Achieving lower carbon emissions in the United States will require developing a very large number of wind, solar, and other renewable energy facilities, as well as associated storage, distribution, and transmission, at an unprecedented scale and pace. Although host community members are often enthusiastic about renewable energy facilities’ economic and environmental benefits, local opposition can also arise. This report was compiled in Fall 2020 and Winter 2021
to document local restrictions on and opposition to siting renewable energy projects…
The report provides state-by-state information on local laws to block, delay or restrict
renewable energy. These include moratoria on wind or solar energy development; outright bans on wind or solar energy development; regulations that are so restrictive that they can act as de facto bans on wind or solar energy development; and zoning amendments that are designed to block a specific proposed project. While local governments at times enact legislation in response to a specific project proposal, as discussed below, some municipalities have banned, placed moratoria on, or significantly restricted wind and solar energy development even absent a proposed project. On the other hand, many local governments have allowed or welcomed renewable energy facilities while setting reasonable regulations; only local laws that scuttled a specific project or that are so restrictive that they could have the effect of barring wind or solar development are included in this report.