How Lawsuits Could Ignite an Energy Market: The Case of Anaerobic Digestion

December 2011
ELR 11094
Catherine M.H. Keske

This Article demonstrates that it is possible for lawsuits to ignite a market for an innovative energy technology that otherwise would be too costly to implement. For example,
early adopters of a technology might be able to create conditions that make that technology feasible because they are motivated to settle a nuisance lawsuit.  Focusing on  anaerobic digestion (AD)--a technology that converts biomass into methane that can be captured and used as biogas, or that can be converted into electricity through a generator---the Article presents the author’s original research illustrating that mitigating imminent nuisance lawsuits potentially can make AD technology economically feasible in the western part of the United States.

Catherine M.H. Keske, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of agricultural and resource economics at Colorado State University’s Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and an adjunct professor at the Denver University Sturm College of Law.

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