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Advanced Introduction to Law and Renewable Energy

Joel B. Eisen

This clear and concise book provides an overview of how laws and policies around the world are designed to support and accelerate the growth of renewable energy. Throughout, Professor Eisen focuses on how national and sub-national governments have responded to the revolutionary transformation of the world’s energy system by developing and implementing support programs for renewable energy.
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Other legal and regulatory systems with impacts on renewable energy development

Joel B. Eisen


This chapter examines the impact on renewable energy of national and sub-national legal and regulatory systems, other than those discussed in previous chapters. These include national environmental laws, sub-national land use laws, national and international trade policies, US Constitutional law (specifically the Commerce Clause) and the European Court of Justice’s (CJEU) interpretations of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). All of these can have major impacts on renewable energy deployment. In addition, the reader should be aware that national and sub-national laws not discussed in this book can also impact renewable energy projects.

Section 8.1 discusses how national environmental law regimes affect renewable energy development. The section focuses on environmental assessment laws and endangered species protection laws. These apply broadly to private and public sector actions, but also typically apply to specific renewable energy projects and often create requirements that apply before projects can be approved. A developer’s ability to obtain private sector financing (see Chapter 6) is often tied to its compliance with applicable environmental laws. Chapter 9 discusses carbon pricing schemes, which are environmental laws and policies that aim more directly at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the electricity generation portfolio of nations or regions.

Section 8.2 discusses local land use laws that can inhibit the permitting, siting and construction of individual projects. These take two different forms: (1) local zoning laws that can restrict where facilities can be built, or impose requirements that make it prohibitive or impossible...

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