Renewable Energy


Renewable energy includes many different types of energy sources, such as solar, hydro, wind, geothermal, and biofuels. These sources constantly renew themselves and are considered virtually inexhaustible. New focus has been placed on the development and improvement of renewable energy sources. New incentives and regulations have emerged, ranging from funding for research and development of alternative energy sources and production requirements designed to lessen our dependence on petroleum based fuels, to new air emissions standards and tax credits for implementing renewable energy systems.   Read the full overview.

 Note: Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.

Major Statutes

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Pub. L. No. 110-149, 121 Stat. 1492

Energy Policy Act of 1992 (codified throughout scattered sections of Title 42 U.S.C.)

Energy Conservation Standards for New Buildings
Energy Policy
Renewable Energy

The Energy Tax Act of 1978 (codified throughout Title 26 U.S.C.)

Gas Guzzler Tax
Nonbusiness Energy Property
Residential Energy Efficient Property

Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (codified throughout scattered sections of Title 7 U.S.C.)

Federal Procurement of Biobased Products
Biorefinery Development Grants
Biodiesel Fuel Education Program
Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Program
Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements (Renewable Energy Program)
Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies
Continuation of Bioenergy Program
Research, Extension, and Educational Programs on Biobased Energy and Products
Loans and Loan Guarantees for Renewable Energy Systems

Energy Policy Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-58, 119 Stat. 594 (2005) (codified throughout scattered sections of Titles 26 U.S.C. and 42 U.S.C.)

Renewable Fuel Program
Minimum Quantity of Ethanol from Cellulosic Biomass
Special Consideration for Cellulosic Biomass or Waste Derived Ethanol
Modification of Small Ethanol Producer Credit
Biodiesel Mixture Credit – Extension Through 2008
Small Agri-Biodiesel Producer Credit Established
Renewable Fuel
Conversion Assistance for Cellulosic Biomass, Waste-Derived Ethanol, Approved Renewable Fuels
Blending of Compliant Reformulated Gasolines
Advanced Biofuel Technologies Program
Waste-derived Ethanol and Biodiesel
Sugar Ethanol Loan Guarantee Program
Agricultural Biomass Research and Development Programs

American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (codified throughout scattered sections of Title 26 U.S.C.)

Credit for Alcohol Fuel, Biodiesel, and Alternative Fuel Mixtures
Fuels Not Used for Taxable Purposes
Expansion of Credit for Electricity Produced from Certain Renewable Resources

Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 7545)

Clean Alternative Fuels Program
Oxygenated Fuels

Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006
, P.L. 109-432, 120 Stat. 2922

§ 207, Extension of Production Tax Credit

§ 209, Special Depreciation Allowance for Cellulosic Biomass Ethanol Plant Property

§ 402, Extension of Ethanol Import Tariff

Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, P.L. 110-246, 122 Stat. 1651

§ 9001, Title IX, Energy
§ 9002, Title IX, Biofuels Infrastructure Study
§ 9003, Title IX, Renewable Fertilizer Study

Compilation of States’ Biofuels Statutory Citations
Compilation of Biofuels Statutory Citations: United States Federal Laws


Bioenergy Program, 7 C.F.R. Part 1424
Biodiesel Fuel Education Program, 7 C.F.R Part 2903
Alternative Fuel Transportation Program, 10 C.F.R. Part 490
The Office of Energy Research Financial Assistance Program, 10 C.F.R. Part 605
Manufacturers and Retailers Excise Taxes, 26 C.F.R. Part 48
Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act and Assessing the
Environmental Effects Abroad of EPA Actions
, 40 C.F.R. Part 6
Consolidated Rules of Practice of Governing the Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties
and the Revocation/Termination or Suspension of Permits
, 40 C.F.R. Part 22
Requirements for Preparation, Adoption, and Submittal of Implementation Plans, 40 C.F.R. Part 51
Registration of Fuels and Fuel Additives, 40 C.F.R. Part 79
Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives, 40 C.F.R. Part 80 (Renewable Fuel Standard)
Control of Pollution from Mobile Sources, 40 C.F.R. Part 85
Control of Emissions from New and In-Use Highway Vehicles and Engines, 40 C.F.R. Part 86
Control of Emissions from New and In-Use Nonroad Compression Ignition Engines, 40 C.F.R. Part 89

Case Law

Case Law Index for Renewable Energy

Administrative Law Decisions

USDA Office of Administrative Law Judges
USDA National Appeals Division
EPA Office of Administrative Law Judges
EPA Environmental Appeals Board
Center Published Judicial Officer Decisions

Center Research Publications

Wind Energy Leasing Handbook — Workbook (Ferrell and R. Rumley)

States’ Biofuels Statutory Citations (Mirus and Goeringer)

Biofuels Statutory Citations: United States Federal Laws (Mirus)

The Renewable Fuels Standard Provisions Under the Clean Air Act: Overview and Recent Developments (Foy)

Biofuels: Policy and Business Organization Issues (O’Brien)

Congressional Research Service Reports

Reports– published and made available by CRS beginning in 2017

Subjects- published by CRS and made available by NALC until 2018:

Climate Change

Agricultural Law Bibliography

Introduction   |   Keyword Search   |   Browse Categories

Legal publications on Renewable Energy:

Energy Issues
Environmental Issues
Land Use Regulation
Public Lands

Reference Resources

Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Research Initiative: Biobased Products and Bioenergy
National Program: Bioenergy and Energy Alternatives
National Program: Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products

Biomass Research & Development Board
 (Created by Biomass Research & Development Act of 2000)

Increasing Feedstock Production for Biofuels: Economic Drivers, Environmental Implications, and the Role of Research (2008)

Economic Research Service

Publication: Next-Generation Biofuels: Near-Term Challenges and Implications for Agriculture (Coyle, 2010)
Publication: Energy Use in the US Food System (Canning, et. al., 2010)
Ethanol and a Changing Agricultural Landscape (Malcolm et al., 2009)
Ethanol Expansion in the United States: How Will the Agricultural Sector Adjust? (2007)
Briefing Rooms: Bioenergy
Briefing Rooms: Corn
Briefing Rooms: Agricultural Baseline Projections

Department of Energy

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Energy Information Administration
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center
Energy Sources: Bioenergy
Energy Sources: Renewables
Energy Sources: Solar
Energy Sources: Wind
Bioenergy Technologies Office
Wind Program

Water Power Program

Solar Energy Technologies Program
Wind Powering America: Agricultural Outreach Articles
Wind Powering America: Rural Energy for America Program (2008 Farm Bill)
Wind Powering America: Wind Energy Development and the Agricultural Community

Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental Laws Applicable to Construction and Operation of Biodiesel Production Facilities
The Latest on Clean Renewable Energy Bonds and Tax Credits
Clean Energy
Clean Energy: Non-Hydroelectric Renewable Energy
Green Power Partnership
Renewable Fuels Standard Program
Landfill Methane Outreach Program
Methane to Markets Partnership
State and Local Climate and Energy Programs

Foreign Agricultural Services

Commodities and Products: Biofuels

Forest Service

Woody Biomass Utilization

National Agricultural Library

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center: Farm Energy Options
Natural Resources and Environment: Bioenergy and Biofuels

Rural Development


U.S. Department of Agriculture

Factsheet: 2008 Farm Bill Renewable Energy Provisions

Congressional Resources

House Committee on Energy and Commerce

House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment

Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Senate Subcommittee on Energy

Senate Subcommittee on Water and Power

Senate Reports on the Energy Independence Security Act of 2007

Senate Reports on the Energy Policy Act of 2005

EPA Oversight: Implementing the Renewable Fuels Standard (Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Hearing)
Senate Committee on Agriculture: Subcommittee on Energy, Science and Technology

Energy in the Americas (Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs)

Other Federal Resources

U.S. Department of the Interior: Bureau of Land Management: Energy

U.S. Department of the Interior: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement: Renewable Energy Programs

AgStar Program (USDA, EPA, DOE)

Energy Security for the 21st Century (Bush Administration)

Twenty in Ten: Strengthening America’s Energy Security (Bush Administration)

Fact Sheet: President Bush Signs into Law a National Energy Plan

2008 Report on Ethanol Market Concentration (Federal Trade Commission)


Wind Energy Production: Legal Issues and Related Liability Concerns for Landowners in Iowa and Across the Nation (Center for
Ag. Law and Taxation, McEowen, 2009)

The Law of Wind: A Guide to Business and Legal Issues (Stoel Rives Wind Team, 2009)

Landowner Guidelines for Evaluating Wind Energy Production Leases (Mich. St. U., 2008)

The Law of Biofuels: A Guide to Business and Legal Issues (Stoel Rives Biofuels Team, 2008)

Landowner Guidelines for Evaluating Wind Energy Production Contracts (MI St. U., 2008)

The US Ethanol and Biofuels Boom: Its Origins, Current Status, and Future Prospects (BioScience Magazine, 2008)

Ethanol Fact Book (Clean Fuels Development Coalition, 2008)

The State of Food and Agriculture 2008 – Biofuels: Prospects, Risks and Opportunities (United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization)

Clean Energy Farming: Cutting Costs, Improving Efficiencies, Harnessing Renewables (SARE, 2008)

Broadening Wind Energy Ownership by Changing Federal Incentives (Institute for Local Self-Reliance, 2008)

Biofuel Support Policy Costs to the U.S. Economy (FarmEcon LLC, 2008)

Cellulosic Biofuels (EESI, 2008)

Farmers’ Guide to Wind Energy: Legal Issues in Farming the Wind (FLAG, 2007)

Negotiating Wind Energy Property Agreements (FLAG, 2007)

Biofuels and Biofoods: The Global Challenges of Emerging Technologies (2007)

Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture: Exploring the Crossroads (SARE, 2006)

Introducing the International Bioenergy Platform (FAO, 2006)

Renewable Energy in Agriculture: Back to the Future? (Choices, 2006)

Wind Energy Easements and Lease Agreement Guidelines (, 2005)

Wind Energy Easements and Leases: Compensation Packages (, 2005)

Biodiesel: Do-it-yourself Production Basics (ATTRA, 2009)

Harvesting the Wind: A Landowners’ Guide to Wind Energy Development in the Great Plains (U. ND, 2003)

Small Farm Energy Primer (Center for Rural Affairs, 1980)

Community Wind Toolbox (

Assessing the Value of Wind Turbine Lease Revenue (Haight, LeaseGen)

Additional Resources

Videos on Wind Energy (Ag Econ at OK State University)
Conservation Stewardship Program Fact Sheet (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition)
Renewable Energy Posts (Ag & Food Law Blog)
Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas: Farm Energy
American Council on Renewable Energy
American Soybean Association
Clean Fuels Development Coalition
National Biodiesel Board
American Wind Energy Association
National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Renewable Resource Data Center
Biomass Research and Development Initiative
American Coalition for Ethanol
Sustainable Energy Coalition
National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition
Natural Resources Defense Council
Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership
Renewable Fuels Association
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
Harvesting Clean Energy
Clean Energy (Union of Concerned Scientists)
SunGrant Bioweb
World Energy Council
World Renewable Energy Congress
International Energy Agency: Renewables
American Bar Association: Renewable Energy Resources Committee