Ottinger, Richard L.; Williams, Rebecca
April 2002
Environmental Law (00462276);Spring2002, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p331
Academic Journal
Renewable energy resources hold great promise for meeting' the energy and development needs of countries throughout the world. This promise is particularly strong for developing countries where many regions have not yet committed to fossil fuel dominance. Solar photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies are particularly advantageous for serving the two billion people in rural areas without grid electricity. Modern biomass energy is attractive because it uses locally available agricultural wastes. Wind energy and small hydroelectric resources also are mature technologies well suited to developing countries. Such renewable resources are far more economical than traditional energy resources, especially where the costs of acquiring, maintaining, and operating centralized power stations and remediating their pollution can be avoided. However, a host of economic, social, and legal barriers prevent these renewable resources from reaching their full potential. This Article explores the legal mechanisms for overcoming these barriers and provides examples of how they have been overcome in industrial, as well as developing countries.


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