The Environmental Protection Agency has issued three requests for information regarding recycling issues, a first step towards distributing funds and carrying out mandates contained in the last year’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, commonly known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The programs for which EPA is requesting information are primarily directed toward improving recycling of
Net Zero Energy
The European Union Adopted New Rules for the Trans-European Networks for Energy
On 30 May 2022, the European Union (“EU”) adopted the revised Regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (No. 2022/869) (the “TEN-E Regulation 2022”), which replaces the previous rules laid down in Regulation No. 347/2013 (the “TEN-E Regulation 2013”) that aimed to improve security of supply, market integration, competition and sustainability in the energy sector. The TEN-E Regulation 2022 seeks to better support the modernisation of Europe’s cross-border energy infrastructures and the EU Green Deal objectives.
The three most important things you need to know about the TEN-E Regulation 2022:
- Projects may qualify as Projects of Common Interest (“PCI”) and be selected on an EU list if (i) they fall within the identified priority corridors and (ii) help achieve EU’s overall energy and climate policy objectives in terms of security of supply and decarbonisation. The TEN-E Regulation 2022 updates its priority corridors to address the EU Green Deal objectives, while extending their scope to include projects connecting the EU with third countries, namely Projects of Mutual Interest (“PMI”).
- PCIs and PMIs on the EU list must be given priority status to ensure rapid administrative and judicial treatment.
- PCIs and PMIs will be eligible for EU financial assistance. Member States will also be able to grant financial support subject to State aid rules.
Continue Reading The European Union Adopted New Rules for the Trans-European Networks for Energy
President Acts to Prevent Import Tariffs on Solar Cells and Modules from Southeast Asia
Presidential Action Triggered by Crisis in the U.S. Solar Industry
In recent months, the U.S. solar industry has been in the midst of an existential crisis, triggered by the threatened imposition of retroactive and future tariffs on a significant portion of U.S. imports. That crisis began on April 1, 2022, when the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) initiated an inquiry to determine whether solar cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are circumventing antidumping (“AD”) and countervailing duty (“CVD”) orders on solar cells from China. Solar cells from these countries generally accounted for approximately 80% of U.S. solar module imports in 2020. If Commerce finds circumvention, solar cells and modules from the four target countries could not only be subject to combined AD/CVD tariffs approaching 250%, but Commerce’s regulations also allow for the agency to apply these tariffs retroactively to merchandise entering on or after April 1, 2022 (and potentially as far back as November 4, 2021). This threat of AD/CVD tariffs triggered a steep decrease in imports of solar cells and modules from Southeast Asia, and caused parts of the U.S. solar industry to come to a stand-still, furthering domestic reliance on coal. Given this paralysis in the solar industry, lawmakers and others urged the President to provide relief from potential AD/CVD tariffs.…
Continue Reading President Acts to Prevent Import Tariffs on Solar Cells and Modules from Southeast Asia
Gas and Nuclear Activities in the EU Taxonomy Regulation: Under What Conditions Does the Commission Deem Them Environmentally Sustainable?
On February 2, 2022, the European Commission adopted a Complementary Climate Delegated Act (the “CCDA”) listing specific gas and nuclear activities as “environmentally sustainable” for purposes of the EU Taxonomy Regulation, subject to strict criteria. Only certain activities that comply with strict emissions limits and other criteria detailed below may be so designated. Even so, the Commission’s decision to list nuclear and gas activities as “environmentally sustainable” is controversial and may still be blocked by EU Member States and the European Parliament through an upcoming scrutiny period, and may also be legally challenged before the EU Courts. Nevertheless there is a significant chance that the Commission’s criteria to consider the listed gas and nuclear activities as “environmentally sustainable” will enter into force by the beginning of 2023. This would allow such listed gas and nuclear activities to have access to green investors and ear-marked public funds under the EU’s Next Generation EU investment program.
Continue Reading Gas and Nuclear Activities in the EU Taxonomy Regulation: Under What Conditions Does the Commission Deem Them Environmentally Sustainable?
RFI Begins to Chart Course for Federal Clean Energy Procurements
Two federal agencies recently released a joint Request for Information (“RFI”) in the latest in a series of concrete steps to meet the Biden Administration’s goal to achieve 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) in federal operations by 2030. The RFI, issued by DLA-Energy and GSA, offers industry a chance to shape future federal CFE procurements by providing information on carbon-free electricity supplied in competitive retail markets. Although not itself a procurement opportunity, the information submitted under the RFI will inform the parameters and conditions of CFE competitions that the federal government expects to begin as soon as this year, with contract deliveries starting in 2023.
Continue Reading RFI Begins to Chart Course for Federal Clean Energy Procurements
New Definitions for Blue and Green Hydrogen: The European Commission’s Package on Hydrogen and Decarbonized Gas Markets
Last December, the European Commission published its legislative Package on Hydrogen and Decarbonized Markets (“Package”), which proposes new rules aiming to develop a hydrogen market in the EU. The new rules bring much awaited legal clarity to the concepts and role of blue and green hydrogen within the EU’s energy regulatory framework for the climate transition.
In effect, the Commission’s legislative Package is intended to promote the use of blue hydrogen until at least 2030 provided that it achieves the same decarbonization as green hydrogen (i.e., 70% GHG reduction). However, the European Parliament and Council may amend both the proposed definition and conditions of blue hydrogen and the proposed regulative incentives during their consideration of the Package and its adoption through the legislative procedure that will now follow. Moreover, the European Commission will be empowered to develop much of the methodologies implementing the definitions of blue and green hydrogen. Companies intending to engage in blue and green hydrogen operations in the EU/EEA would be well advised to closely follow these developments.…
Continue Reading New Definitions for Blue and Green Hydrogen: The European Commission’s Package on Hydrogen and Decarbonized Gas Markets
Report from Glasgow COP26: Assessing the United Nations Climate Conference
As the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (“COP”) in Glasgow has drawn to a close, with seemingly mixed messages and a somewhat ambiguous conclusion, it is worth reflecting on the overall trajectory of the climate issue, societal expectations, and the accomplishments that — with time — Glasgow is likely to represent. COP26 highlighted the fragility of the planet, as well as the fragility of the global consensus-based United Nations approach to protecting it. It highlighted the sweep of global climate-induced challenges and the scale of transformation needed to address them. With rising temperatures has come a rising global focus on climate and a far greater set of emerging societal expectations for meaningful responses by government and the private sector. Despite the risk that the global agreement forged in Glasgow is seen by climate activists as all talk and no action — what they referred to as “blah, blah, blah” — I believe that a number of features will endure as important accomplishments.
Continue Reading Report from Glasgow COP26: Assessing the United Nations Climate Conference
The Scottish Government’s Draft Hydrogen Action Plan
On the 10th of November 2021, the Scottish Government published its Draft Hydrogen Action Plan (the “Plan”), as a companion document to its December 2020 Hydrogen Policy Statement.
The Plan sets out the Scottish Government’s detailed proposals for the Hydrogen industry in Scotland across the next five years. The aim is for Scotland to have capacity to produce 5 GW of Hydrogen by 2030 and 25 GW of Hydrogen by 2045. This blog sets out the key takeaways from the Plan.…
Continue Reading The Scottish Government’s Draft Hydrogen Action Plan
European Commission Opens Public Consultation to Define Selection Criteria for Renewable Energy Projects Eligible of EU Funding
The European Commission seeks stakeholders’ feedback until 18 November on its proposal to define cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy generation that would be eligible to receive EU funding under Connecting European Facility instrument.
Continue Reading European Commission Opens Public Consultation to Define Selection Criteria for Renewable Energy Projects Eligible of EU Funding
Hydrogen in The UK
In December 2020, the UK PM set out an ambitious 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, one of the key points of which was the production of 5 GW of low carbon hydrogen in the UK by 2030. The Plan envisaged hydrogen playing a key role in decarbonising energy-intensive industries and heavy transport and replacing natural gas in domestic heating.
On 17 August the UK Government published its Hydrogen Strategy (together with a number of associated Consultations), which lays the foundations for the UK’s future hydrogen economy and sets out how the UK Government will support innovation and stimulate investment in low carbon hydrogen to meet its 5GW target.…