Aldy study on Americans' willingness to pay for national clean energy standard
In 2010 and 2011, Republicans and Democrats proposed mandating clean power generation in the electricity sector. To evaluate public support for a national clean energy standard (NCES), we conducted a nationally representative survey that included randomized treatments on the sources of eligible power generation and programme costs. We find that the average US citizen is willing to pay US$162 per year in higher electricity bills (95% confidence interval: US$128–260), representing a 13% increase, in support of a NCES that requires 80% clean energy by 2035. Support for a NCES is lower among non-whites, older individuals and Republicans. We also employ our statistical model, along with census data for each state and Congressional district, to simulate voting behaviour on a NCES by Members of Congress assuming they vote consistently with the preferences of their median voter. We estimate that Senate passage of a NCES would require an average household cost below US$59 per year, and House passage would require costs below US$48 per year. The results imply that an ‘80% by 2035’ NCES could pass both chambers of Congress if it increases electricity rates less than 5% on average.