Renewable Energy Law & Energy Justice
This seminar will explore the range of legal issues that arise in the development of small scale (distributed), community scale, and utility scale renewable energy, focusing primarily on solar and wind energy development. The course will identify policy methods for mandating, incentivizing, and financing renewable energy development and associated infrastructure. We will also address land use issues such as local zoning for renewables, state preemption of local control, transmission line siting, and public and private legal tools for resolving landowner conflicts in the renewable energy sphere. The final portion of the course will tour the social, cultural, and environmental legal issues associated with renewable energy development, focusing on wildlife laws, environmental review statutes, and community negotiation tools.
Within each of these topics, the course will focus on the equity issues that arise in renewable energy development, meaning the extent to which individuals and groups experience different benefits and costs of renewable energy development. The course will analyze the extent to which energy law fails to address these equity issues and will identify improved legal tools that are emerging. Students will write papers and prepare presentations that propose solutions to an actual renewable energy policy issue.
This course satisfies the experiential learning requirement.