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The Missing Link: Use of Renewable Energy Codification in U.S. Cities Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/2v23vw11m

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  • Cities of the world today house more than half the world’s population, contribute to 80 percent of the global GDP, consume approximately 70 percent of the global energy and produce 70 percent of the greenhouse gases produced worldwide (Floater et al., 2014; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2014). City governments are critical players in reducing the global energy footprint. As a leading example, cities in the United States are passing legislation and taking actions to improve the sustainability of their jurisdictions and increasingly addressing renewable energy concerns. Local government programs and plans along with municipal codes have a considerable impact on city energy use. Codification is a process of organizing and arranging all legislation of a general and permanent nature into a Code. This paper addresses the key question: Is codification used by municipal governments to promote renewable energy development? If yes, then how? The paper documents and forms a policy baseline of existing renewable energy references in municipal codes of U.S. cities. It further analyzes trends of renewable energy codification as of December 2015 across different regions, states, and cities of different populations. Codes addressing renewable energy in sample jurisdictions were collected and analyzed. From this research and findings, the conclusion argues that cities frequently use codification to promote renewable energy development. Population and location of a city are key factors that influence renewable energy codification. Zoning, permitting and development codes often address renewable energy in municipal codes. Codes referencing wind energy are more standardized than codes referencing solar energy.
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