ABA Section of International Law Spring 2010 Meeting
Renewable Energy—Legal Framework Comparison: North America vs. Europe
In 1979, President Carter installed solar water heater panels at the White House and said: “In the year 2000, the solar water heater behind me, which is being dedicated today, will still be here, supplying cheap, efficient energy. A generation from now, this solar heater could either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken. Or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people; harnessing the power of the sun to enrich our lives as we move away from our crippling dependence on foreign oil.” In 1986, President Reagan took down the panels—a symbol for a road not taken by the U.S., but a road well traveled in Europe and other countries. How did renewable energy laws impact these countries’ success stories and what is America doing to catch up?