Formulating a Law of Sustainable Energy: The Renewables Component

51 Pages Posted: 4 May 2011 Last revised: 17 Mar 2015

Hannah Jacobs Wiseman

Florida State University - College of Law

Lindsay Grisamer

University of Tulsa College of Law

Nichole E. Saunders

University of Tulsa College of Law

Date Written: May 3, 2011

Abstract

Renewable energy development has recently expanded in the United States, but the law has failed to keep pace with this expansion. Law perennially chases human needs, and in some respects, this is good. When law develops in response to change, it accounts for the real needs of those who work within the law. But relying on old common law principles to guide new development can also be problematic; suboptimal doctrines can become entrenched, and those with the most to gain or lose from legal decisions may have undue influence in the reactionary legal process. This Article argues that scholars — as they began to do in the 1970s for solar energy — should embark upon a project to develop a Law of Renewable Energy. Through this project, scholars should identify the gaps in the law and explore alternatives for effectively filling these gaps — alternatives that will ensure comprehensive review of the potential environmental and social effects of renewable development, provide accessible and efficient approval processes for the developers who must work within the proposed legal framework, and enable rapid yet safe development of renewable energy. Development of renewable energy is an essential piece of a sustainable future, yet, as described in this Article, the laws that emerged prior to the growth of renewables and govern this growth are in some cases antiquated and do not logically translate to the renewables context. For a sustainable future, this must change.

Suggested Citation

Wiseman, Hannah Jacobs and Grisamer, Lindsay and Saunders, Nichole E., Formulating a Law of Sustainable Energy: The Renewables Component (May 3, 2011). 28 Pace Environmental Law (PELR) Review 827 (invited symposium contribution 2011); University of Tulsa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1830272

Hannah Jacobs Wiseman (Contact Author)

Florida State University - College of Law ( email )

425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States

Lindsay Grisamer

University of Tulsa College of Law ( email )

3120 E. Fourth Place
Tulsa, OK 74104
United States

Nichole E. Saunders

University of Tulsa College of Law ( email )

3120 E. Fourth Place
Tulsa, OK 74104
United States

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