American energy policy has slowly begun to change the mix in the sources of supply of electricity to residences, industry, and businesses. Renewable sources of electricity have been promoted as future contributors of large portions of the nation's electricity consumption. Wind power has been identified as a potentially substantial future electricity source contributing up to 20% of American demand 2030. To achieve these optimistic goals, there must be: (1) cost-effective, reliable energy technology; (2) sufficient investment capital to finance new construction; and (3) the existence of supportive governmental policies at all levels government. This article discusses the importance of inter-governmental policy support for the emerging wind power industry in America. It concludes that federal and state policies have been harmonious in their encouragement of wind power over the past three decades, but that the states have led the way. The crucial policy frontier that will ultimately determine the success of wind power in America, will be the development of laws and policies improving the availability of transmission capacity needed to move the wind-generated electricity to where it is most needed.

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2009

Publication Information

85 North Dakota Law Review 781-824 (2009)