The Dept. of the Interior has released a final rule that creates incentives for solar- and wind-energy development on federal lands.
DOI says the rule, announced on Nov. 10 and effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, will support renewable-energy development while maintaining environmental protections.
But at least one wind-energy group says the rule will make federal lands an even less attractive choice for wind-energy developers.
The rule’s financial incentives include fewer adjustments to rent and longer phase-ins for other fees. The rule also requires a competitive bidding process for new projects and brings the Bureau of Land Management’s fee structure more in line with market conditions.
Jennifer Taylor, head of the Clean Energy Project, says the rule balances responsible renewable-energy development with environmental protection. But Tom Vinson, a vice president with the American Wind Energy Association, says the regulation penalizes projects pursued outside of zones designated for wind. The rule is one of many expected to be released before the end of President Obama’s term.