Institute for Energy and the Environment

Energy and the environment are inextricably linked. An enormous proportion of the earth’s environmental issues arise out of the use of energy. If you care about the environment, energy policy is the single most important influence; and if you care about energy, environmental externalities are the most important constraint. Perhaps no environmental or economic challenge is more important today than our need to expeditiously transition to a low carbon future. Our quest for knowledge covers a wide spectrum of disciplines—including law, science, engineering, finance, public policy and economics. Meanwhile, career opportunities continue to expand with the explosive growth of solar and offshore wind development, the electrification of our transportation system, and new clean distributed opportunities in storage, demand response, efficiency and renewables. We hope that masters and law graduates of the institute’s energy program will continue their cutting edge research, analysis and advocacy well after their time with us in South Royalton, making a transformative impact felt throughout the century on both the environment and the global economy.

Vermont Law School leads the nation in preparing students for the clean energy transition. Our energy law and policy program has the largest selection of clean energy courses available, leading renewable energy experiential opportunities, new clean transportation classes and research options,  and seamless integration with a world class environmental law and policy program, including unparalleled climate law course offerings. Our Institute for Energy and the Environment (IEE) is a national and world energy policy resource focused on the energy policy of the future. The institute serves as a center for graduate research on the transition to a clean energy future and maintains a vibrant student-staffed energy clinic, which works on legal and business models for community energy development.  Our unique year-round Energy Clinic works on the cutting edge of renewable energy development; one early result of our work VLS is powered by over 50% local solar energy. Explore our latest newsletter and learn more about what we are working on today.  We welcome you to join us either through our leading, hands-on residential curriculum in adventurous and stunningly beautiful central Vermont, through our unique online curriculum or perhaps through our unsurpassed short-course offerings on-campus during Vermont's glorious summer.

As you explore our website, please bear in mind how energy policy is increasingly driven by the imperative of preserving our environment, and how dramatic increases in society’s demand for energy have had environmental effects. Please reflect on the role of law and policy in balancing the competing interests of energy use and environmental quality. Could the institute help you, your organization, or your enterprise? Think about the skills and knowledge that the graduates of the IEE team can bring to you as an employer. Most of all, keep in mind that as energy consumers, the actions we take today will create tomorrow’s reality.


 At the IEE we focus on the energy policy of the future. Please join us! 

Institute for Energy and the Environment Research Associate Teams

The IEE Research and Energy Clinic teams continue their work on the important issues of clean transportation, climate justice, community solar ownership and cybersecurity policy.  Our year-old Farm and Energy Initiative addresses the interrelated issues of agriculture and energy sustainability. Learn more about what we do and how you can come join us and shape the energy policy of the future.

Curricular Opportunities