Archives: Renewables

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California Legislature Passes Bill Putting State on Path to 100% Renewable and Zero-Carbon Power

A bill that would set California on a trajectory toward carbon-free emissions from its electric power sector cleared a major hurdle with its passage through the California State Legislature. SB 100 (De León), The 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018, sets a state policy that eligible renewable energy and zero-carbon resources supply 100 percent … Continue Reading

Does California Offer a National Model For Energy Storage Rules?

Energy storage has frequently been cited as the critical missing link in an electric infrastructure designed to maximize the benefits of cheap, renewable energy.  Because energy from the sun and the wind is inherently intermittent, it has not been able to satisfy a round-the-clock need for electricity.  And in many places we’ve built more renewable … Continue Reading

California Looks Ahead to S.B. 100

California continues to cement its position as a global leader in renewable energy policy and climate change reform.  This session, California State Senate President, Kevin de León, authored Senate Bill 100 (S.B. 100), which would require California utilities to procure 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2045.  S.B. 100 has been approved … Continue Reading

Windstream v. Canada: How Regulatory Winds of Change Affected a Clean Energy Project

A recently-published NAFTA arbitration award in Windstream Energy LLC v. Government of Canada illustrates the perils of investing in clean energy projects in jurisdictions with ever evolving regulatory and policy frameworks.  The case is also a good reminder of the importance of investing in foreign jurisdictions through vehicles incorporated in countries that have adequate investment-protection … Continue Reading

New Administration’s “America First Energy Plan” Touts Fossil Energy Production; Omits Plans for Electricity Sector

As expected, with the inauguration of President Trump all Obama Administration content on the White House website has been replaced with content of the new Administration. The new content includes “An America First Energy Plan”, the entire focus of which is national security and job creation benefits of the Administration’s “embrace” and promotion of greater … Continue Reading

Watching for Initiatives from the Trump Administration and Congress Affecting the Power Sector

The Trump Administration will take office intent on reversing many Obama Administration policies. Although the Trump Administration’s publicly released 100-day plan does not announce a new energy policy, campaign promises and priorities of the Republican-controlled Congress suggest a number of early initiatives that will impact the power sector.  Moreover, the Trump transition team for the Department … Continue Reading

Grid of the Future: Opportunities, Challenges, and Solutions in Corporate Energy Procurement

Fundamental changes in the way that the electric utility and power sector operates, interacts with customers, and relates to its regulators are occurring on a massive scale and at an unprecedented pace. Covington is committed to exploring these transformations affecting the power sector, helping our clients to understand and navigate the changes, and fostering collaborations … Continue Reading

Strict DoD Sourcing Requirements for PV Devices

As part of an ongoing Department of Defense (“DoD”) effort to increase its energy efficiency,  late last month the U.S. Army committed to develop its largest renewable energy project to date — a 65MW  wind and solar  project at Fort Hood.  This ambitious project will need to comply with the latest DoD rules regarding sourcing … Continue Reading

California Enacts Law Requiring 50% Renewables By 2030

Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015.  The law establishes ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy goals for California, including increasing from 33% to 50% the procurement of California’s electricity from renewable sources and doubling the energy efficiency savings through energy efficiency and conservation. Key provisions … Continue Reading

DECC Announces Early Closure of UK Renewables Obligation

In our three-part series published last week, we outlined the possibility of the UK Government closing the Renewables Obligation (“RO”) scheme to new onshore wind generating stations in 2016, a year earlier than expected. On 18 June 2015, the UK Department for Energy & Climate Change (“DECC”) formally announced the UK Government’s intention to close … Continue Reading

The Uncertain Future of the UK Renewables Obligation: A Three-Part Series

In early June 2015, the UK Department for Energy & Climate Change (“DECC”) was expected to announce plans to close the existing subsidy scheme for onshore wind, the Renewables Obligation (“RO”), to new generating capacity a year earlier than expected. This announcement has been delayed amid concerns that it could spark potential legal challenges from … Continue Reading

The Uncertain Future of the UK Renewables Obligation: A Three-Part Series

In early June 2015, the UK Department for Energy & Climate Change (“DECC”) was expected to announce plans to close the existing subsidy scheme for onshore wind, the Renewables Obligation (“RO”), to new generating capacity a year earlier than expected. This announcement has been delayed amid concerns that it could spark potential legal challenges from … Continue Reading

The Uncertain Future of the UK Renewables Obligation: A Three-Part Series

In early June 2015, the UK Department for Energy & Climate Change (“DECC”) was expected to announce plans to close the existing subsidy scheme for onshore wind, the Renewables Obligation (“RO”), to new generating capacity a year earlier than expected. This announcement has been delayed amid concerns that it could spark potential legal challenges from … Continue Reading

The Impact of Distributed Generation On Electric Utilities: How Big, How Likely and How Soon?

Technological advances in distributed generation and battery storage and their consequent falling costs have the potential to significantly change the electric utility business model and regulatory policies.  While change seems likely, there are varying views on its scope, probability and timing.  Two are presented here. One perspective is that fundamental changes in the way electricity … Continue Reading

DLA Energy Issues Solicitation for New, Large-Scale Renewable Energy Generation Project

On October 17, 2014, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy issued a solicitation for proposals to construct and operate a large-scale renewable energy project at Fort Hood in Texas, the U.S. military’s largest active duty armored post.  The Fort Hood project is part of the efforts of the Army Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI), which … Continue Reading

EU Court Confirms Support for Protective Local Green Energy Schemes: Will This Approach Spill Over to Other National Environmental Measures?

EU Member State green energy schemes that only support locally produced renewable energy are compatible with EU law.  This is the main conclusion of the Court of Justice of the European Union in its judgment of 11 September 2014 (CJEU, Joined Cases C-204/12 to C-208/12, Essent Belgium NV v. Vlaamse Reguleringsinstantie voor de Electriciteits- en … Continue Reading

EU Court Allows Discriminatory Green Energy Support Schemes

David Haughan, Stagiarie, Summer 2014, contributed to this post.  Mr. Haughan was a legal trainee at the Brussels office of Covington and Burling LLP during the Summer of 2014.  David studies at King’s College, London. In a landmark decision (CJEU, C-573/12, Ålands Vindkraft AB v. Energimyndigheten) the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled … Continue Reading

Federal Court Upholds Colorado Renewable Energy Portfolio Law

A Colorado federal district court Friday rejected a constitutional challenge to the state’s renewable energy portfolio law, concluding that it did not impose an impermissible burden on interstate commerce. Thirty states and the District of Columbia have enacted renewable portfolio standards, which typically require that a specified percentage of energy supplied by state utilities derive from … Continue Reading

MiFID II: Impact on the Energy Sector

In 2011, the European Commission put forward sweeping proposals to amend and extend the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).  The proposals have been approved in April 2014, after intense discussions between the European Commission, Council of the European Union, and the European Parliament.  The new legislation includes a directive (MiFID) and a … Continue Reading

EPA Issues Direct Final Rule to Revise 2013 Cellulosic Biofuel Renewable Fuel Standard

On April 22, EPA issued a direct final rule to revise the 2013 cellulosic biofuel renewable fuel standard (“RFS”) that it had originally issued on August 15, 2013.  The new rule reduces the cellulosic biofuel RFS to 0.0005%, which reflects the number of cellulosic biofuel renewable identifications numbers (“RINs”) that were actually produced and available … Continue Reading

DOE Issues Draft Solicitation to Provide $4 Billion in Financial Assistance for Clean Energy Technology

The Department of Energy (“DOE”) issued a draft solicitation yesterday for a new Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Projects Loan Guarantee Program.  Once finalized, the Program is expected to make as much as $4 billion in loan guarantees available to innovative clean energy technology projects that are not currently in commercial use.  Based on DOE’s … Continue Reading

CleanEquity Monaco Recognizes Three Innovative Energy and Environmental Technology Companies

On March 28, His Serene Highness, Prince Albert II of Monaco bestowed innovation awards for excellence in the field of environmental technology to three emerging technology companies — Mango Materials, Frigesco, and One Earth Designs — out of a field of 22 companies from 11 countries that participated in the annual three-day CleanEquity Monaco conference … Continue Reading

Changes Coming to Petition Process for Approval of New Renewable Fuels Pathways

This month, the EPA announced that it is improving the petition process for obtaining approval of new renewable fuel pathways.  When the initial pathways were approved, there was recognition that a process must be in place to evaluate improvements in existing processes and entirely new pathways.  The Renewable Fuel Standard regulations specify the existing approved … Continue Reading
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