Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental and Energy Policy (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Social Sciences

Advisor 1

Adam Wellstead

Advisor 2

Shan Zhou

Committee Member 1

Mark Rouleau

Committee Member 2

Laura Brown


This dissertation undertakes a comprehensive assessment of the current state of climate mitigation endeavors in the United States by scrutinizing policies related to clean energy. The three chapters of the dissertation collectively contribute to an enhanced comprehension of the adoption and impact of clean energy policies within the United States. The initial paper prompts policymakers to reassess the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by presenting empirical evidence of the influence of peer pressure and the impact of natural disasters. The second paper advises policymakers on the various combinations of driving factors influencing the deployment of community solar projects in each state. Lastly, the third paper makes a substantial contribution to the Voluntary Environmental Program (VEP) by conducting a rigorous statistical analysis of the energy performance of buildings certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The findings from each study furnish novel insights for policymakers, serving as a foundation for deliberations aimed at modifying existing energy policies to better align with the unique circumstances of each state and expedite their respective transitions to clean energy.

Available for download on Wednesday, January 01, 2025