatory Assistance Project, The Value of Renewable Energy & Integration Challenges
  • Jeff Thaler, Visiting Professor of Energy Law & Policy, University of Maine Schools of Law & Economics, Renewable Incentives in Maine & Regionally
  • Rachel Bouvier, Principal, rbouvier consulting, Economic Impacts of the RPS & Other Incentives
  • Stuart "Tuck" O'Brien, Staff Attorney, Maine Public Utilities Commission, Solar Valuation Study 


Register here. NECEC Members may register at the E2Tech Member rate by contacting Jeff Marks.

Location: Governor Hill Mansion, 136 State Street, Augusta, ME

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