At the University of Delaware, we learn about all aspects of Wind Energy, from transmission, to public policy, to energy calculations. Some of us, though, focus on specific areas, and are the "experts" of our group.
Below, each of our "experts" have written a paragraph on the topic of their focus. We hope that this will expand YOUR knowledge of Wind Energy.
Permitting and Legal Aspects of Wind by Lance Noel
Large projects such as offshore and land-based wind require a significant permitting process. Offshore wind is especially burdened, and there are a myriad of applicable laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), the Migratory Bird Act (MBA), and Endangered Species Act, among several others. Permitting can be quite burdensome, for example, the Cape Wind Final Environmental Impact Statement neared a thousand pages long. Current research focuses on developing the environmental impact statements more swiftly to allow for more rapid, smarter development, as well as including comparisons across other, more conventional electricity types.
Furthermore, since offshore wind has substantial environmental implications, there are more broad legal implications. For example, offshore wind can be related to international climate change policy, as well as climate change taxes and/or cap and trade programs. In addition, state laws and doctrines can also apply to energy policy and wind generation, such as renewable portfolio standards (RPS), the public trust doctrine, and other state-specific laws.
Have an area of wind energy that you've always wanted to know more about that we didn't cover here? Leave a comment on this page with what you want to see and we'll expand this section!