Regulators Can Help Clear the Way for Entrepreneurial Energy Companies to Innovate

Government Technology: How regulatory policies are implemented can make a huge difference for entrepreneurs in clean technology. In a study, we found that giving state-level regulators more discretion in approving hydropower facilities in the United States led to faster adoption of this clean energy source.

We reviewed regulatory approvals of entrepreneurial hydroelectric power facilities from 1978 to 2014 and found that, on average, when regulators had a relatively high level of discretion, entrepreneurs received a license 22.5% sooner. We calculated hydropower ventures that use innovative run-of-the-river, pumped storage and marine technologies can generate up to US$7,740 per day in renewable energy – $2.8 million annually – from faster licensing.

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