Renewable Energy Seminar

Seminar - 2 hours. This seminar will provide a broad overview of renewable energy law and policy with a particular focus on the California policy and institutional context. The course will begin with an overview of climate and energy policy at the state and national levels, highlighting the divergence between policies that California is implementing and the current state of national energy policy. The role of renewable energy and its relationship to energy efficiency, fuel economy, cap and trade, and other related policies would be discussed within this broader context. The course will also explore constraints on California’s ability to shape its energy future due to dormant commerce clause, federal preemption, international trade law, and other issues related to California’s renewable portfolio standard and renewable fuel policies. The course will proceed to focus on renewable electricity, including an overview of technologies and a survey of some of the common mechanisms to promote renewable electricity development, the rationale for these policies, and criticisms and concerns that have been raised about them. Then we will turn to the implementation of California’s renewable portfolio standard, including an overview of state agencies responsible for implementing different aspects of this law and a review of legal requirements and areas of contention in RPS implementation, including eligibility, procurement, transmission permitting and interconnection, renewable energy permitting, enforcement. The question of whether and how to plan for renewable energy given California’s existing market and institutional structure would also be addressed.  After covering these different aspects of the renewable portfolio standard, the course would review some of the fundamentals of project development from a developer’s perspective. The course will conclude by addressing renewable transportation fuels, including a review of technologies, an overview of state and national policy in this area, and analysis of how state policy is shaped and constrained by considerations of federal and international law.

Advanced Writing
Professional Skills
Course Number



Unit 16