Jacob Yu is an undergraduate in the Department of Political Science. He is an intern at the Rutgers Energy Institute for the summer of 2017, working with Professor Frank Felder.
1. Please describe your research in a way that would be understandable to someone without any scientific or technical background. I researched the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) market of 6 states (MA, NJ, PA, DE, MD, OH) and Washington DC. SRECs are a method that states have used to award people who produce electricity from solar. Anyone who produces 1 Megawatt hour of solar electricity is awarded 1 SREC, which can then be sold in exchange for cash. Each states' electric utilities are required by law to produce or purchase a certain amount of SRECs each year, often set as a percentage of net electricity sales. My research question asked: Why do the SREC prices of these 7 programs vary so significantly? What factors are causing this variation? And how can create more stable SREC markets, with these factors in mind?
2. How did you come to be involved in this research? I developed an interest in solar policy after spending a summer working as a solar panel salesman. I looked up Rutgers faculty who were involved in related research, reached out to Professor Felder, and began assisting him with his work.
3. Where do you see your research fitting into our energy future? I believe renewable energy credits are a viable, albeit complex, way to incentivize solar energy adoption. As of now, the above mentioned 6 states and DC are the only ones that have fully functioning SREC markets in the United States. I am confident that more states will set up their own SREC markets in the near future.