Full Title: Learning How to Build Back Better through Clean Energy Policy Evaluation
Author(s): Joseph E. Aldy
Publisher(s): Harvard Kennedy School
Publication Date: August 15, 2022
Full Text: Download Resource
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act authorized and appropriated unprecedented spending and tax expenditures to decarbonize the American economy. In the spirit of “build back better,” this paper examines how integrating evaluation in the design and implementation of these new clean energy policies can facilitate the learning necessary for policymakers to make policy better over time. It draws lessons from two case studies: (1) on institutionalizing evaluation based on the experience with regulatory review, and (2) on conducting evaluation based on the research literature assessing the 2009 Recovery Act’s clean energy programs. The paper identifies in recent legislation the programs and their characteristics amenable to various evaluation methodologies. The paper closes with recommendations for a clean energy program evaluation framework that would enable implementation of climate-oriented learning agendas under the Evidence-Based Policymaking Act.