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Embedding Sustainability Across the Organization Using Data
Organizations are committed to turning sustainability targets into measurable outcomes, to moving from ambition to action.  Envizi, an IBM company recently commissioned a research study to take a pulse on how organizations are embedding sustainability at the operational level, and the results highlight the many hurdles organizations face.
Google launches startup accelerator for the circular economy
The tech giant plans to support at least 10 tech startups and NGOs solving circularity challenges.
How to greenwash like a pro
Satire, obviously.
As a Jewish new year begins, reflections on my career and faith
In the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it is important to reflect.
How Japan is becoming a responsible investment success story
Japan's big increase in sustainable investment assets from 2016 to 2020 means it accounts for 8 percent of the $35.3 trillion from the five major markets of Europe, the United States, Canada, Australasia and Japan.
Accelerating ESG impact with Fair Trade Certified
Sponsored: Here’s how scaling supply chain certification delivers on critical UN Sustainable Development Goals.
How SBTi could unlock billions of corporate dollars to protect forests
There is continued confusion over guidance on the role protecting forests should play on a company’s road to net zero.
Episode 334: The NAACP's new ESG fund, carbon crediting considered
In this episode, we chat with NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, debate Microsoft's policy priorities, and wonder why solar panel recycling options are so limited.
Each quarter Wood Mackenzie and the American Clean Power Association (ACP) gather data on U.S. energy storage deployments, prices, policies, regulations, and business models. We compile this information to create the most comprehensive, timely analysis of energy storage in the U.S. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the latest report. The US energy storage market set a new record in the second quarter of 2022, with grid-scale installations totaling 2,608 megawatt hours (MWh) – the highest installed capacity for any Q2 on record. The US Congress passed a solar investment tax credit (ITC) extension and standalone storage ITC as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. This critical piece of legislation will support all segments of the energy storage industry, increasing the deployment of solar-plus-storage systems while also incentivizing standalone facilities. As a result, Wood Mackenzie forecasts 59.2 GW of energy storage capacity to be added through 2026. Download the full executive summary to access: National aggregate of deployments, by market segment Front-of-the-meter policy developments nationwide Behind-the-meter policy developments nationwide Historical and projected market size
Global 'stilling': Is climate change slowing down the wind?
As carbon dioxide levels rise and the Earth’s poles warm, researchers are predicting a decline in the planet’s wind speeds. This ‘stilling’ could impact wind energy production and plant growth and might even affect the Gulf Stream, which drives much of the world’s climate.
How corporations came to see climate action as a multi-trillion dollar opportunity
Survey by CDP reveals top U.S. firms see climate action as major economic opportunity.
Converting captured carbon into rock really is that easy
Icelandic company Carbfix has cracked the code on converting liquified CO2 into rock, leading the charge to capture and store excess carbon.
The initiatives that are shaping the future for industrial decarbonization
Major announcements in September light the road to industrial decarbonization
The secret ingredient in a vegan menu: Chef training
To bring delicious plant-rich foods to VERGE 22, we invested in a vegan expert in the kitchen with the food service staff of the San Jose Convention Center.
What if carbon border taxes applied to all carbon — fossil fuels, too?
Carbon border adjustments are trade policies designed to avoid 'carbon leakage' — when manufacturers relocate production to skirt green regulations.
Government policy spurs investment in Chinese climate tech
China’s net-zero goal has strengthened the financing landscape for the country’s climate tech sector.
The GreenFin Interview: NAACP’s CEO on ESG and equity’s 'third act'
Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, discusses the role of a new fund designed to provide exposure to American companies that fit the NAACP’s vision of good corporate citizens.
What climate adaptation technology looks like
Pano AI is one example of climate tech startups emerging to tackle conditions, such as wildfires, exacerbated by climate change.
How the escalating climate crisis is impacting global livelihoods
'More frequent and more deadly': Extreme hunger, fear and increased financial risk among effects of growing global climate crisis.
What TeraWatt Infrastructure’s $1B fundraising could mean for fleet EV charging
That may be a drop in the bucket for heavy-duty vehicles, but the promise is still tantalizing.
- cleanpowermktg
Q&A on the IRA with Energy Transition Ventures
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will touch nearly every sector of clean energy. This Q&A with Craig Lawrence of Energy Transition Ventures provides insight into how the IRA could affect investment strategies for clean energy and climate tech.
- Nancy Edwards
Is Your Solar Company Ready for the Inflation Reduction Act?
Solar energy companies have been fighting the good fight on solar policy for so long that when news broke that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) would include $369 billion (with a B) for climate and energy, it seemed almost too good to be true. But there it is, in black and white: a 10-year extension […]
- cleanpowermktg
A Three-Step Guide to Improving Clean Energy Content Marketing
Why are you in renewable energy? Why do you believe in this industry? In clean energy, it's not about what your selling, it's about why. This is what your customers want to know. And if you tell that story well, those customers will follow you from education and consideration to purchase and even advocacy.
- cleanpowermktg
Clean Energy Marketing: What to Do in Urgent Times
It’s no secret that the future of energy lies in harnessing renewable sources, like solar, wind and energy storage. The recent IPCC report highlighted the urgency of the clean energy transition. For those of us involved in marketing the solutions of that transition, our jobs just went from challenging…to critical. How can you make your marketing efforts more effective when the planet’s clock is so relentlessly ticking? 
- cleanpowermktg
Here’s Why Talking About Climate Change Matters
Most people believe climate change is real. But they don't know what to do about it. Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe shares her perspective on why talking about climate is the first step.
- cleanpowermktg
Why Climate Action Belongs on Your 2022 Marketing Agenda
New Year’s resolutions on climate action are too quaint for where we stand today: fighting an existential battle that is already well underway.  The 2021 United Nations Report on Climate Change repeated the clarion call from its last report with even greater urgency: We are rapidly running out of time to limit global warming beyond […]
- Nancy Edwards
How sustainable is your solar company?
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is having a watershed year, and for the solar industry, this momentum is great news. But solar companies may need to up the ante on their own sustainability efforts.
- cleanpowermktg
Writing with Light: Ten Tips for Solar Photography with Great ROI
Shining the best light on your renewable energy projects is imperative when trying to convey an effective marketing message. Investing in professional, creative photography and video will pay for itself many times over in the highly visual world we live in today. Here are some tips on how to create visual assets with great ROI.
- Nancy Edwards
Six Ways to Keep Commercial Solar Stakeholders Interested (and Close the Deal)
Many companies are in the position to consider commercial solar. But the people involved in making the decision have day jobs. And they don't have time to make solar a side project -- together with all the issues in financing, design considerations, and all the rest. How can we make the process easier for them? So how can you keep your commercial solar prospects engaged and eager for solar throughout the sales process?
- Nancy Edwards
Planning a Solar Marketing Strategy in an Unpredictable Year
As the renewable energy industry moves forward with purpose into 2021, there is reason to be optimistic. But with Covid still devastating communities, the future for many is still uncertain. How can you plan your solar marketing strategy in such a volatile environment?
- Jon Goldstein
New study finds flaring source of five times more pollution than previously thought
A new study out today in the journal Science finds that climate-warming methane emissions from flaring, the practice of burning off gas rather than capturing it for productive use, are five times higher than government estimates — primarily due to unlit and malfunctioning flares. Researchers conclude that flares are combusting at a 91% efficiency rate, […]
- Sarah Ryan
Inflation Reduction Act gives truck electrification a dose of adrenaline
President Biden will make an appearance at the iconic Detroit Auto Show this week, where he’s sure to tout the historic jolt the Inflation Reduction Act will provide the electric car market. But the incentives of the IRA will reach beyond the Teslas, Mustang Mach-Es and Ford F-150 Lightnings that will get a significant boost […]
- EDF Blogs
EPA must protect California’s life-saving clean truck rules
By Larissa Koehler and Alice Henderson This week, the Environmental Protection Agency is hearing from scientists, mothers, healthcare professionals, public health and environmental advocates – including EDF – and many others who submitted comments in support of California clean truck standards. As EPA works toward finalizing federal heavy-duty emission standards proposed earlier this year, the […]
- Pamela MacDougall
4 main takeaways from America’s top transit agencies on electrifying buses
Many U.S. transit agencies, from New York to Los Angeles to Houston, are working to convert their bus fleets from diesel to electric. The number of electric transit buses currently on order or operating in the U.S. grew 112% from 2018 to 2021, according to CALSTART. Electric buses are cleaner, quieter and increasingly more cost-effective […]
- Lauren Navarro
Now is the time for California to go bold on electric trucks and buses
There is no single fix to the climate, air quality, political and economic challenges facing California, but the state’s early action to electrify its fleet of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles is one example of smart policy that can move us in a positive direction. As California’s legislative session concludes in August, lawmakers and the California […]
- Jon Goldstein
INTERACTIVE MAP: Who is impacted most by overlooked pollution from America’s small oil and gas wells
A new EDF map is making it easier to access information about the communities across the country who are impacted by pollution from small oil and gas wells with leak-prone equipment. There are over half a million wells across the country that are producing less than 15 barrels of oil and gas a day. But […]
- Jon Goldstein
As nations sign on to end routine flaring, Biden admin must act
The last two months have seen encouraging momentum in the effort to tackle emissions of methane — a greenhouse gas that drives over a quarter of current warming — and the practice of flaring, which is a major source of energy waste and methane pollution. Starting with last month’s Major Economies Forum, one of the […]
- Rosalie Winn
In wake of Supreme Court ruling, we must go full steam ahead to reduce methane pollution
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent climate change ruling has unfortunately restricted the tools available to EPA in its effort to address climate pollution from power plants. However, it’s also important to recognize that the ruling in no way changed EPA’s longstanding authority and duty to address climate pollution under the Clean Air Act to address […]
- Phillip Martin
TCEQ announces critical new funding commitment for zero-emission trucks
Critical funding for more zero-emission trucks in Texas is on the way. For the first time ever, a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality grant program that provides incentives to replace heavy-duty diesel vehicles will guarantee that at least half of the funding awarded will go to projects that include zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The […]
- Sam Becker
The ZEV future is here: An 8,500% increase in truck deployments, commitments is proof.
Commercial U.S. fleets are going big on electric trucks, according to a new EDF analysis of class 2b-8 fleet announcements, which finds a nearly 8,500% increase in zero-emission fleet deployments and commitments since 2017. To arrive at this eye-popping stat, EDF tracked public announcements of leading fleet commitments to deploy zero-emission trucks, as well as […]
- EnergyTrust

We continue our series of short videos that highlight members of LatinoBuilt, a trade association for...

The post Business owner Ernesto Morales Melo’s mother inspired him to be energy efficient appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust

This is a part of a series of blog posts amplifying community voices. Rosa Martinez is...

The post Changemaker: Rosa Martinez paves the way for other Latino-owned business in the construction industry appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust

We continue our collaboration with LatinoBuilt, a trade association for Latino-owned businesses in construction, to honor...

The post Growing up in Mexico instilled energy-saving habits for Dr. Elizabeth Flores appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust

Ignacio Rauda lives in North Portland with his sister and a blue-eyed cat he calls “mi...

The post Energy Savers: Ignacio Rauda keeps moving forward appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust

We’re teaming up with LatinoBuilt, a trade association for Latino-owned businesses in construction, to honor the...

The post Business owner Rene Flores reflects on how his abuela helped him be more energy conscious appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust

Josh Sargent prides himself on having well-maintained buildings. The mission of his family business, where he...

The post Retro multifamily buildings brought into the 21st Century with new upgrades appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust
Free pipe insulation offer works for flour mill and trade ally

Grain Craft, a flour mill located in North Portland, produces 720,000 pounds of flour every day,...

The post Free pipe insulation offer works for flour mill and trade ally appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust
Changemaker: Bridget Callahan on Sustainable Northwest’s vision for an equitable future

Sustainable Northwest takes a holistic approach to natural resource conservation. Its work focuses on forests, water...

The post Changemaker: Bridget Callahan on Sustainable Northwest’s vision for an equitable future appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Joel E. Meister
New Jersey BPU Releases Straw Proposal for Standalone Storage Incentive Program

There has been much (deserved) discussion on federal standalone energy storage incentives passed in the Inflation Reduction Act, but a new state-level incentive is taking shape in New Jersey. Yesterday, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (“BPU”) released its awaited New Jersey Energy Storage Incentive Program (“NJ SIP”) Straw Proposal in an NJBPU Notice along with a schedule of virtual stakeholder meetings in October and November. The program will be formalized through a final BPU Order to ultimately support NJ’s statutory mandate to initially achieve 600 megawatts of installed energy storage in 2021, growing to 2,000 MW by 2030. Comments on the Straw Proposal are due by December 12, 2022.

As this Straw Proposal will likely guide the contours of the final program, below are some preliminary details on what sponsors and financing parties can expect:

Two energy storage programs would be created for Front-of-Meter/Grid Supply and Behind-the-Meter/Distributed energy storage incentives (and separate market segments will be created for both types of storage), both patterned after the solar-plus-storage program proposed in the NJBPU’s Competitive Solar Incentive (“CSI”) Program. The standalone incentives programs will be designed to incentivize stand-alone energy storage devices physically connected to a New Jersey electric distribution company (“EDC”). Incentives are not retroactive. Only energy storage projects placed into service after the date of the NJBPU Order establishing the program would be eligible for incentives. Eligibility for NJ SIP incentives will be technology neutral and based only on meeting functional requirements. At least 30% of the NJ SIP incentive will be structured as a fixed annual incentive, paid in $ per kilowatt-hour of energy storage capacity, contingent on satisfactory up-time performance metrics. The NJ SIP fixed incentive will be established through a declining block structure in order to establish a market-based incentive. The Grid Supply and Distributed market segments will each have their own pricing structure. The remaining NJ SIP incentive would be provided through a pay-for-performance mechanism: For FTM/Grid Supply storage resources, payment is based on the amount of carbon emissions abated through operation of the energy storage device, determined by measuring the marginal carbon intensity of the wholesale electric grid (Marginal Emissions Rate set by PJM Interconnection, LLC] at the time the energy is discharged, minus the carbon intensity of the energy drawn during the charging interval for the resource; and For Distributed storage resources, payment is based on the successful injection of power into the distribution system when called upon by the EDC during certain performance hours, established by each EDC; A portion of the Distributed storage incentive program will be reserved for projects located in, or directly serving, overburdened communities.

Notably, the NJBPU Notice states that the incentive programs are intended to permit private investors to own and operate the energy storage devices, as well as allow them to (1) “stack” revenues from the wholesale electricity market, (2) utilize the behind-the-meter resource to actively manage energy usage at the distribution level and reduce electricity costs, and (3) participate in a Distributed Energy Resource (“DER”) Aggregation service, when available.

Lastly, it should be noted that the Straw Proposal caveats that the creation of federal tax incentives for standalone storage in the Inflation Reduction Act “may warrant moving incentives up or down and [the NJBPU] seeks comment on where initial incentives should be set.” 

This is only the Straw Proposal, which will go through a variety of stakeholder discussions, but this is a positive development for energy storage deployment in New Jersey. Interested parties can review the Notice for information on the stakeholder meetings (including registration), which are scheduled to occur beginning on October 21 through November 14.

- Raj Tanden and Jacob I. Davis
Basics of QSBS and its Application to the Energy Sector

One of the lesser-known yet very beneficial provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) relating to business investment is Section 1202.1 Originally passed in 1993 and amended several times over the years, Section 1202 currently allows for an exclusion of 100% of gain recognized by a shareholder from the sale of qualified small business (QSB) stock (QSBS), subject to limitations and if certain conditions are met.

One important requirement is that the issuing company must be a domestic C corporation. After the 2017 Tax Act, which substantially cut the U.S. federal corporate tax rate to 21% (from 35%), using a C corporation for a new business has become far more popular. In sum, the current tax climate can making an investment in a C corporation very tax efficient if the investment is in QSBS.

We discuss some issues to consider regarding the qualification.

Original Issuance Requirement

For a holder’s stock to qualify as QSBS, the holder generally must acquire the stock directly from the QSB in exchange for cash, property, or services rendered.2 While purchasing shares through an underwriter does not disqualify them,3 they cannot be purchased from another shareholder.

A redemption can disqualify an issuance. A redemption is disqualifying if it occurs either: (a) within a 4-year period beginning two years before the stock issuance and stock of certain parties related to the purchasing shareholder is redeemed; or (b) within a 2-year period beginning one year before the stock issuance and more than 5% of the aggregate value of all outstanding stock is redeemed.4

If a large shareholder wishes to sell his or her stock and he or she or she knows that new investors may seek QSBS status, the shareholder should sell his or her stock to a purchaser and not the company. However, such purchaser cannot use the QSBS exemption, as it requires an original stock issuance.

Potential investors who wish to ensure they will be able to take advantage of the QSBS exclusion when they sell their stock should seek representations and covenants from the issuer that it has not made, and will not make, any redemptions that would disqualify the stock from QSBS treatment in the future.

Per-Issuer Limitation on Gain Excluded

Section 1202 only allows for an exclusion of gain from the sale of QSBS of up to the greater of $10 million or ten times the taxpayer’s adjusted basis in the stock.5 For example, if stock was purchased for $500,000 and sold for $10 million, all $9.5 million of gain would be excluded from taxable income in the year of disposition. If, however, the same stock was sold for $11 million, only $10 million of the $10.5 million of total gain would be excluded, and the remaining $500,000 of gain would be taxed at regular capital gain rates.

Qualified Small Business Defined

The Code requires that the issuing corporation be incorporated domestically, for it to be actively engaged in a qualified trade or business (discussed below), and that the aggregate gross assets of the company cannot exceed $50 million following the issuance.6

Qualified Trade or Business. The Code lists several fields of business which are disqualified from QSBS treatment. They include: (i) trades or businesses involving the performance of services in the fields of: (a) health, (b) law, (c) engineering, (d) architecture, (e) accounting, (f) actuarial science, (g) performing arts, (h) consulting, (i) athletics, (j) financial services, (k) brokerage services, or (l) any trade or business where the principal asset of such trade or business is the reputation or skill of one or more of its employees; (ii) banking, insurance, financing, leasing, or investing businesses; (iii) farming businesses, including raising or harvesting trees; (iv) businesses involving the production or extraction of products for which depletion deductions are allowable; and (v) businesses operating hotels, motels, or restaurants.7

The disqualification of businesses involved in the production or extraction of certain products can be a trap for the unwary energy business, which must be careful that its activities do not disqualify it from QSBS status. This disqualification is explicitly applicable only to activities which are eligible for depletion deductions under sections 613 and 613A of the Code.8 Section 613 lists several types of minerals, wells, and other natural deposits which allow the owner, lessee, or a combination of both to take deductions based on a statutorily set percentages of the gross income from the property.9 Section 613A provides for special rules for oil and gas production, which are not calculated for deduction under the percentages provided in section 613(b).10

The depletion deduction rules under sections 613 and 613A are highly technical and complex, and a prudent taxpayer would consult with their tax advisors to determine if they are eligible for the deduction, and thereby disqualified from QSBS treatment.

Moreover, the IRS will likely scrutinize any claim that a service business is a QSB. Thus, any such business should carefully consider whether it is qualified.

Active Trade or Business. Once a corporation determines that its activities are of the right type to qualify for QSBS treatment, it must also confirm that it is actively engaged in those activities.11 This ensures that a holding company which has many different portfolio investments cannot qualify for QSBS status. Active participation is defined at least 80% of the value of the assets of the corporation are used in one or more qualifying trades or businesses. For purposes of the active business requirement, the statute allows the issuing corporation to look-through to a corporate subsidiary to meet this active trade or business requirement, as long as the parent owns at least 50% of the subsidiary.12

Gross Assets Limitation. The final requirement is that the corporation’s aggregate gross assets cannot exceed $50 million following the issuance of the intended QSBS.13 This cap includes any amounts received in the actual issuance transaction, and also must calculate the gross assets of any “predecessor corporations,” such as if the corporation was created as result of a reorganization or other restructuring.14

In general, aggregate gross assets means the sum of the cash on the company’s balance sheet plus the adjusted tax basis of all assets.15 While tax basis of an established company’s assets can be quite low, there is a large exception for assets actually or deemed contributed to a corporation on a tax-free basis. In such cases, the company must use the fair market value of such assets as of the date of contribution.

In this regard, an LLC incorporation creates a trap for the unwary. An LLC incorporation is treated as a deemed contribution of assets to a new formed corporation. Thus, when a LLC incorporates, the newly incorporated company must use the fair market value of its assets plus cash on the balance sheet to determine if the $50 million threshold has been met.

Burden of Proving QSBS Status

Like in all situations where a statutory exclusion from income is in question, the burden of proof is on the taxpayer in the case of any controversy or contention by the IRS that certain deductions or exclusions from income were improperly taken. Therefore, in the QSBS context as well, it is up to the taxpayer to be able to establish that the stock it holds is QSBS and therefore the income exclusion was proper. Typically, a sophisticated taxpayer will require a company claiming to issue QSBS to give covenants regarding how the company conducted its business in the past and how it will conduct future.

 

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1 All Section references are to the Internal Revenue Code or Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder.

2 Section 1202(c)(1)(B)(i)-(ii). An exchange for property or services raises additional issues to be considered.

3 Section 1202(c)(1)(B).

4 Section 1202(c)(3)(A)-(B). The regulations provide a de minimis exception to both redemption rules. Section 1.1202-2(a)(2), (b)(2)

5 Section 1202(b)(1)(A)-(B)

6 Section 12020(d)(1)(A)-(C)

7 Section 1202(e)(3)

8 Section 1202(e)(3)(D)

9 Section 613(b)(1)-(7)

10 Section 613A(a)

11 Section 1202(e)(1)

12 Section 1202(e)(5)

13 Section 1202(d)(1)

14 Section 1202(d)(1)(A)-(B)

15 Section 1202(d)(a)(A)

   
- Craig D. Dillard and Elizabeth P. Nevle
Supply Chain Disruptions in the Energy Industry:  Challenges with the Supply of Lithium-ion Batteries

With the push toward clean energy and increased demand for electric vehicles, manufacturers need batteries — specifically lithium-ion batteries — more than ever. Examples of the accelerating transition to battery powered vehicles are everywhere: the United States Postal Service announced at least 40% of its Next Generation Delivery Vehicles and other commercial vehicles will be electric vehicles, Amazon has begun using Rivian delivery vans in over a dozen cities, and Walmart executed an agreement to purchased 4,500 electric delivery vans. With each of these conversions, the strain on the supply chain for batteries intensifies. This article will provide an overview of the lithium-ion battery industry and the current supply chain issues affecting the production and future of these batteries.

I.  Lithium-Ion Battery Overview

The lithium-ion battery industry relies heavily on the mining of raw materials and production of the batteries—both of which are vulnerable to supply chain interference.

Lithium-ion batteries are mainly comprised of four key components: a cathode, anode, separator, and electrolyte, as shown in Figure 1. At a high level, the cathode (the component that produces lithium ions) is composed of lithium oxide.1 The anode (the component that stores the lithium ions) is generally made from graphite. The electrolyte is a medium that allows the free movement of the lithium ions that is composed of salts, solvents, and additives. Finally, the separator is the absolute barrier between the cathode and anode.

Battery Diagram

The cathode is the critical component relevant to this article because this is where supply chain issues are most likely to arise. The composition of the cathode depends heavily on the application of the battery.2

Application Required Elements Cell Phones
Cameras
Laptops Cobalt and Lithium Power Tools
Medical Equipment Manganese and Lithium
or
Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese and Lithium
or
Phosphate and Lithium

Given the prevalence and continued demand for new cell phones, cameras, and computers, cobalt and lithium are the most valuable raw materials in the production of lithium-ion batteries and are already facing supply chain interruptions today.

There are three crucial stages in the production of lithium-ion batteries: (1) mining for raw materials, (2) refining the raw materials, and (3) producing and manufacturing the batteries themselves. At each of these stages, there are supply chain issues that should be addressed during contractual negotiations rather than waiting for the issues to arise during the course of production.

II.  Supply Chain Issues within the Battery Industry A.  Production

China currently dominates the global lithium-ion battery supply chain, producing 79% of all lithium-ion batteries that entered the global market in 2021.3 The country further controls 61% of global lithium refining for battery storage and electric vehicles4 and 100% of the processing of natural graphite used for battery anodes.5 China’s dominant position in the lithium-ion battery industry and associated rare earth elements is cause for concern both to companies and governments.

COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, and inevitable geopolitical unrest will continue to affect global supply chains. Just like any other industry, the energy sector has been and will continue to be impacted by these factors. Cobalt, lithium, and nickel—critical materials in the production of batteries—are exposed to supply chain risks because production and processing are geographically concentrated and dominated by jurisdictions that have been alleged to violate labor and human rights. For additional information, see our article on Managing Supply Chain Disruption in an Era of Geopolitical Risk.

Argentina is also on the forefront of the global scramble for lithium as it currently accounts for 21% of the world’s reserves with only two mines in operation.6 Similar to China, Argentina wields significant power in the mining of raw materials and plans to expand its influence further in the lithium supply chain, with thirteen planned mines and potentially dozens more in the works.

European countries are also increasing their production, with the European Union poised to become the second largest producer of lithium-ion batteries in the world by 2025 with 11% of the global production capacity.7

Despite recent efforts,8 the United States does not have a significant presence in the mining or refining of rare earth metals. Because of this, the United States heavily relies on foreign sources to produce lithium-ion batteries. In June 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a review of the large-capacity battery supply chain and recommended establishing domestic production and processing capabilities for critical materials to support a fully domestic battery supply chain.9 The DOE determined that multiple energy technologies are highly dependent on insecure and unstable foreign sources—necessitating domestic growth of the battery industry.10 In response, the DOE issued two notices of intent in February 2022 to provide $2.91 billion to boost U.S. production of lithium-ion batteries that are critical to growing the energy sector.11 The DOE intends to fund refining and production plants for battery materials, recycling facilities, and other manufacturing facilities.

New technology will also change the landscape of lithium-ion battery production. Lilac Solutions, a California-based startup company, offers technology that can recover12 up to twice as much lithium as traditional methods.13 Similarly, Princeton NuEnergy is another startup that has developed an inexpensive, sustainable way to make new batteries from old ones.14 Although this type of new technology will ease the supply chain bottleneck, it does not change the fact that lithium-ion battery production heavily relies on raw source material availability. The bottom line remains that the world’s existing lithium production is concentrated in Chile, Australia, Argentina, and China.15 As indicated in Figure 2 below, the reliance on foreign-sourced materials is likely to continue for the next few years until further development of battery technology that does not rely on rare earth metals.

Figure 2: Future Lithium Production Sources

Future Lithium Production Services

B.  Price

In a separate article, Foley’s Lauren Loew discussed how the price surge of lithium reflects increased battery demands, with the cost rising more than 900% since 2021.16 These price surges continue as inflation remains at an all-time high. The rising costs of lithium-ion batteries, coupled with inflation, have already resulted in increases in the prices for electric vehicles. For additional information on the impact of inflation on the supply chain, see our article Inflation Woes: Four Key Ways for Companies to Address Inflation in the Supply Chain.

Decision makers will want to be aware of the impact of inflation on their contracts involving lithium-ion batteries. “In well-established energy storage markets, like the U.S., higher costs have resulted in some developers looking to renegotiate contract prices with offtakers. These renegotiations can take time and delay project commissioning.” says Helen Kou, an energy storage associate at the research company BloombergNEF.17

C.  Transportation/Flammability

Lithium-ion batteries are regulated as a hazardous material under the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Hazardous Materials Regulations by the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Unlike standard batteries, most lithium-ion batteries contain flammable materials and have an incredibly high energy density. As a result, the lithium-ion batteries can overheat and ignite under certain conditions, such as a short circuit, physical damage, improper design, or assembly. Once ignited, lithium cell and battery fires can be difficult to extinguish.18 As a result, companies need to be aware of the potential risks and evaluate the proper precautions when engaged in transactions involving lithium-ion batteries.

To date, there is no conclusive research to determine if electric vehicles are more prone to spontaneous fires compared to traditional vehicles.19 Research shows that electric vehicles only have a 0.03% chance of igniting, compared to traditional combustion engines at 1.5% chance of igniting.20 Hybrid vehicles—which have a high voltage battery and an internal combustion engine—have the greatest likelihood of a vehicle fire at 3.4%.21

On February 16, 2022, a cargo ship carrying nearly 4,000 vehicles from Germany to the United States caught fire in the Atlantic Ocean.22 Nearly two weeks later, the cargo ship sank in the middle of the Atlantic. Although there is no official statement as to the breakdown of traditional and electric vehicles on board, the lithium-ion battery vehicles would have made the fires harder to extinguish.

III.  Conclusion

As the world moves toward cleaner energy, questions and issues involving the supply chain will grow.  These questions should be addressed as soon as possible before executing any contract.  If you or your company are involved in transactions where lithium-ion batteries are a material component, there are significant supply chain hurdles that should be addressed early on during negotiations regarding the sourcing of raw materials and pricing issues.  In light of the limited availability of raw materials and the complexities involved in developing lithium mines, companies ought to look to alternative avenues for obtaining lithium and other critical components.  Companies relying on lithium-ion batteries should evaluate and invest in technology that is economically viable and maximizes the viability and recyclability of these batteries to avoid supply-chain issues.  Alternatively, companies can enter into multi-year agreements for lithium.  However, given the heavy reliance on rare earth metals to produce lithium-ion batteries, companies ought to heavily consider the sourcing of the metals and other issues that may affect mining and refining, such as geopolitical issues.  If you have any questions about issues concerning supply chain issues, please contact our team at Foley & Lardner.  

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1 Samsung SDI, The Four Components of a Li-Ion Battery (last visited Aug. 1, 2022).

2 Spangenberger, Jeff, Introduction to Lithium Ion Batteries (Mar. 22, 2008).

3 Statista, Share of the Global Lithium-Ion Battery Manufacturing Capacity in 2021 with a Forecast for 2025, by Country (last visited Aug. 1, 2022).

4 Cohen, Ariel, America Trails in Global Race for Rare Earth Metals, Forbes (Mar. 21, 2021),

5 Id.

6 Nugent, Ciara, New Lithium Mining Technology Could Give Argentina a Sustainable Gold Rush, Time (July 26, 2022).

7 DW, EU plans millions of e-vehicle batteries, jobs by 2025 (Mar. 23, 2021); Statista, Share of the Global Lithium-Ion Battery Manufacturing Capacity in 2021 with a Forecast for 2025, by Country (last visited Aug. 1, 2022).

8 See Lipton, Eric, Penn, Lithium Mining Race, New York Times (May 6, 2021).

9 The White House, Building Resilient Supply Chains, Revitalizing American Manufacturing, and Fostering Broad-Based Growth—100-Day Reviews Under Executive Order 14017 (2021).

10 U.S. Department of Energy, America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy Transition (2022).

11 U.S. Department of Energy, Biden Administration, DOE to Invest $3 Billion to Strengthen U.S. Supply Chain for Advanced Batteries for Vehicles and Energy Storage (Feb 11, 2022),

12 Recovery is the process by which lithium, cobalt, nickel, and manganese can be retrieved from batteries that no longer have a useful life. After these metals are recovered, they can be repurposed into new batteries.

13 Id.

14 Seltzer, Molly, A Better Way to Recycle Lithium Batteries Is Coming From This Princeton Startup, Princeton: Andlinger Center for Energy and Development (Mar. 3, 2022).

15 Volkswagen, Lithium Mining: What You Should Know About the Contentious Issue.

16 Nicholls, Mark, Inflation Bites at the Battery Storage Bonanza, Energy Monitor (June 10, 2022).

17 Id.

18 U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Admin., Transporting Lithium Batteries, (last visited Aug. 1, 2022).

19 Winton, Neil, Electric Car Fire Risks Look Exaggerated, But More Data Required For Definitive Verdict, Forbes (Mar. 2, 2022).

20 Putzer, Mark, Electric Vehicles Catch Fires Considerably Less Than Gas Cars, Motor Biscuit (Feb. 13, 2022).

21 Evers, Andrew, and Kolodny, Lora, Electric Vehicle Fires Are Rare, But Hard To Fight—Here’s Why, CNBC (Jan. 29, 2022).

22 Franklin, Jonathan, A Burning Cargo Ship Full of Porsches and VWs is Adrift in the Mid- Atlantic, NPR (Feb. 17, 2022).

- David Markey, Joel E. Meister, Adam Schurle and Tori Roessler
What’s Next for the ITC and PTC Following the Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act is now the law of the land, and it has fundamentally changed the landscape for clean energy in the United States. No longer simply providing a date change, Congress has extended energy tax credits like the Investment Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit but also carved out new technologies’ eligibility, supercharged incentive amounts, and fundamentally re-written how such incentives can be used by taxpayers. So where do industries go from here to put the IRA’s ambitious policy vision into focus?

In this episode of Powered by Foley, we are joined by Adam Schurle and Tori Roessler from Foley’s Tax and Energy practices to break it all down and unpack what’s next for the ITC and PTC.

On the Powered podcast, Foley’s Renewable Energy Team will bring you the key issues of the day in the renewable energy sector and energy transition market, the people making projects and deals move forward, and put it all into perspective so you’re ready to tackle tomorrow.

  

Go Deeper: The Inflation Reduction Act: Key Provisions Regarding the ITC and PTC Summary of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
- R. Lynn Parins and Adam Schurle
EV Charging Station Tax Credits are Back:  Inflation Reduction Act Extension of the Section 30C Tax Credit

After expiring at the end of 2021, the Internal Revenue Code Section 30C tax credit for electric vehicle charging stations is back. Technically referred to as the “Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit,” the Section 30C tax credit will come back into force for charging stations placed in service after December 31, 2022. While the credit will look similar to the credit that expired on December 31, 2021, there are some key distinctions to pay attention to.

The new Section 30C tax credit provides a headline credit for up to 30 percent of the cost of a “qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling” station, subject to a $100,000 per station limit. (IRC § 30C(a),-(b)). With those headline numbers come some caveats, however.

Similar to some of the limitations we have written about for the ITC and PTC, the Section 30C credit is subject to a 6 percent base credit with the full 30 percent credit only available if certain prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are also met. In addition to these labor limitations, the IRA put geographic limitations on the Section 30C tax credit.

Specifically, the EV charging station must be located in an “eligible census tract.” The definition of “eligible census tract” creates two paths for eligibility: (1) charging stations located in a “low-income community” as defined in Section 45D(e) of the IRC (a limitation  familiar to those working with New Markets Tax Credits under Section 45D); or (2) a census tract that is “not an urban area.”

A “low-income community” is a census tract with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent. The definition of “low income community” is also met if the tract is not located in a metropolitan area and the median family income for such tract does not exceed 80 percent of the applicable statewide median family income. If the tract is located in a metropolitan area, it constitutes a “low income community” if the median family income of the tract does not exceed 80 percent of the applicable statewide or metropolitan area median family income.

Section 30C defines an “urban area” as a census tract which, according to the most recent decennial census, was designated as an urban area by the Secretary of Commerce. The Census Bureau publishes the urban and rural classifications on its website and is scheduled to release its final urban area designations in December 2022 for the 2020 decennial census.

While there are certainly some additional hoops to jump through to qualify an EV charging station for the Section 30C tax credit, the IRA provided some clarifications on eligibility that may expand the applicability of the credit. For example, Section 30C is clearly applicable to bidirectional charging infrastructure that enables EVs to not only draw energy from the grid, but to supply energy to the grid. Furthermore, the renewal of Section 30C preserves the tax credit eligibility for EV charging infrastructure installed for (and owned by) a tax-exempt entity. In this scenario, the company that sold EV charging infrastructure to a tax-exempt entity will be treated as the taxpayer eligible for the 30C credit so long as such person clearly disclosed to the nonprofit entity the amount of the credit allowable.

Overall, it will be good to have the Section 30C credit back for developers, installers, and users of EV charging stations. This credit, coupled with the other federal investment being deployed for the nation’s EV charging station buildout, should further incentivize investment in EV charging infrastructure. Notably, the extension of the Section 30C credit has the potential to make tax equity investment in EV charging infrastructure available more broadly.

Foley is continuing to monitor developments in the area of EV charging infrastructure deployment and is available to help clients put these developments into practice for their businesses.

- David Markey, Joel E. Meister, Jennifer L. Urban and Aaron K. Tantleff
Cybersecurity Issues Affecting the Energy Industry
No longer the stuff of Hollywood hypotheticals, cybersecurity threats are a daily reality and challenge for energy companies building solar, wind, battery and transmission projects communicating in an increasingly dynamic, interactive energy grid. But are we keeping pace with those seeking to exploit the grid’s vulnerabilities?  We are joined by partners Jennifer Urban and Aaron Tantleff from Foley’s Cybersecurity and Privacy practice to break it all down and unpack what’s next for cybersecurity in the energy space.

 

 

Go Deeper President Biden Issues Executive Order to Strengthen U.S. Cybersecurity Practices Practical Strategies to Combat Common Cybersecurity Threats and Mitigate Risk Security Measures to Deploy Now to Defend Against a Russian Cyberattack SEC Proposes New Rules on Cybersecurity Risk Management, Strategy, Governance, and Incident Disclosure
- Adam Schurle, Tori Roessler and David B. Weisblat
The Inflation Reduction Act: Key Provisions Regarding the ITC and PTC

Earlier today, the House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “Act”), which the Senate passed on August 7, 2022.  President Biden has indicated that he will sign the Act into law. 

The Act substantially changes and expands existing federal income tax benefits for renewable energy, including the existing Section 45 production tax credit (“PTC”) and Section 48 investment tax credit (“ITC”), and adds Section 45Y, the Clean Energy Production Tax Credit, and Section 48E, the Clean Electricity Investment Credit to the Internal Revenue Code.  Combined, these provisions would, in effect, extend the ITC and PTC at their full credit rates for eligible facilities on which construction begins before 2034.  The Act also includes direct-pay options for certain taxpayers, and permits most taxpayers to sell certain tax credits.  These changes are discussed below.

The Act also contains other noteworthy changes, including expansions and amendments to the existing Section 45Q carbon oxide sequestration credit, the Section 30D clean vehicle credit, and credits for homeowners adding certain renewable energy and efficiency improvements to their homes, as well as new provisions aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change, such as a new clean hydrogen production credit. We will cover other changes in forthcoming blog posts.

Section 45: Production Tax Credit                

The Act extends the current PTC framework for qualified facilities that begin construction prior to January 1, 2025, but (as with the ITC) implements a new structure with a “base credit amount” and “increased credit amount.”  The base credit amount and increased credit amount, along with the requirements that must be satisfied to qualify for the increased credit amount, are described in detail below.  Qualified facilities include wind, closed and open loop biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, qualified hydropower, marine and hydrokinetic facilities, but note the base credit amount is reduced by one-half for open-loop biomass facilities, small irrigation power facilities, landfill gas facilities and trash facilities.  Additionally, the Act reinstates the PTC for solar energy facilities, which were last eligible for the PTC if placed in service before 2006.  Taxpayers that own qualified facilities are eligible for the PTC for electricity produced and sold during the 10-year period beginning on the date the facility was originally placed in service.

Determination of Credit Amount

Taxpayers are eligible for the increased credit amount, currently 2.6 cents per kWh of electricity produced and sold in 2022 (and subject to inflationary adjustments for future years), if construction of the facility begins prior to the date that is 60 days after the IRS releases guidance regarding the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements described below (such date, the “Act Beginning Construction Deadline”).  As such, any facility that has already been placed in service this year or has yet to be placed in service may now qualify for the full increased credit amount if construction began on such facility prior to the Act Beginning Construction Deadline, including facilities intended to qualify for 60% of the full credit amount by beginning construction in 2020 or 2021. For facilities that were placed in service prior to January 1, 2022, the historical PTC phase-outs remain intact.

Facilities on which construction begins after the Act Beginning Construction Deadline will be eligible for the increased credit amount only if one of the following is satisfied:

The facility has a maximum net output of less than 1 MW(AC), or Newly enacted prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are satisfied.

As such, once the Act Beginning Construction Deadline has passed, facilities larger than 1 MW(AC) that have not yet begun construction must satisfy the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements to be eligible for the increased credit amount of 2.6 cents per kWh for 2022 (which is increased for inflationary adjustments for future years). 

To satisfy the prevailing wage requirement, laborers, mechanics, contractors and subcontractors must be paid wages at least at prevailing rates, which are determined by the Secretary of Labor, during the construction, alteration and repair of the facility and for ten years thereafter.  If not satisfied, this can be corrected if any individual not paid a prevailing wage is paid the difference, with interest, and a penalty of $5,000 per impacted individual is paid to the Secretary of Labor.  This penalty is increased if the prevailing wage requirements are intentionally disregarded. 

To satisfy the apprenticeship requirement, the following percentage of total labor hours for construction, alteration or repair work on the qualified facility must be performed by qualified apprentices:


Construction Begins

Before 1/1/2023

During 2023

After 1/1/2024

Required Percentage

10%

12.5%

15%

Further, taxpayers must comply with the apprentice-to-journeyworker ratios of the Department of Labor or the applicable state and there must be one apprentice for each taxpayer, contractor, or subcontractor that employs four or more individuals to construct, alter, or repair the facility.  However, the apprenticeship requirement will still be satisfied if the taxpayer makes a good faith effort to comply based on specific standards set forth in the Act, or pays a penalty to the Secretary of Treasury of $50 multiplied by the total labor hours not in compliance with this requirement.  Like the prevailing wage requirement, if the apprenticeship requirement is intentionally disregarded, then the penalty increases.

Bonus Credit Amounts        

Under the Act, there are opportunities to increase the credit amount for certain facilities that are placed in service after December 31, 2022.

The credit amount is increased by 10% if certain domestic content requirements are satisfied.  The domestic content requirement is satisfied if (i) 100% of any steel or iron that is a component of the facility was produced in the United States, and (ii) 40% of manufactured products that are components of the facility were produced in the United States. For manufactured products, such products will be deemed to have been produced in the United States if not less than 40% of the total costs across all such manufactured products of such facility are attributable to manufactured products that are mined, produced or manufactured in the United States.  Note, the required percentage of domestic manufactured products for offshore wind facilities is 20%.

Finally, if the facility is located in an “energy community,” the credit amount is increased by 10%.  To qualify, a facility must be located at one of the following: (i) a brownfield site, (ii) a metropolitan or non-metropolitan statistical area which (A) has, or had any time during the period beginning in 2010, 0.17% or more direct employment or 25% or more local tax revenues, in either case related to the extraction, processing, transport, or storage of coal, oil or natural gas, or (B) has an unemployment rate above the national average for the previous year, or (iii) a census tract, or a census tract that is adjoining to, in which a coal mine has closed after 1999 or a coal-fired electric generating unit was retired after 2009.

Section 48: Investment Tax Credit 

As with the PTC, the Act extends the current framework for the ITC for qualified facilities that begin construction prior to January 1, 2025 and implements a similar base credit and increased credit structure.  Qualified facilities include solar, fiber-optic solar, qualified fuel cell, qualified microturbine, combined heat and power system, qualified small wind, and waste energy recovery properties.  The Act also permits taxpayers to claim the ITC with respect to several additional technologies, including standalone energy storage, qualified biogas property, fuel cells using electromechanical processes, dynamic glass, and microgrid controllers.  The election to claim the ITC in lieu of the PTC for otherwise eligible PTC facilities is retained.

Determination of Credit and Increased Credit Amounts

In a credit structure similar to the PTC, the ITC for eligible projects is 30% if construction of the facility begins prior to the Act Beginning of Construction Deadline.  As such, any facility that has been placed in service in 2022 or has yet to be placed in service may now qualify for the 30% ITC if construction of such facility began prior to the Act Beginning Construction Deadline, including facilities originally intended to qualify for the 26% ITC by beginning construction in 2020, 2021, or 2022.  For facilities that were placed in service prior to January 1, 2022, the historical ITC phase-downs remain intact.

Facilities on which construction begins after the Act Beginning Construction Deadline will be eligible for the 30% ITC only if one of the following is satisfied:

The facility has a maximum net output of less than 1 MW (AC), or Newly enacted prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are satisfied.

As such, once the Act Beginning Construction Deadline has passed, facilities larger than 1 MW (AC) that have not yet begun construction must satisfy the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements to be eligible for the 30% ITC; otherwise, the ITC percentage defaults to the base credit amount of 6%. 

The prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are essentially the same as set forth above for the PTC, except that the prevailing wage requirement applies for a period of five years after the facility has been placed in service, rather than ten. If the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are satisfied with respect to any eligible facility, the taxpayer would be eligible to claim the 30% ITC.  As with the PTC, the credit is increased by 10% if the domestic content requirement is satisfied, and 10% if the facility is located in an energy community, increasing the ITC credit rate to 50% in some circumstances.  However, the domestic content adder is  only 2% (rather than 10%), and the energy community adder is only 2% (rather than 10%) if both construction of the facility begins after the Act Beginning Construction Deadline and the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are not satisfied,.

Finally, wind and solar facilities that are less than 5 MW (AC) and placed in service in certain low-income communities beginning in 2023 may be eligible for an ITC credit increase of 10%.

Standalone Tax Credit for Storage

As referenced above, the Act adds standalone energy storage projects as qualifying facilities eligible for the ITC.  Storage is defined as (i) property (other than property primarily used in the transportation of goods or individuals and not for the production of electricity) which receives, stores, and delivers energy for conversion to electricity (or, in the case of hydrogen, which stores energy), and has a nameplate capacity of not less than 5 kWh, or (ii) thermal energy storage property.  Thermal energy property does not include a swimming pool, combined heat and power system property, or a building or its structural components.  Further, any storage property that was placed in service prior to the date of enactment of the Act and has a capacity of less than 5 kWh may be later modified to have a capacity of at least 5 kWh to be treated as a qualified facility for purposes of the ITC.  Only the basis of the modified property will be taken into account, but preexisting property prior to the modification will not.

New Sections 45Y and 48E

The Act adds two new sections, Section 45Y, the Clean Energy Production Tax Credit, and Section 48E, the Clean Electricity Investment Credit.  These credits apply to any qualified facility or energy storage facility (in the case of the Section 48E credit) that is used for the generation of electricity, which is placed in service on or after January 1, 2025 and has an anticipated greenhouse gas emissions rate of not more than zero.  Qualified facilities also include any additions of capacity that are placed in service on or after January 1, 2025.  Sections 45Y and 48E are intended to be technology neutral and replace the PTC and ITC for facilities placed in service on or after January 1, 2025.  Although these sections eventually replace the PTC and ITC, the credits determined under Sections 45Y and 48E will mirror the PTC and the ITC for wind and solar facilities.

The credit amount for each is generally calculated in the same manner as the ITC or PTC, as applicable.  The credit amount is phased out based on when the facility begins construction after the “applicable year.”  Under Section 45Y and 48E, the applicable year means the later of (i) the calendar year in which the annual greenhouse gas emissions from the production of electricity in the United States are reduced by 75% from 2022 levels, or (ii) 2032 (such year, the “Applicable Year”).  The credit is phased out in the following percentages:


Year After Applicable Year in Which Construction Begins

First

Second

Third

Thereafter

Percent of Credit Remaining

100%

75%

50%

0%

The prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements, and the optional credit increases for satisfying the domestic content requirement or constructing the facility in an energy community, are similar to those set forth above for the ITC and PTC, as applicable.   However, the required percentage of domestic content included in a facility increases each year, as follows:


Construction Begins

Before 1/1/2025

2025

2026

2027 and After

Required Percentage

40%*

45%*

50%*

55%

*Note, these percentage differ slightly for offshore wind facilities. 

Direct Pay Option and Transferring Credits

The Act allows tax credit recipients to monetize the credits in two new ways: via the direct pay option set forth in Section 6417 or by transferring all (or any portion of) the tax credit to another taxpayer under Section 6418. 

Section 6417: Direct Pay Option

The Act allows certain entities, including tax-exempt entities, states and political subdivisions, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Alaska Native Corporations, and Indian tribal governments, to take direct pay equal to the amount of certain specified credits.  This election is available for the PTC, if the applicable facility is placed in service after December 31, 2022, credits under Section 45Y, the ITC, credits under Section 48E, and several other credits.  The election must be made no later than the due date for the tax return of the year in which the election is made (or a date determined by Treasury if the eligible entity is not required to file a return), but in no event earlier than 180 days after the enactment of Section 6418.  For the PTC, the election applies to the 10-year period beginning on the date the facility is placed in service. The legislation includes provisions for how partnerships must process direct pay.  For those that can qualify for direct pay, and with respect to certain credits, a facility loses its ability to qualify for 100% direct pay over time, absent meeting domestic content requirements.

Section 6418: Transfer of Credits

The Act allows taxpayers to transfer all (or any portion of) the ITC, PTC, Section 45Y credit, or Section 48E credit to another taxpayer under new Section 6418.  The election to transfer must be made no later than the due date for the tax return of the year in which the credit is determined (or, for a transfer of the PTC or Section 45Y credit, for each taxable year during the 10-year period beginning on the date the facility is placed in service), but in no event earlier than 180 days after the enactment of Section 6418.  Once made, the election is irrevocable. 

To properly transfer, the transferee must pay for the credit in cash, and the buyer is not allowed to deduct the amount paid for such credit or subsequently transfer the credit.  The payment will not be included in the gross income of the original recipient.  A penalty for excessive transfers are imposed.  An excessive transfer is a transfer of credit in excess of what the transferee could properly claim.

Foley will continue to monitor these developments, including any issuance of guidance by the IRS with respect to the Act.

- Adam Schurle, David B. Weisblat and Tori Roessler
Summary of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

Senate Democrats on Wednesday night released the draft text of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the Act). The Act includes a number of provisions related to renewable energy tax incentives. 

The Act would reinstate the full investment tax credit (ITC) rate of 30% and the production tax credit (PTC) rate of 1.5 cents per kWh (subject to inflationary adjustments) for projects on which construction begins before January 1, 2025. 

Additionally, the Act would adopt new provisions that would, in effect, extend the ITC and PTC at their full credit rates for projects placed in service in 2025 or later and on which construction begins before 2033. Projects would only be eligible for these credits if the greenhouse gas emissions rate for such projects is not greater than zero.

Following are several notable features of the Act:

Extends the ITC for investments in certain types of renewable energy facilities, including solar, fiber-optic, thermal energy projects, and other renewable energy facilities (including otherwise PTC-eligible facilities for which an ITC election is made), as long as construction of such facilities begins before 2025. The Act also would adopt a stand-alone ITC for storage facilities the construction of which begins before 2025, and would extend the ITC for certain costs associated with the construction of interconnection equipment installed in connection with other ITC-eligible facilities. Renews the full 30% credit rate for ITC-eligible facilities that meet the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements described below, or are otherwise exempt from such requirements. Extends the PTC for the production of electricity from certain types of renewable energy facilities, including wind, closed-loop and open-loop biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, qualified hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic facilities, as long as construction of such facilities begins before 2025. Renews the availability of the PTC for solar facilities. For both the PTC and ITC, adopts additional requirements to qualify for the full credit rates. These additional requirements include (1) satisfying certain prevailing wage requirements for wages paid to employees (including employees of contractors and subcontractors) for the construction and maintenance of facilities, and (2) minimum thresholds for employment of apprentices (including employees of contractors and subcontractors) in connection with the construction and maintenance of facilities. However, for facilities not in service prior to January 1, 2022, and on which construction begins prior to the date that is 60 days after the IRS issues additional guidance with respect to the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements, the full credit rate still applies even if the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are not satisfied. The Act also includes an exception from the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements for certain small facilities. Adopts credit adders for eligible PTC and ITC facilities that satisfy certain domestic content requirements and/or are located in certain “energy communities,” including brownfield sites, communities with significant employment related to extraction, processing, transport, or storage of coal, oil, or natural gas, and communities located in census tracts with closed coal mines or retired coal-fired electric generating units. Combined, these adders have the potential to increase the ITC to 50% of eligible costs and increase the PTC rate by 20%. Adopts an ITC credit adder for certain wind and solar facilities located in specified low-income communities. Permits certain tax-exempt entities, state and local governments, the Tennessee Valley Authority, any Indian tribal government, and any Alaska Native Corporation to receive cash payments from the government in lieu of the ITC, PTC, and certain other credits. Permits taxpayers not eligible to receive cash payments described above to sell ITCs, PTCs, and certain other credits to unrelated parties.

Senate Democrats intend to vote on the Act through the budget reconciliation process, which would permit the legislation to pass with a bare majority vote in the Senate. If there is no Republican support for the Act, all 50 Democrats in the Senate would need to vote for the measure, and Vice President Kamala Harris would be required to cast the tiebreaking vote. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer intends to hold a Senate vote during the first week of August and, if the Act passes the Senate, the bill would then go to the House. President Biden has indicated that he supports the Act, but it remains to be seen whether the Act will garner sufficient support in the Senate and House. Additionally, because the Act will be subject to the budget reconciliation process, it will be subject to what is known as the “Byrd Bath.” Basically, the Byrd Bath requires that provisions in a reconciliation bill not be “extraneous.” This means that the provisions must have a budgetary effect that is more than “merely incidental.” In the end, whether a provision is “merely incidental” is decided by the Senate’s Parliamentarian who has considerable discretion in making the determination. If the Parliamentarian concludes that a provision violates the Byrd Bath rules, the provision will be taken out. It is not clear if all of the provisions in the Act will survive the Byrd Bath.

Foley will continue to monitor these developments, including any changes to the draft Act, as this legislation progresses through Congress.    

- Joel E. Meister, R. Lynn Parins and Steven H. Hilfinger
U.S. Department of Transportation Proposed Rulemaking Aims to Set Minimum Standards for EV Charging Infrastructure

On June 9, the Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”) within the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to establish a set of minimum standards and requirements for electric vehicle (“EV”) charging infrastructure projects funded with federal dollars from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (“BIL”). Following the NPRM comment period, which ends 60 days following the publishing of the proposed rule in the Federal Register, a final rulemaking would be a significant step toward standardizing and modernizing what has, to date, been a quilted patchwork of EV charging networks and frustrating customer experiences. The NPRM states its aim is to establish clear rules of the road to create a “convenient, affordable, reliable, and equitable network of chargers” and lower barriers of entry for consumers thinking about going electric for their next vehicle.

Rulemaking is Latest Step Ahead of Billions in EV Funding

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (“NEVI”) Program is a key EV component of the BIL, providing $5 billion in formula funding to states to build out EV charging infrastructure along highway corridors. The BIL provides another $2.5 billion in competitive grants to support charging infrastructure and EV access in underserved and overburdened communities. The Biden Administration aims to deploy such funding (collectively, the “Programs”) to support 500,000 EV chargers in the U.S. by 2030. The BIL required DOT to establish a set of minimum EV standards and requirements for the use of such Programs’ funds within 180 days of the legislation’s enactment. Comments on the proposed rules are due within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register.

The NPRM begins with a detailed recap of the “disparities” in consumer options due to a lack of national standards for EV charging and sets forth various technical, consumer, and reporting requirements across six primary categories:

Installation, operation, and maintenance by qualified technicians of EV infrastructure (§ 680.106) Interoperability of EV charging infrastructure (§ 680.108) Traffic control devices and on-premise signs acquired, installed, or operated (§ 680.110) Data requested related to a project funded under the NEVI Formula Program, including the format and schedule for the submission of such data. (§ 680.112) Network connectivity of EV charging infrastructure (§ 680.114) Information on publicly available EV charging infrastructure locations, pricing, real-time availability, and accessibility though mapping applications. (§ 680.116) Installation and Operation

The NPRM would require each charging station under the NEVI Program to offer a minimum of four Direct Current Fast Charger (“DCFC”) ports capable of simultaneously charging four EVs. Each DCFC port must utilize a Combined Charging System (“CCS”) Type 1 connector and be capable of charging any CCS-compliant vehicle. Each DCFC port would be required to offer charging of at least 150 kilowatts (kW) simultaneously. A J1772 connector would be required for any AC Level 2 chargers. The 150-kW rate is still short of leading networks’ maximum charging capacity (in the range of 250 kW to 350 kW), but it would be a significant improvement if deployed on the national scale that the BIL envisions.

Charging stations would be required to be available for use by the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and on a year-round basis, with few exceptions. This would be a welcome standard for current EV drivers that can often be surprised on a road trip that a charging station that appears to be “public” is really in a hotel parking lot restricted to hotel guests, or is located in a parking garage that closes after normal daytime business hours.

In another important step, operators of charging stations could not require memberships for use. Stations would be prohibited from restricting access or service by membership or payment method type. At the same time, contactless payment options would be required and all major debit and credit cards would be accepted. Today, many charging networks require a driver to set up an individual account and login with the network in advance, or risk standing at a charging station feverishly creating a username and unique password in the rain or cold and entering credit card digits. Such accounts can provide some advantages if created in advance and if a driver can rely on a single particular network. But much like the maligned walled gardens of software platforms, this can restrict consumer options. The NPRM would push the consumer experience closer to a typical visit to a gas station where drivers can expect to pull into any station, swipe a credit card, and fill the tank. And where credential-based connectivity and payment is provided, the NPRM requires that charging networks be capable of communicating with other charging networks to enable customers to use a single credential regardless of the charging network responsible for a charging station.

Charging Station Information

Another common frustration for EV drivers is navigating to a charging station only to find that all stalls are occupied, or worse, that certain stalls are inoperable due to malfunctions or broken equipment. This is especially true for EVs manufactured by companies that do not also maintain their own charging network.

Importantly, the NPRM would create a minimum annual uptime requirement of greater than 97% for charging ports. Uptime would be calculated as the time when a charger’s hardware and software are both online and available for use, or in use, and the charging port successfully dispenses electricity as expected. Networks would also be required to provide customers the capability to report outages, malfunctions, or other issues. Charging stations would also be required to make available for third-party software developers real-time data on the status of each charging port and price to charge.

Lastly, the NPRM aims to further enhance pricing transparency by requiring a standardized display of charging costs in $/kWh at charging stations, although the DOT requests public comment on comparable metrics for states where there are restrictions on displaying charges on a $/kWh basis.

Interoperability of EV Charging Infrastructure

The proposed rules require chargers to conform with ISO 15118 for communications with CCS-compliant EVs that have implemented ISO 15118. ISO 15118, developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission and the International Organization for Standardization, would improve network connectivity and support the expanding deployment of emerging capabilities such as smart charge management (allowing for more dynamic responsiveness to EV customers but also grid/utility load management signals) and “Plug and Charge” capabilities that enable a more automated experience connecting an EV to a charger with minimal direct customer action.

Next Steps and Future Rules

In many instances, the NPRM acknowledges the EV sector is still evolving and welcomes feedback from industry and consumers on how to craft appropriate rules that maintain flexibility for further innovation. In addition, the DOT expressly declines to address certain related topics, such as charging station design, whether federal requirements should set different rules for longer-dwell parking locations, such as apartment buildings, or how states should incorporate charging alternatives like battery-swapping business models. The NPRM does not prescribe specific cybersecurity standards, but the proposed rules include a requirement that states implement physical and cybersecurity strategies consistent with their respective State EV Infrastructure Deployment Plans, which must be submitted by August 1st and approved by DOT in order to be eligible to receive NEVI Program funding.

The broad scope of the NPRM could significantly enhance EV charging capacity across the United States as well as harmonize consumer and policymaker expectations for this rapidly-changing sector. As regulators, developers, and financiers of EV infrastructure evaluate the NPRM, the Foley team is at the ready with significant experience, knowledge and expertise related to each element of this transformation, including issues related to the automotive, manufacturing, supply chain, regulatory, IP, private equity, tax equity, project finance, and public-private financing issues.

- Jeffery R. Atkin, Jocelyn E. Lavallo and R. Thomas Hoffmann

Foley’s Energy team has been recognized in the 2022 edition of Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

Three Energy Sector partners have been recognized nationally, and the firm has ranked in two energy-related practices, as outlined below. This is in addition to 40 practice rankings and 104 Foley attorneys overall.

Researchers at Chambers have cited the Energy team as being “very proactive, efficient and smart about getting transactions closed and working through issues.”

National Rankings Practices Projects: Power & Renewables: Transactional Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy Attorneys Jeffery Atkin, Projects: Power & Renewables: Transactional "He has great commercial sense." Jocelyn Lavallo, Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy "She is a fantastic lawyer." Thomas Hoffmann, Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy "Thomas is very plugged into the project finance market."

Click here to view all of Foley’s overall rankings.

About Chambers USA

Chambers & Partners compiles annual rankings from confidential, in-depth interviews with clients and attorneys across the country. The assessments are based on technical legal ability, client service, diligence and other qualities most valued by clients.

- craigshields
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- craigshields
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- E-Smart Solar
  Once you get a solar system installed, you’ll probably still have questions. Some of those might be related to what kind of metering changes you’ll see, and whether there’s anything else you need to do in order to make sure your system is working correctly and everything’s set up right. You want to get … Continue reading "What Needs to Happen With My Metering?"
- E-Smart Solar

 

We were very keen to put on a solar battery to backup our solar panels and it was a way of obviously using solar electricity into the nighttime to contribute to the greater picture, to even out the peaks and troughs because there’s a lot of people taking on solar panels. But I do like the idea of generating power close to the source and using it where we are and using the battery to sustain things through the evening for our local use and for moving to the whole grid.

We’ve put on high quality panels with this latest installation, and they’ve been very good. Our first set of panels that we installed around 2008 wasn’t nearly as efficient as the new ones so we’ve moved those to a less good part of the roof and put our best panels in the best sunspot. So many people say that panels don’t work when the sun’s not up, but we see that on a grey day, even on a wet day, we are actually producing quite a lot of power and it’s really impressive and we’re really thrilled.

I do like the way we can now also check the output of our panels through the apps, which we weren’t able to do with the panels we had in the beginning so we can see they actually perform very well.

High Quality Solar Power System Installation by E-Smart Solar

I particularly wanted to get a local company (E-Smart Solar) that we knew would have to have a good reputation locally. It was good to have somebody come to the house and do a quotation, look at your situation. The team from E-Smart Solar were very consultative. They asked what we wanted every step of the way, they did very neat work and worked extremely hard and our little cottage looks very good. I also liked the fact that the battery and solar installation is quite visible so I can share it with friends and visitors and say, look, this actually works.

Planning on going solar but you’re not sure where to start? E-Smart can help you with that. Contact us today for more information.

- E-Smart Solar
  Right now Australia’s seeing an installation boom in rooftop solar systems. Given the immense popularity of solar, it may seem like just about every household has a solar system. If you don’t have solar, maybe you are planning to get it in the future.    We often come across a subset of people who … Continue reading "Why You Shouldn’t Wait for Breakthroughs in Solar Battery Tech Before Installing Solar"
- E-Smart Solar

 

Meet our dear customer, Fiona. Read her story of what her environmental reasons are for buying a high quality solar power system.

I’m Fiona, we’re in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. John and I are both very keen and passionate birdwatchers, and we’re conservationists and I see alternative energy as a wider umbrella that we all fit together to contribute back to the planet.

I love nature. I want things to continue to be beautiful and I think we’re part of a bigger picture and we all need to contribute to that but we need to make this planet last longer and be as beautiful as it always has been.

We’ve been very happy to become more self-sustainable, environmental and I thought doing solar energy was our first step. It was very achievable and I do like that domestic way of making a contribution to the larger picture.

Solar energy is a big part and something we have really concentrated on. We really wanted to be early adopters on taking on the solar revolution so that we could personally make a contribution that we felt we could do and we’ve actually found it quite easy to do, not as intimidating or as difficult as you’d think. We’re now completely self-sufficient without electric power. I think we’ve paid about 18 cents in power since we went solar.

High efficiency solar panels

I would recommend a high quality solar. I’ve always been very keen on buying good quality products and E-Smart Solar was able to provide that. I want things to last and don’t want things to go to the tip all the time, it’s a lot of waste. If you can buy good quality stuff in the beginning, make it go for a long time. It’s good to have a local company like E-Smart Solar that will come and give you back up if there are any problems, tweak things a little bit if they need to be and if you want to expand in the future, which we plan to do.

Help the environment today by going solar. Talk to us.

- E-Smart Solar

The potential cost-of-living savings is always a big factor when Aussies are deciding to purchase a solar system. E-Smart Solar customers recognise once their solar system is in place, their household can begin to drive down energy bills and even earn some income back from their system exporting energy via a feed-in-tariff (FIT). But this isn’t the only area in which the right solar system can deliver big savings in the long term.

 

There’s a big difference between a quality solar installer and the alternative, and this applies to solar products too. If you get a reputable solar installer to install well-made components with a long-term warranty, you’ll be set to reap the rewards for years to come. So let’s look now at how a long-term warranty on solar parts can save you money.

 

How Warranties Work

 

For anyone yet to be familiar with the warranties process in Australia a quick overview will help. It’s necessary to keep in mind some variables can exist here. For example, if a manufacturer has an office in Australia they’re responsible for their warranties, yet if not, it’ll be the importer who is responsible for them. But the following is an overview of the regulations and common approaches to warranties across the nation. 

 

Australian Consumer Warranties

 

As the ACCC details Australian Consumer Law (ACL) confirms goods sold in Australia must be of acceptable quality and fit for purpose. There can be certain exceptions to this. For instance, if someone clearly advertises and sells a used car for sale as ‘for parts only’, then it wouldn’t be reasonable for someone who has purchased it to complain the car wasn’t working properly. But there is no ‘opt-out’ clause for any business in following the ACL – it’s mandatory when operating in Australia. So unless the seller specifically makes a potential buyer aware parts are not of acceptable quality and fit for purpose, the buyer has a right to expect what they buy is in good working condition.

 

Installer Warranty


This warranty is commonly offered by an installer of a solar system. Although this does not directly cover the parts and operation of the solar system, it covers the workmanship. If it emerges that a mistake has occurred or a fault has arisen as a result of the installation and/or subsequent workmanship within the warranty period, then the installer will be on the hook to remedy it.

 

Manufacturer’s Warranty 

 

A manufacturer’s warranty is an important consideration when looking to save on costs over the years. This warranty is provided by a manufacturer to cover the parts (AKA panel product) and operation (AKA performance) of a solar system. A manufacturer that offers a long-term warranty sends a signal their products are made with quality parts, and they warrant their performance. Yes, a long-term warranty is by default a long time to make a promise, but given a manufacturer gets a competitive advantage over other businesses who will not warrant an extended period, it’s certainly right and fair to expect they’ll honour that promise.

 

Saving Time and Money

 

What can make a long-term manufacturing warranty so worthwhile from a savings perspective? It comes down to the two aforementioned promises that a manufacturer offers. They give an undertaking surrounding the parts and operation of their products.

 

The Parts


If at any time during the parts warranty its components fail due to a manufacturer’s defect, the customer will have a remedy available to them. While solar systems are unquestionably a great investment, it’s no secret the upfront cost of purchase and installation can require many Aussies households to save up for a time. A long-term warranty can help ensure a household won’t be left having to fork out another chunk of cash to get new solar products. This is unfortunately something many Aussies have had to do when they’ve purchased solar products from providers who maximise affordability at the expense of quality. Ultimately these Aussies have had to eventually pay for repair or replacement – and financially this can be a very painful lesson to learn. 

 

It’s necessary to note the inverter is of course a part of the solar system but is usually treated differently for warranty purposes. We discuss the particulars regarding inverter warranty timelines in the conclusion below. 

 

The Operations

 

An inferior system might work on day 1, but over time its performance can decline. This means it won’t generate as much electricity as it once did – certainly not as much as a reputable system would – and may stop working altogether! This is really unfortunate, but in absence of a performance warranty, the solar system owner has little option but to put up with the performance decline, or opt for the previously mentioned avenues of costly repairs or replacement of the whole system. Where it concerns the operation of a system with highly respected solar products, a long-term warranty on the components will ensure the system’s operation will continue effectively* during this period.

 

*Subject to the specific terms of the warranty.

 

No Daily Dramas

 

Obtaining a warranty from a reputable manufacturer also offers peace of mind as you go about your daily life. This is because you can usually have a far greater certainty that a trusted business will still be trading in many years’ time as opposed to one that seems to offer a ‘great’ deal today – but may not even be there next year! If utilising a questionable installer with questionable parts, the odds of them ceasing operation in time – and thus leaving customers high and dry – is far greater. 

 

Making the Most of the Years

 

Warranties help provide some peace of mind when it comes to a solar installation. But it’s true there are additional steps that are always good form to practice where it concerns managing a solar installation from one year to the next. Ensuring a system gets regular checks and maintenance done is a great way to keep it in optimal condition from one year to the next.

 

So How Long is the Right Warranty?

 

E-Smart Solar are a talented team of qualified electricians and solar specialists. You can enjoy access to the very best products on the market, at the very best price.

 

LG Solar Panel Warranty. LG solar panels are manufactured in a fully automated manufacturing facility in Gumi, South Korea and come with a 25 year parts and labour product warranty and 25 year performance warranty held here in Australia by LG Electronics.

 

SMA inverters offer multi-award winning inverter design with quality European components. Their 5 year manufacturers warranty can be extended to an optional 25 years

 

Fronius inverters offer extended warranties (of up to 20 years) with award-winning design, and are reliable and efficient in Australian conditions

 

SolarEdge Inverters come with warranties of up to 12 years. They can also monitor the performance of each module for enhanced, cost-effective module-level maintenance.

 

Whichever combination of these warranties you acquire with your new solar system, hiring a quality solar installer that utilises trusted components and pursuing long-term warranties surrounding their system provides many benefits. There will be much greater peace of mind knowing the odds of something going wrong are far smaller, and in the unlikely event it does they’ve some additional protection to remedy it with their long-term warranties in place. 

 

E-Smart Solar delivers only the best for our Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury customers. For more information on our warranties contact us today.

- E-Smart Solar
We’re Certified Carbon Neutral!

We are proud that E-Smart Solar is the first solar company in NSW to be Climate Active certified. Climate Active certification is an important step in our journey to being a more sustainable and environmentally conscious organisation.

We are located at the base of the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains, so we understand the importance of our environmental impact as a business. We have chose to be carbon neutral, hoping this heritage site can be enjoyed, as it is today, for generations to come.

So what does this all mean?

The Climate Active brand is a simple yet powerful way for companies to demonstrate to customers and stakeholders that they have a credible and transparent claim of carbon neutrality. It is the only government accredited carbon neutral certification scheme in Australia.

The Climate Active brand represents Australia’s collective effort to calculate, reduce, and offset carbon emissions to lessen our negative impact on the environment. The Climate Active certification is awarded to businesses and organisations that have credibly reached a state of achieving net zero emissions, otherwise known as carbon neutrality.

acting today for tomorrow Climate Active Network Memebr

“Understanding where our carbon emissions are coming from and where we can reduce these emissions has helped us manage parts of our business more efficiently.” What can homeowners do?

The best thing homeowners can do to support us is to take the time to understand the solar system they are buying. Additionally, customers can also support us through understanding that the environmental benefits of solar power are the main reason we do what we do as well as helping homeowners and business owners to reduce their carbon footprint – not just their power bills.

Speak to our expert solar team about how you can reduce your carbon footprint.

- E-Smart Solar
Whether solar panels lose efficiency can be partially affected by the way the panels are treated. But that’s not the only thing that could cause a lack of efficiency. The best thing you can do for your solar panels is gain knowledge about what problems to look for, so you can catch issues early. You … Continue reading "Do Solar Panels Lose Efficiency?"
- E-Smart Solar


We first started thinking about solar to be more environmental, and we’re quite environmentally aware here at home and we’d thought it’d be a great benefit better for us. We decided that it’s the right thing to do. I think it’s very important to try to be as environmental as possible, renewable energy is the way to go.

Fossil fuels are obviously causing damage to the environment so we’ve got to think about our future energy usage. It’s our environment, it’s the future. We’ve got to think about what’s going to happen, it’s just so important. We’ve got to think about climate change, biodiversity, the environment, and just got to look after the world and start somewhere.

Contributions of solar in renewable energy

Renewable energy is growing and we’ve got to use it. Every little step that people can do is fantastic. Solar, solar panels, solar energy, is a small thing we can do. It’s getting less expensive all the time and it’s worth giving a go if we can. We’re actually exporting power to the grid. At the moment, we’re getting 21 cents a kilowatt which is making it a little bit more financially rewarding as well too. We’re using energy from the sun to power our house and we’re also exporting power to the grid. It’s a win-win situation.

- E-Smart Solar

 

From the initial contact we make with our clients in the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury, we try to find out what their expectations are around what they’re going to get out of the solar system and that’ll almost always involve going to the site, meeting them face-to-face, getting a good understanding of what the site’s like and just managing their expectations about what it’s going to achieve.

If they’re looking at other solar systems online or from other providers, they might see a system that is $3,000 or $4,000 and it’s just not going to do what they think it might do. Being able to have a face-to-face with the client and explain the pros and cons of what we offer, versus what that system might offer, gives them a better understanding of what solar can do to help them.

The importance of researching about Solar

There’s a lot of misinformation online about what’s good and what’s bad. So again, being able to have a face-to-face discussion with a customer is always helpful. People that do more research before we get there and before we start the conversation is always beneficial because the more educated the customer is, the more they understand and the more research a customer can do and the better the understanding they have of the products that are out there, the better the decision they will make at the end of the day.

Planning on going solar but you’re not sure where to start? E-Smart can help you with that. Contact us today for more information.

- E-Smart Solar

 

We initially did have a system put in several years ago. It was a small system of 1.5 kilowatts, but it was a start for us. It cost about $3,000 for the system at that time. The new panels are probably twice the power of the old panels and only marginally 50% bigger, giving us a greater output from the same sized space we’ve got on the house. They’re twice the efficient and we’re getting more power out of the sun. We had the old panels sided to a less efficient part of the house -the roof and so we got the new panels on the more efficient part of the roof, which was fantastic. There was a combination of the old and the new and it’s working tremendously.

High efficiency solar panels

We decided to spend more on our panels this time because we wanted something that we could trust, something that was reliable and we decided that we just wanted quality solar panels. That, as well as the brand name which also gives the best performance. We wanted to have quality products.

Since we’ve had the new panels and a power wall installed, we’ve been 100% self-sufficient energy-wise. It’s all worked tremendously, it’s been seamless. If the power goes out in the street, we don’t even notice it at home. It just completely kicks in.

- George Cavros
Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Democratic Nominee for U.S. Senate in Florida, Rep. Val Demings

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- Brady Watson
Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Democratic Nominee for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, Cheri Beasley

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- Brady Watson
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The post Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Republican Nominee for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, Ted Budd appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- George Cavros
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The post Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Incumbent Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Brady Watson
Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Incumbent Democratic Nominee for U.S. Senate in Georgia, Rev. Raphael Warnock

This post is part of a series examining where 2022 candidates running for public offices in the Southeast stand on key energy and climate issues. Note: The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy…

The post Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Incumbent Democratic Nominee for U.S. Senate in Georgia, Rev. Raphael Warnock appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- George Cavros
Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Democratic Nominee for Governor in Florida, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist

This post is part of a series examining where 2022 candidates running for public offices in the Southeast stand on key energy and climate issues. Note: The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy…

The post Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Democratic Nominee for Governor in Florida, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- George Cavros
Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Incumbent Republican Nominee for U.S. Senate in Florida, Marco Rubio

This post is part of a series examining where 2022 candidates running for public offices in the Southeast stand on key energy and climate issues. Note: The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy…

The post Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Incumbent Republican Nominee for U.S. Senate in Florida, Marco Rubio appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Brady Watson
Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Republican Nominee for U.S. Senate in Georgia, Herschel Walker

This post is part of a series examining where 2022 candidates running for public offices in the Southeast stand on key energy and climate issues. Note: The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy…

The post Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Republican Nominee for U.S. Senate in Georgia, Herschel Walker appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Brady Watson
Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Democratic Nominee for Governor in Georgia, Stacey Abrams

This post is part of a series examining where 2022 candidates running for public offices in the Southeast stand on key energy and climate issues. Note: The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy…

The post Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Democratic Nominee for Governor in Georgia, Stacey Abrams appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Brady Watson
Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Republican Nominee for Governor in Georgia, Brian Kemp

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The post Where the Candidates Stand On Energy: Republican Nominee for Governor in Georgia, Brian Kemp appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Kevin Willard
Helping Save America’s Forests Proves to be Very Rewarding
Helping Save America’s Forests Proves to be Very Rewarding

The American Forest Foundation wins donors. The planet wins trees. KSV wins three shiny new friends: Gold. Gold. And Silver.

- Shaina Kaye
The Expert Perspective: Rounding Up Our Industry Expert Interview Series, Part Two
The Expert Perspective: Rounding Up Our Industry Expert Interview Series, Part Two

In our previous EnergyWire, we revisited a few Industry Expert Interviews that we’ve had over the past two years. As we wind down yet another year of unexpected twists and turns, we find ourselves reflective and looking at the year ahead, gleaning inspiration and gearing up for whatever comes next in 2022. 

There’s no better way to do that than to revisit a few more interviews with some of the best and brightest leaders at purpose-driven companies in the US and Canada. Check out our final round up of Industry Expert Interviews and let us know: as your organization heads into 2022, what are some of the thoughts, ideas and conversations inspiring you the most? We’d love to hear from you!

- Shaina Kaye
The Expert Perspective: Rounding Up Our Industry Expert Interview Series, Part One
The Expert Perspective: Rounding Up Our Industry Expert Interview Series, Part One

At the start of 2020, KSV kicked off Industry Expert Interviews, a new content marketing series we implemented as a way to hear more from purpose-driven organizations around the country, get inspired and have great conversations with innovative and talented individuals.

- Kevin Willard
How 2021 Brought a Shift in Perspective - and New Opportunities - to KSV’s Doorstep
How 2021 Brought a Shift in Perspective - and New Opportunities - to KSV’s Doorstep

2021 sure has thrown the agency world its fair share of curveballs. But with it came new opportunities. We just had to find the right places to take some swings. Among the most notable: a shift in our staffing approach, and how we’ve been able to leverage the MAGNET Global Network, 40 of the most innovative, independently-owned agencies located around the globe.

For the past four decades, KSV has had two addresses. One in Burlington, VT, the other in New York, NY. Employees either lived in VT or NYC. Or close enough to one of those two places to work from the KSV office located there. Not unlike the rest of the industry, if there was an office you go there and work.

- Shaina Kaye
Strategies for Reaching the Ethical, Eco-Conscious Consumer in 2021 and Beyond
Strategies for Reaching the Ethical, Eco-Conscious Consumer in 2021 and Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed a marked shift in the average consumer, highlighting health and well-being as a top consideration for consumer purchasing decisions while simultaneously creating a shift in how consumers made those purchases. The growing urgency of the call to act on climate change, coupled with renewed vigor around support for BIPOC businesses, also meant that consumers significantly changed how and where they were spending their money. 

- Shaina Kaye
Rebranding the Role of the CMO
Rebranding the Role of the CMO

Changing customer needs, shifting client expectations, rapidly evolving technology, unforeseen global circumstances and long overdue social awakenings… plain and simple, marketing is not what it “used to be.” The classic marketing mix of product, price, place and promotion - the 4 P’s seared into the memories of those of us who may have majored in marketing and communications back in the day - has become much more nuanced and a whole lot more complex. 

- Shaina Kaye
Organic Roots: Sunsoil Creative Showcase
Organic Roots: Sunsoil Creative Showcase

At very first glance, Sunsoil, a Vermont-based organic CBD company, may seem like “one of many” when it comes to the increasingly saturated CBD supplement market. But a look through their website, their branding and even a cursory second glance at their story will leave you happily surprised.

- Shaina Kaye
Industry Expert Interview with Sascha Mayer, CEO and Co-Founder of Mamava, Inc.
Industry Expert Interview with Sascha Mayer, CEO and Co-Founder of Mamava, Inc.

Earlier this year, we sat down with Sascha Mayer, CEO and Co-Founder of Mamava, Inc., a fellow B Corporation and women-owned company dedicated to transforming the culture of breastfeeding. Over the past several years, Sascha and her co-founder Christine Dodson have built a successful, mission-driven company that advocates for and empowers women in society and in the workplace, and we are so honored to have had the opportunity to chat with Sascha as part of this interview series. Check out our conversation below:

Two Lessons All Brands Can Learn from Clean Beauty
Two Lessons All Brands Can Learn from Clean Beauty

Today’s consumers are clamoring for the brands they support to be a part of creating a better, more sustainable future. This is readily apparent when it comes to the beauty industry, which after decades of creating countless enemies and being one of many major contributors to the climate crisis, has undergone a period of serious self-discovery and a very public, consumer-driven transformation journey.

- Shaina Kaye
The Ultimate Consideration for the Ever-Changing Customer Journey
The Ultimate Consideration for the Ever-Changing Customer Journey

A quick Google search will tell you that in 2021, customers are different. They have different priorities, different concerns and higher expectations. Those differences significantly affect the customer journey, or the total sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company and brand. 

- Adrian Johansen
War is, unfortunately, as old as human civilization itself. For millennia, humans have competed for control over the resources they need to survive and prosper. And for all the changes that modernity has ostensibly brought to human lives, very little has changed to sever the intimate ties between resource dominance and warfare. In fact, the […]
- Adrian Johansen
There is little use in denying that we’ve reached the point of crisis when it comes to the climate. Every day there appears to be fresh evidence of the inevitability of irreversible environmental damage or alteration. This isn’t just what we receive from news reports or scientific research, either. There are aspects of drought, wildfires, […]
- Phil Teare
Solar storage batteries have been a popular add-on for years with those installing solar panels in their own home rooms.  Save the excess electricity you generate in the middle of the day to power your home during the evening. What’s not to love? It turns out there are a few things. The changing economics, combined […]
- Earthava Team
Reusable menstrual pads are a type of menstrual hygiene product and are an alternative to disposable sanitary napkins or to menstrual cups. Because they can be reused, they are often more cost-effective than disposable sanitary napkins. In addition, they are often made from more environmentally-friendly materials than disposable sanitary napkins and can be worn during […]
- Earthava Team
The sun is the closest energy source for life on Earth. It was present for 4.5 billion years and it is expected to shine for at least another 5 billion years. It is not surprising that most people have a positive association with the sun. The sun is the symbol of life, creativity, and happiness. […]
- <a href=''>Latham &amp; Watkins LLP</a>
Verra Announces Public Consultation on Proposed Approach to Third-Party Crypto Instruments and Tokens

A major voluntary carbon standard invites comments on linking carbon credits with crypto instruments and tokens, highlighting emerging questions around blockchain transactions in voluntary carbon markets. By JP Brisson, Michael Dreibelbis, Brett Frazer, and Nick Eberhart On August 3, 2022, Verra, a voluntary carbon standard, announced it was opening a public consultation process on its...… Continue Reading

- <a href=''>Latham &amp; Watkins LLP</a>
CEQA Case Report: 2021 Year in Review

Public agencies prevailed in 71% of CEQA cases analyzed. By James L. Arnone, Daniel P. Brunton, Nikki Buffa, Marc T. Campopiano, Peter J. Gutierrez, John C. Heintz, Lauren E. Paull, Aron Potash, Lucas I. Quass, Natalie C. Rogers, Jennifer K. Roy, and Winston P. Stromberg Latham & Watkins is pleased to present its fifth annual...… Continue Reading

- <a href=''>Latham &amp; Watkins</a>
California Coastal Commission Concurs With BOEM’s Consistency Determination for Morro Bay WEA

The action marks the clearance of another significant hurdle toward BOEM’s offshore wind lease sales in federal waters offshore California, anticipated to occur this fall. By Nikki Buffa, Jennifer K. Roy, Janice M. Schneider, Brian McCall, and Julie Miles In the first half of 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has moved swiftly...… Continue Reading

- <a href=''>Latham &amp; Watkins LLP</a>
Interior Proposes First Renewable Energy Lease Sale in Federal Waters Offshore California

The proposal would auction off almost 375,000 acres of the Outer Continental Shelf offshore California for wind energy development. By Nikki Buffa, Janice M. Schneider, Nathaniel Glynn, and Brian McCall On May 31, 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) for a pair of renewable energy lease sales...… Continue Reading

- <a href=''>Latham &amp; Watkins</a>
California Air Resources Board Releases Draft Scoping Plan Update (Part 4)

CARB addresses California’s increasingly severe climate impacts. By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Kevin Homrighausen On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update (Draft Scoping Plan) for public review and comment. Assembly Bill 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, requires CARB to develop and...… Continue Reading

- <a href=''>Latham &amp; Watkins LLP</a>
California Air Resources Board Releases Draft Scoping Plan Update (Part 3)

CARB doubles down on LCFS Program and liquid transportation fuels. By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Jennifer Garlock On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update (Draft Scoping Plan) for public review and comment. Assembly Bill (AB) 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB...… Continue Reading

- <a href=''>Latham &amp; Watkins LLP</a>
California Air Resources Board Releases Draft Scoping Plan Update (Part 2)

CARB opts to stay the course on Cap-and-Trade Program. By Joshua T. Bledsoe, Michael Dreibelbis, and Alicia Robinson  On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update for public review and comment. Assembly Bill (AB) 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), required...… Continue Reading

- <a href=''>Latham &amp; Watkins LLP</a>
California Air Resources Board Releases Draft Scoping Plan Update (Part 1)

The Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update takes an all-of-the-above approach to decarbonize California. By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Brian McCall On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update for public review and comment. Originally, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 required CARB to develop...… Continue Reading

- <a href=''>Latham &amp; Watkins LLP</a>
White House Announces New Initiatives and Guidance on Clean Energy Transition

CCUS and clean hydrogen will play a significant role in the Administration’s efforts to address hard-to-decarbonize industries to promote clean US manufacturing. By Janice Schneider, Nikki Buffa, and Kevin Homrighausen On February 15, 2022, the White House announced important actions in furtherance of the Biden Administration’s broader decarbonization goals — this time with an eye...… Continue Reading

- <a href=''>Latham &amp; Watkins LLP</a>
President Biden Outlines Comprehensive Plan for Federal Sustainability

The president’s executive order aims to use the US government’s procurement power to achieve “carbon pollution-free electricity” by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. By Jennifer Roy and Julie Miles On December 8, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability (EO), which aims to...… Continue Reading