Wind Energy in Massachusetts: The Role of Municipal Electric Utilities.
Abstract: This thesis explores the decision by municipal electrical utilities
in Massachusetts to make investments in wind energy. Using case studies with municipal
electrical utilities, this research looks at the influence of community support, state and
federal policies, and prices of fossil fuels on wind energy decisions. Community
involvement and support are important factors for wind ener... read moregy ownership by municipal
utilities. Among municipal electrical utilities that do not own any wind energy generation,
perceptions about low levels of community support for wind energy, the lack of compelling
financial incentives, and low costs of conventional fuels were identified as barriers to
wind energy. This research concludes that state and federal policies for renewable energy
offer weak incentives to municipal electric utilities for wind energy, and that wind energy
can be increased among municipal electric utilities through policies that are inclusive of
municipal electric utilities. Further, participation in wind energy decisions by community
members is a key component of successful wind energy projects.
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2013.
Submitted to the Dept. of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.
Advisor: Ann Rappaport.
Committee: Penn Loh.
Keyword: Alternative energy.read less