• Dustin Tingley


August 2, 2023, Paper: "The inequitable access to renewable energy disproportionately afflicts marginalized communities and slows the clean energy transition necessary to combat climate change. Most solutions focus on top-down government initiatives to subsidize renewable energy. However, this approach has had mixed efficacy, raises questions about the durability of support, and lacks political feasibility in certain contexts. Instead, we leverage the logic of polycentric governance—many centers of decision-making as opposed to one—to propose a new energy development model that leverages individual altruism. Our model rethinks the practice of net metering, where households and organizations can sell excess power back to the grid. We propose that rather than pocketing the proceeds, households and organizations could donate some of this money to build renewable energy for underserved communities. This could accelerate clean energy development by providing resources and fostering collaboration between communities and power companies. Our framework represents a novel decentralized approach to a “just energy transition” that complements government-led initiatives. This paper describes the program, discusses design issues, and presents proof-of-concept survey research from the United States."