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

Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (Title IX: Energy)
7 U.S.C. Chapter 107
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology Competitiveness Act of 1989
Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978(PURPA), 16 U.S.C. § 824a-3
Federal Power Act of 1920 Section 210 (as amended through Pub. L. No. 115-325)
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 (42 U.S.C. § 7545(o))
Minimum Quantity of Ethanol from Cellulosic Biomass (42 U.S.C. § 7545(o)(2)(B))
Modification of Small Ethanol Producer Credit (26 U.S.C. § 40(b)(4))
Small Agri-Biodiesel Producer Credit Established (26 U.S.C. § 40A(2)(4))
Renewable Fuel
Conversion Assistance for Cellulosic Biomass, Waste-Derived Ethanol, Approved Renewable Fuels (42 U.S.C. § 7545(s))
Blending of Compliant Reformulated Gasolines (42 U.S.C. § 7545(t))
Advanced Biofuel Technologies Program
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 (Pub. L. No. 101-549 § 206)
Oxygenated Fuels (Pub. L. No. 101-549 § 218)

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 Science 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 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 Air 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, Goeringer, Boling, Rumley, Burns-Thompson, and Bassham)

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)

Bioenergy Research Unit
National Programs: Biorefining
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)
Topics: Bioenergy
Topics: Corn & Other Feedgrains
Topics: Agricultural Baseline Projections

Department of Energy

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Energy Information Administration: Renewable & Alternative Fuels
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center
Energy Sources: Bioenergy
Energy Sources: Clean Energy
Energy Sources: Solar
Energy Sources: Wind
Energy Sources: Water
Energy Sources: Geothermal
Bioenergy Technologies Office
Solar Energy Technologies Office
Wind Energy Technologies Office

Water Power Program

Solar Powering America

Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental Laws Applicable to Construction and Operation of Biodiesel Production Facilities
The Latest on Clean Renewable Energy Bonds and Tax Credits
Energy and the Environment
Clean Energy Programs
Green Power Partnership
Renewable Fuels Standard Program
Landfill Methane Outreach Program
Global Methane Initiative
Energy Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Governments

Foreign Agricultural Services

Commodities and Products: Biofuels

Forest Service

Biomass & Bioenergy

National Agricultural Library

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center: Energy
Bioenergy and Biofuels

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)


Congressional Resources

House Committee on Energy and Commerce

House Subcommittee on Energy

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

Senate Committee on Agriculture: Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy

Other Federal Resources

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy: Federal Energy Management Program

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

U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management: Renewable Energy Program

AgStar Program (USDA & EPA)


Renewable Energy Production on Farms(U. Mass. Extension)

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, 2018)

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

The Law of Solar: A Guide to Business and Legal Issues (Stoel Rives Energy Team, 2017)

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)

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)

Community Wind Toolbox (

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

Additional Resources

ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture Program: Renewable Energy Options
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
Growth Energy America’s Ethanol Supporters
Natural Resources Defense Council
Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership
Renewable Fuels Association
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
SunGrant Bioweb
World Energy Council
World Renewable Energy Congress
International Energy Agency: Renewables
American Bar Association: Environment, Energy, and Resources Section