Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted (Opt-Out)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Managerial Economics

Second Department

Environmental Science and Policy

First Advisor

Caroline Abraham


climate change, solar energy, renewable energy, policy, greenhouse gas, emissions


Climate change is a major concern to Americans and the rest of the planet when it comes to the future of human and environmental health. Human activities exert the most significant amount of carbon dioxide emissions throughout the United States. State government officials are constantly finding new ways to try and reduce levels of emissions within their respective boundaries. Using a number of datasets, this paper researches the effect of different renewable energy policies on overall state-level carbon emissions, with a focus on solar energy. The level of carbon emissions produced in the United States is problematic, renewable energies such as solar have the ability to generate power in place of fossil fuels. This paper finds that a number of other independent factors such as GDP, employment levels, and emissions from electricity sectors impact overall carbon emissions with more significance than the renewable policies themselves. All types of renewable energy policies considered are shown to cause an increase in overall emissions, as well as a number of the independent variables considered. It is possible that there are other unexpected initiatives and factors interacting with overall emissions that are not taken into consideration within this paper.

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In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.