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Course Details

Renewable Energy
(no number)




2 cr.

Senior Writing


Student Year



Concerns over climate change and cost-reduction have helped to drive increased interest in renewable energy development. This quasi-clinical course combines a substantive introduction to renewable energy law with practical experience in the area. It will begin by providing background on energy regulation generally and the ways in which renewable energy and energy efficiency fit into that scheme at different levels of government. The course then will turn to debates over what should be considered renewable energy and how each type of fossil fuel alternative should be approached. It will consider longstanding disputes over hydropower and nuclear power, and more recent ones over wind power, solar power, biofuels, geothermal energy, and ocean/tidal-generated energy. The course next will focus on the current legal initiatives to promote renewable energy development, including issues of financing and the ways in which the financial crisis has thus far influenced new development positively and negatively. The course will conclude with reflections on future directions for the interaction between law and renewable energy development. Each class session will be divided between discussing that day's topics in renewable energy law and learning from our class project assisting one or more nongovernmental and governmental organizations. Grades will be based on students'€™ written and editorial work regarding the class project (90%), oral presentations (5%), and class participation (5%). This course will meet the senior writing requirement.


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