November 01, 2014

The Emergence of the Renewable Energy Development Agreement

Ellen Berkowitz and Daniel Freedman

No matter how much policy makers, business groups, and environmentalists want renewable energy to clean up our nation’s energy portfolio, one thing is for certain: global climate policy does not mean much when it comes to local politics. The reality is that the process of applying for and receiving a local permit to construct and operate a major renewable energy project is fraught with controversy, challenges, and potentially project-killing speed bumps. To survive the process, project developers must navigate the contentious and challenging worlds of community opposition, local agency skepticism, uncertain environmental and economic conditions, and inadequate or outdated permitting regulations. Unfortunately for developers, these challenges are only getting worse, and more and more projects are being denied by local agencies or permitted with infeasible and unfinanceable conditions.

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