GWIPP Research: Environmental and Energy Policy

Title: The State of the Science on Urbanization and Air Quality

Funding: GW Institute for Sustainability Research, Education, and Policy

Researcher(s): Andrea Sarzynski

Start Date: July 2010

Status: Complete

Category: Environmental and Energy Policy; International and Comparative Policy

Summary: This project aims to synthesize recent research regarding urbanization, air quality, and ecosystem health.  The goal of this project is to map urban ecosystem stress and response strategies with respect to global urban air pollution.  The project will briefly summarize the state of the science on urbanization and air quality, with a focus on the most important factors responsible for recent change in urban air quality.  The literature review will next identify urban areas already stressed by air pollution (such as from ozone or fine particulate matter), compile predictions regarding future population change and its air quality impact, and compile information regarding locally-adopted sustainability strategies to deal with coming air pollution stress.  The paper will highlight response strategies that appear most promising with respect to maintaining or improving urban air quality in the face of rapid urbanization.  The paper will conclude with a summary of current research gaps and an agenda for future GW research oriented towards local sustainability efforts.

Title: Assessing the Design, Adoption, and Impact of State Solar Financial Incentives 

Funding: GW Institute for Analysis of Solar Energy 

Start Date: October 2008

Status: Complete 

Category: Environmental and Energy Policy

Summary: As the nation considers how to transition to a clean energy economy, it appears committed to utilizing financial incentives to encourage adoption of solar and other renewable technology. States have shown substantial policy leadership and innovation as they design and implement solar incentive programs.

This research has three parts. The first catalogues and assesses the design and variation of state incentives, providing a research base for further analysis. The second assesses the impact of existing state incentives, in terms of program participation and project costs. This research will allow us to identify the characteristics of incentive design and implementation that are most likely to be successful in encouraging program participation and adoption of solar technology, while keeping down costs. The third part probes the diffusion of policy incentives, offering insights for advocates seeking expansion of state programs.

See Working Paper: WP039 - Young, G. and A. Sarzynski. (2009). “The Adoption of Solar Energy Financial Incentives Across the States, 1974-2007.” Working Paper. Washington, DC: George Washington Institute of Public Policy.

Work products:
Sarzynski, A. (2009). State Policy Experimentation with Financial Incentives for Solar Energy.
Washington, DC: George Washington Institute of Public Policy.

Sarzynski, A. (2009). The Impact of Solar Incentive Programs in Ten States. Washington, DC: George Washington Institute of Public Policy.