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Episode 349: Do you know your 'climate fingerprint'?
Ashley Orgain, chief impact officer at Seventh Generation, discusses how the consumer products company hopes to shift the conversation with its 'climate fingerprint' reporting.
Purifying the ‘miracle metal’: How to decarbonize aluminum
Without advances in recycling and decarbonization, the aluminum sector’s emissions could careen towards nearly 2 billion metric tons by 2050.
Courage: The vital aspect of sustainability leadership we don’t talk about enough
We need a different kind of leadership — one that makes a positive contribution that counts today and lasts into the future.
Grab your stainless steel mug, the Reusies are coming
Matt Prindiville, CEO and chief solutioneer at Upstream Solutions, discusses his organization's quest to help reuse business models scale and the need for more infrastructure to support those strategies.
McDonald’s new strategy to bring renewable energy to its supply chain
McDonald’s spearheads new strategy to bring clean energy to suppliers.
Sustainable product design can help businesses identify new models
A shift in mindset, culture and priorities is the first step to making product design more sustainable.
How Stanford is raising the next generation of sustainable eaters
The Stanford dining team is using creatively named dishes to encourage students towards more climate-friendly choices.
Amazon procures record 8.3GW of clean energy in 2022
The tech giant claims to set a new record for the amount of clean power purchased by a single company in a year.
A sea change for carbon capture
How much more CO2 can the ocean swallow, without harming sensitive ecosystems?
In Europe’s clean energy transition, industry turns to heat pumps
With soaring gas prices due to the Ukraine war and the EU’s push to cut emissions, European industries are increasingly switching to high-temperature, high-efficiency heat pumps. Combined with the boom in residential use, the EU is now hoping for a heat pump revolution.
What does regenerative agriculture on a reservation look like?
Better profits, better soil and buying back its land, the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska has regenerative ag to thank.
The future of electric transportation can be led on 2 wheels
Governments should prioritize micromobility options with policy and new investment to democratize access and accelerate decarbonization.
Climate stress tests for banks are coming. What will we find?
We should thank central banks for improving our understanding of climate change data. But they need to more faster and more forcefully to gather more rigorous and comparable data.
Solar energy is rapidly developing as one of the most common forms of renewable energy production. They produce clean, locally generated energy — a must-have in a time of ambitious sustainability goals. But not all solar installations are alike. While they capture the benefit of lower emissions and reduce the cost of electricity consumed, many do not realize the full investment value because of disruption costs that stem from utility grid dependence. Our white paper will provide you with valuable insights and practical advice on how to optimize your solar installation to achieve maximum value. Learn about the limitations of solar-only facilities, the role of microgrids and battery energy storage, and how to achieve grid independence. Download our white paper now and learn how to make the most out of your solar installation.
Carbon disclosure becomes mandatory
Companies that prepare ahead of new laws are likely to enjoy a smoother transition.
Public charging: The Achilles’ heel for EVs
Will automotive companies and public EV charging providers ever catch up to Tesla’s Supercharger experience?
Don’t snail-scale climate tech
Slow and steady won’t win this race. Getting across the finish line may require FIRE.
What to expect from a sustainability career in Europe?
Young Americans are flocking to Europe for a green career. How do sustainability careers in Europe differ?
Can changing your mindset change everything?
The future isn’t something that happens to us. The decisions we make today will determine what happens tomorrow.
Sustainability gets schooled at work
A new generation of corporate courses and trainings is educating employees about sustainability benefits and possibilities.
- 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?
- EDF Blogs
The first step in a new industrial revolution: raising the bar for clean hubs
  By Nichole Saunders We’re at the threshold of a multi-billion dollar industrial decarbonization revolution that will usher in clean energy projects around the world. Unlike the industrial revolution of 100 years ago, imagine if this next one genuinely considered environmental and public good alongside economic objectives. Globally, governments are planning to use a “hub” […]
- EDF Blogs
New study shows huge variation in how different oil companies manage climate pollution – underscores need for more oversight
By Jon Goldstein and Ben Hmiel For the last several years, researchers have been studying methane emissions in the Permian Basin (the nation’s largest oil field) to try and understand just how much climate pollution specific oil companies may be responsible for. A new study published this week from EDF and Carbon Mapper offers insights […]
- EDF Blogs
Rule #1 of deploying hydrogen: Electrify first
By Eriko Shrestha and Tianyi Sun   There is extraordinary excitement today over zero and low carbon hydrogen. But can it live up to the silver-bullet hype?  Case in point: Evidence indicates that in certain applications, green hydrogen made using wind or solar power could indeed yield a big climate benefit over fossil fuels. And in applications […]
- EDF Blogs
The Inflation Reduction Act is a game-changer on methane. Here’s why.
By Edwin LaMair and Grace Smith The US Congress recently passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which takes bold action to address the climate crisis. Multiple independent analyses show the bill could reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, providing important support for President Biden’s goal of halving emissions by 2030. […]
- EDF Blogs
What DOE should consider as it makes decisions on Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Projects
By Jona Koka Nearly $5 billion from the Department of Energy combined with the economic incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act represent the United States’ first major steps to building a domestic carbon management industry that supports our Paris commitments. But funding is only one piece of the puzzle. For the government’s investment in carbon […]
- Jason Mathers
4 ways manufacturers can support fleets on their road to electrification
Electric heavy-duty vehicles have come a long way in a pretty short time. Back in 2018, we were excited about prototype vehicles and trucks with 60-mile range. Today there are scores of truck models available at ever increasing ranges, clear market segments where these vehicles can thrive today, and ever-growing fleet interest in deploying these […]
- EDF Blogs
The building blocks are in place for a strong Advanced Clean Fleets rule in California
By Lauren Navarro & Pamela MacDougall California air regulators are currently considering adoption of the Advanced Clean Fleets rule — a purchase requirement for medium and heavy-duty fleets to adopt an increasing percentage of zero-emission trucks. This rule has the potential to be transformative. California has some of the worst air quality in the country; […]
- EDF Blogs
EPA methane proposal makes critical progress, but work remains to quickly finalize protective standards
By Jon Goldstein , Edwin LaMair, and Grace Smith  This week, EPA is holding public hearings on its recently proposed methane standards for oil and gas operations, which build on the agency’s initial proposal and represent a significant step forward for reducing methane pollution across the country. Federal standards are crucial for curbing methane emissions […]
- Colin Leyden
The power grid and disinformation
Texans know better than to believe the lies. But, whenever severe weather strikes the state and the isolated electric grid is imperiled, they’re always fed them: “Green energy” is offered up as the ultimate scapegoat, facts be damned. Why doesn’t the Wall Street Journal editorial board know better? Last week, they ran a piece blaming […]
- Phillip Martin
Houston workshop lays foundation for the road to ZEV trucks
Last month, EDF co-hosted a workshop in Houston on the state of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles in Texas. Partnering with Evolve, the Houston-Galveston Area Council and Port Houston, we met at the NRG Center with dozens of industry experts, government officials, fleet managers and drivers to talk about the economic and environmental opportunities that transitioning to […]
- Energy Trust

An expanded federal tax credit is making it more affordable for homeowners to go solar. The...

The post Federal solar tax credit increases to 30% appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust

In honor of Black History Month, we are highlighting work with Energy Trust’s partners that supports...

The post Community Energy Project makes essential repairs, energy upgrades for Black homeowners appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust

In August, an isolated storm with high winds and dense hailstones large enough to puncture a...

The post Energy Trust supports rebuilding following powerful hailstorm in Wallowa appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust
Energy-efficient insulation prepares Cottage Grove Community Center for winter

Through its Vision and Action Plan, the City of Cottage Grove committed to regional and city-specific...

The post Energy-efficient insulation prepares Cottage Grove Community Center for winter appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust
Oregon Coast’s SaltLine Hotel has built in energy efficiency from day one

In the heart of downtown Seaside, SaltLine Hotel offers a local showcase of how a business...

The post Oregon Coast’s SaltLine Hotel has built in energy efficiency from day one appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust
The future is bright for El Mofles de Hillsboro thanks to no-cost lighting

Roberto Martínez, certified mechanic and founder of El Mofles de Hillsboro. When Roberto Martínez opened his...

The post The future is bright for El Mofles de Hillsboro thanks to no-cost lighting appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust

Is there a home efficiency upgrade you’ve been waiting to do? With more resources available than...

The post How to combine new home energy tax credits with Energy Trust incentives appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust
Energy Trust hires its first director of innovation and development

Lizzie Rubado has been named Energy Trust’s first director of innovation and development. This is a...

The post Energy Trust hires its first director of innovation and development appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- Energy Trust

With new legislation at the federal level and increasing attention closer to home on climate change...

The post 2023 could be a busy year for the clean energy industry appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.

- David Berezowsky, Roberto Arena Reyes Retana and Aldo Cain Mendoza Rodriguez
Foley Assisted Client in Obtaining Favorable Resolution in Constitutional Trial Against the Reforms Made to the Electric Industry Law

On October 2021, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador submitted to the Mexican Congress a Bill to amend Articles 25, 27, and 28 of the Mexican Constitution related to energy matters. The purpose of the Bill, named the “Constitutional Bill,” was to undo the Constitutional changes that opened the power market for private investment and to limit/preclude private sector participation. 

The Constitutional Bill intended to, among other matters:

(a) cancel all power generation permits and power purchase agreements entered into with the private sector;
(b) cap the participation of the private sector in the power generation up to a 46% of the total generation capacity in Mexico;
(c) give back to CFE (Mexico’s Power Utility Company) the control of the electric system (this would allow CFE to define the dispatch criteria for the power stations); and
(d) to dissolve the Energy Regulatory Commission.

After an ample discussion in the House of Representatives, the Bill was not passed.

Bill to Reform Mexican Electricity Industry Law

On February 2021, in an attempt to change the legal framework of the power industry in Mexico that was meant to promote the private investment on renewable energy projects, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent to the House of Representatives a preferential bill to reform the Electricity Industry Law (the “Bill”).

The main topics of the Bill included:

(a) the modification of the Dispatch Rules;
(b) new criteria for the granting of power generation permits and for the interconnection to the national power grid;
(c) the revocation of power generation permits by the Energy Regulatory Commission; and
(d) the authority for CFE to execute PPAs with any power generator entity without conducting public auctions as required under the law and granting preference to such PPAs over the private generators.

For additional comments and information on the Bill, you can review our client alert here.

The proposed amendments were against the antitrust provisions and principles regulated in the Mexican Political Constitution introduced by the Energy Reform of 2013.

The Bill was passed by the Mexican Congress and enacted on March 9, 2021.

Constitutional Trial against the Bill

Foley assisted the Client in the preparation, filing and follow up of constitutional trial before the Mexican Federal District Courts against the Bill.

According to Mexican law, the parties affected by a Bill passed by the Congress are entitled to file a constitutional trial before Mexican Courts and request the Court for a temporary injunction so that the law does not apply to the plaintiffs during the trial. In representation of the Client, Foley requested and obtained from the Courts, the temporary injunction.

After one and a half year of trial, the District Court finally issued a resolution declaring that the Bill was unconstitutional; therefore, it cannot be applicable to the Client. The main reasons and arguments of the District Court are that the reforms passed by the Congress are against the antitrust provisions and principles introduced by the Energy Reform of 2013 in the Mexican Constitution.

The District Court considered that the change of the dispatch rules and the introduction of new criteria—for the granting of permits and for the interconnection of new power stations—is against the competitive model created for the power generation and commercialization of electricity sectors created by the Energy Reform of 2013. More importantly, the Bill cannot favor one competitor against the others in the industry.

The District Court resolution was challenged by the Mexican Government. The appeal will be resolved by the Federal Circuit courts in the following months. It is important to mention that the Mexican Government has requested the Supreme Court to resolve these cases and not the Circuit Courts considering the relevance of the matter.

- Gregory Husisian, John E. Turlais, Parker White and Jeffery R. Atkin
Preliminary Determination of Circumvention Regarding Solar Energy Products from SE Asia

On December 8, 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce (“USDOC”) published its preliminary determination that certain manufacturers of solar energy products1 in Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia that rely on Chinese-origin inputs are circumventing U.S. antidumping and countervailing duties relating to crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules of Chinese origin.2 If this preliminary determination is affirmed in the final determination, many solar energy panel manufacturers that use these Chinese-origin components may have to re-evaluate their supply chains and how they supply the U.S. market.

The preliminary determination imposes important certification obligations. To avoid collection of AD/CVD cash deposits on covered imports from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, or Cambodia, importers and exporters must certify that the covered imports (i) qualify for the two-year duty waiver implemented by the Biden Administration, (ii) are not covered by the circumvention determination, or (iii) are not within the scope of the circumvention inquiry. For covered imports entered between April 1, 2022 and December 8, 2022, such certifications must be completed and signed no later than January 23, 2023. Certifications for covered imports entered after December 8, 2022 must be completed, signed, and dated by the time the entry summary is filed for the associated entry.3 Failure to complete the certifications can lead to the assumption that any uncertified goods are subject to the antidumping and countervailing duty orders.

Background

The Department of Commerce determined in 2012 that China was unfairly subsidizing its solar energy product manufacturers, and that Chinese manufacturers were selling their products for less than fair value into the United States.4 In response, the United States enacted countervailing and antidumping duties on Chinese-made solar energy product imports.5 Since the imposition of the AD/CVD orders, approximately 80% of solar entered products subject to these orders have been imported from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia, generally as downstream products that incorporate Chinese-origin inputs.6

In February 2022, a U.S. solar panel maker, Auxin Solar Inc., petitioned the Department of Commerce to investigate solar energy product manufacturers in Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia, alleging that Chinese manufacturers were using Southeast Asian manufacturers as pass-through entities in an attempt to evade U.S. tariffs.7 According to Auxin, Southeast Asian solar energy product manufacturers were adding relatively minor manufacturing value and making only minimal improvements to products that were mostly made in China and that would otherwise be subject to U.S. import duties.8

During the course of Commerce’s investigation of Auxin’s claims, the Biden Administration in June 2022 invoked the Defense Production Act to take several actions aimed at “accelerat[ing] [the] domestic production of clean energy technologies.”9 As part of this initiative, Biden announced a two-year tariff exemption period for solar energy imports from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.10 In the context of the Auxin inquiry, this meant that even if Commerce concluded that China was using the Southeast Asian manufacturers to evade U.S. trade regulations, entries of covered products from those Southeast Asian manufacturers would be eligible for a waiver of the otherwise applicable AD/CV duties until at least June 5, 2024.

Commerce’s Preliminary Determination

On December 2, 2022, the Department of Commerce announced the preliminary determinations of its investigations into Auxin’s claims.11 To begin, Commerce reached a general finding that “circumvention was occurring through each of the four Southeast Asian countries.”12 In addition, as part of its investigation, Commerce had selected two solar energy product manufacturers from each of the relevant countries – i.e., Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.13 According to Commerce’s preliminary findings, four of the eight companies had circumvented U.S. trade regulations by selling solar energy products in the United States that had insufficient processing to meet the anti-circumvention test.14

Because Commerce preliminarily found that circumvention was occurring through each of the four Southeast Asian countries, Commerce issued a “country-wide” circumvention finding. This means that each of the countries is being designated, for all manufacturers, as conduits for circumvention. The only exceptions are for specifically investigated companies that Commerce determined are not circumventing the orders. As a result, Commerce is placing the burden on individual importers bringing in products from these countries to certify that their products are not circumventing, through implementation of a certification process.

The Department of Commerce will conduct in-person audits to verify its preliminary findings, as well as solicit comments on its findings, before issuing its final determination. Commerce’s final determination is currently scheduled to be issued on May 1, 2023.15

Key Takeaways

Assuming the results of Commerce’s preliminary findings are upheld in the final determination, once the Biden Administration’s two-year tariff waiver for covered goods coming from Southeast Asia expires in June 2024, manufacturers of solar energy products in Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia will be required to pay AD/CVD duties on most imports of solar energy products from these countries.

To ensure proper administration of the preliminary determinations in light of the Biden Administration waiver (and to avoid cash deposits of AD/CVD duties on covered products entering the United States in the interim), importers and exporters of the covered products will be required to prepare certifications stating that their products either qualify for the waiver or are not subject to the AD/CVD orders.

Specifically, importers and exporters seeking to avoid the cash deposits will be required to certify entries in one of the three formats specified in the Appendix IV of the Preliminary Determination Notice filed in the Federal Register on December 8, 2022.16 A manufacturer can file a certification on the basis that:

 the specific entries qualify as “Applicable Entries” under the Biden Administration waiver;  that Commerce already investigated the specific manufacturer and made a “not circumventing” determination; or  that the entry consists of products falling outside the scope of U.S. AD/CVD orders on Chinese solar energy products.17

For prior entries of covered products that were imported into the U.S. between April 1, 2022 and December 8, 2022, importers and exporters must complete and sign certifications (or a joint certification applying to multiple entries) no later than January 23, 2023. For covered imports entered after December 8, 2022, importers and exporters must complete, sign, and date a certification for the entry by the time the entry summary is filed for the associated entry, as well as upload these certifications to the ACE system as part of the entry process.

Foley & Lardner’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations practice can help companies navigate complex trade regulations like these.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 For details on the relevant kinds of solar energy products, see 87 C.F.R. 75221, available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/12/08/2022-26671/antidumping-and-countervailing-duty-orders-on-crystalline-silicon-photovoltaic-cells-whether-or-not; hereinafter (“DOC - Preliminary Determination”).

2 Press Release, U.S. Department of Commerce, Department of Commerce Issues Preliminary Determination of Circumvention Inquiries of Solar Cells and Modules Produced in China, Dec. 2, 2022, https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2022/12/department-commerce-issues-preliminary-determination-circumvention.

See id.

4 Fact Sheet, International Trade Administration, Commerce Finds Dumping and Subsidization of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules from the People’s Republic of China, Oct. 10, 2012, https://enforcement.trade.gov/download/factsheets/factsheet_prc-solar-cells-ad-cvd-finals-20121010.pdf.

See id.

See Nichola Groom, U.S. to Expand Solar Panel Tariffs After Probe Finds Chinese Evasion, Reuters, Dec. 2, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/us-says-solar-imports-four-southeast-asian-countries-were-dodging-china-tariffs-2022-12-02/.

See DOC – Preliminary Determination.

See id.

9 Fact Sheet, The White House, President Biden Takes Bold Executive Action to Spur Domestic Clean Energy Manufacturing, June 6, 2022, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/06/06/fact-sheet-president-biden-takes-bold-executive-action-to-spur-domestic-clean-energy-manufacturing/.

10 Id.

11 Press Release, U.S. Department of Commerce, Department of Commerce Issues Preliminary Determination of Circumvention Inquiries of Solar Cells and Modules Produced in China, Dec. 2, 2022, https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2022/12/department-commerce-issues-preliminary-determination-circumvention.

12 Id.

13 See DOC – Preliminary Determination.

14 Press Release, U.S. Department of Commerce, Department of Commerce Issues Preliminary Determination of Circumvention Inquiries of Solar Cells and Modules Produced in China, Dec. 2, 2022, https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2022/12/department-commerce-issues-preliminary-determination-circumvention. The four companies found to be circumventing included BYD Hong Kong (Cambodia), Canadian Solar (Thailand), Trina (Thailand), and Vina Solar (Vietnam). The companies found not to be circumventing include New East Solar (Cambodia), Hanwha (Malaysia), Jinko (Malaysia), and Boviet (Vietnam). A number of additional companies in Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam did not respond to requests for information from Commerce and, accordingly, were deemed to be circumventing based on their failure to respond.

15 Id.

16 See DOC – Preliminary Determination.

17 See id.

- Scott D. Ellis
ESG: Tips for the Oil & Gas Boardroom

ESG is increasingly vying for airtime in oil and gas boardrooms as leaders grapple with how best tackle environmental, social and governance challenges. This follows a trend of ESG support throughout all sectors of the U.S. economy.  A recent study revealed that ESG shareholder resolutions were up 22% to record levels for 2022.  This article identifies (1) the key administrative reasons for the increased ESG discussion, (2) why leadership should take ESG seriously, (3) questions leaders should be asking themselves, and (4) a framework for addressing ESG challenges. 

Key Administrative Reasons for Increased Focus on ESG

In 2021, the Biden Administration issued several executive orders directing federal agencies to implement ESG-related practices.  Perhaps most important among these is President Biden’s January 27, 2021 Executive Order, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.  The Executive Order: 

Requires agencies to consider the effects of federal permitting decisions on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change; Initiates an agency-wide push to incorporate programs, policies, and activities to promote environmental justice; and among other things; and Encourages the development of renewable energy production on land and in water. 

The EPA is also developing ESG-related rules that impact, or will impact, the oil and gas industry.  These rules seek to:  

Reduce methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells Reduce/eliminate the use of natural gas-driven pneumatic controllers that are widely used in the industry Increase performance standards for storage tanks, pneumatic pumps and compressors Reduce emissions from existing oil and natural gas operations Enhance compliance monitoring programs for new and existing well sites and compressor stations Reasons to take ESG Seriously

While some oil and gas companies have been slow to react, most leaders now recognize the importance of addressing ESG.   While there are many reasons to take ESG seriously, here are some of the most compelling: 

Heightened focus of investors on ESG matters.  Poor ESG performance will impact access to capital. The public has a heightened awareness of ESG issues. Companies must take steps to ensure they are not embroiled in any negative press. Opportunity to demonstrate leadership by investing in new technologies that can reduce environmental impact or improve efficiency. This can lead to cost savings as well as goodwill with the public. ESG can help companies become more sustainable and efficient in the long term, and it is becoming an increasingly important factor to consider when selecting investments and partners in oil and gas. Questions Leaders Should be Asking

Leadership at oil and gas companies should be asking themselves following questions, which they must answer to stay competitive: 

Environment: What is our company doing – and what can we do – to reduce emissions and our carbon footprint? Social: Is our company’s workplace safe? How do we measure this?  Governance:  How are our processes and procedures being managed? Are employees receiving adequate support to fulfill their role? Best Practices to Address ESG Challenges

Oil and gas leaders should consider the following: 

Conduct diligence on what peer companies are doing with regard to climate change initiatives and reporting.  Trade groups can be especially helpful with this research.  Identify and hire an ESG consultant to assist in drafting your ESG plan and reporting framework.  There are multiple consultants who work specifically with the oil and gas sector. Update policies and procedures to ensure they address ESG.  Develop clear metrics to evaluate how effectively the company has executed on its ESG policies. Reporting throughout the company is critical.  Create a cross-discipline committee to evaluate ESG initiatives. Ensure that the committee has a compliance member and a member of leadership.   The board should receive training on frameworks for your ESG plan and related disclosure obligations. Establish regular board review and oversight of the planning process, the plan itself, and progress against the plan. Work with the cross-discipline committee and keep the line of communication open. The tone at the top matters, so be sure to get sufficient buy-in from leadership.

 

- James M. Campbell
Bitcoin, Crypto-Assets, and the Energy Sector

Crypto-assets such as Bitcoin are often criticized for consuming more energy than entire countries as a result of energy-intensive “mining” activities.  However, other crypto-assets such as Ethereum consume significantly less energy and many crypto-asset mining operations use renewable energy or energy that would otherwise be wasted, such as flare gas from oil drilling. 

As crypto-assets become more widely adopted, government officials seek guidance to help inform policy decisions and ensure the responsible development of crypto-assets and their underlying blockchain technologies.  This article provides a brief overview of the factors that drive crypto-asset energy consumption and examines a report from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy evaluating the climate and energy implications of crypto-assets.

What Drives the Energy Consumption of Crypto-Assets?

The energy consumption of crypto-assets is primarily a result of the underlying blockchain technology and the process by which new blocks are added to the blockchain.  A blockchain is a digital distributed ledger that enables parties who may not otherwise trust one another to agree on the current ownership and distribution of assets.  One party or “node” in the distributed network proposes a block – a set of crypto-asset transactions and/or other data – to add to the blockchain and the other nodes verify the validity of the block.  After the nodes reach consensus, the new block is added to the blockchain.

Some crypto-assets, such as Bitcoin, use a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to determine which node is authorized to add the next block to the blockchain.  This process is referred to as “mining” and includes presenting the nodes with a difficult computational problem.  The first node to solve the problem proposes the solution to the other nodes, which then verify that the solution is valid.  Once verified, the new block is added to the blockchain and the first node to find the solution is rewarded, typically with units of the corresponding crypto-asset.  Crypto-assets that use a PoW algorithm require substantial energy to both (1) operate the computing devices attempting to solve the computational problem and (2) provide cooling to compensate for heat generated by the computing devices during operation.

Other crypto-assets use less energy-intensive consensus mechanisms, such as proof-of-stake (PoS), to determine which node is authorized to add the next block to the blockchain.  In a PoS system, instead of requiring the nodes to solve a difficult computational problems, a node is selected randomly based on the amount of the crypto-asset “staked” with the node.  The largest crypto-asset by market capitalization to use a PoS consensus mechanism is the Ethereum blockchain.  Ethereum transitioned from PoW to PoS in a network upgrade known as “the Merge” in September 2022, which reduced the energy consumption of Ethereum by an estimated 99.95%.

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Report

In September 2022, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy published a report examining the climate and energy implications of crypto-assets.  The report is responsive to President Biden’s Executive Order 14067 issued in March 2022 on ensuring responsible development of digital assets and answers the four main questions asked in the Executive Order:

How do digital assets affect energy usage, including grid management and reliability, energy efficiency incentives and standards, and sources of energy supply? What is the scale of climate, energy, and environmental impacts of digital assets relative to other energy uses, and what innovations and policies are needed in the underlying data to enable robust comparisons? What are the potential uses of blockchain technology that could support climate monitoring or mitigating technologies? What key policy decisions, critical innovations, research and development, and assessment tools are needed to minimize or mitigate the climate, energy, and environmental implications of digital assets? Key Findings from the Report Crypto-Assets Use a Significant Amount of Energy, but Also Benefit the Electric Grid

The report estimates that global annual electricity usage for crypto-assets is between 120 and 240 billion kilowatt-hours as of August 2022, which is at least double the estimate from 2018.  This is equivalent to 0.4% to 0.9% of annual global electricity usage, and more than the annual electricity usage of many individual countries such as Argentina or Australia.  The United States is estimated to host about a third of global crypto-asset operations, which currently consume about 0.9% to 1.7% of total U.S. electricity usage. 

The report expresses a concern that electricity usage from crypto-asset mining can adversely impact the electric grid.  However, the report also highlights the benefits that crypto-asset mining operations provide to the electric grid, such as the ability to use mining operations as a grid resource.  Crypto-asset mining facilities can rapidly modulate their operations to participate in demand response programs and instantly curtail their electric consumption during high demand periods to help stabilize the grid.  For example, in July 2022, high temperatures and high projected electricity demand caused the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to declare a grid emergency event, and Bitcoin miners using 1 GW of power reportedly responded to ERCOT’s demand response request by reducing mining power usage.

The report acknowledges that nearly all crypto-asset electricity usage is driven by consensus mechanisms, citing PoW as the most energy-consuming.  As of August 2022, Bitcoin was estimated to account for 60% to 77% of total global crypto-asset electricity usage, and Ethereum was estimated to account for 20% to 39% when both crypto-assets used the PoW consensus mechanism.  However, these numbers do not reflect the September 2022 Merge event for the Ethereum blockchain, which dropped Ethereum’s energy consumption by an estimated 99.95%.

Some Crypto-Assets Have Other Environmental Impacts Related to Energy Use

According to the report, global electricity generation for the crypto-assets with the largest market capitalizations resulted in a combined 140 ± 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year (Mt CO2/y), or about 0.3% of global annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Crypto-asset activity in the United States is estimated to result in approximately 25 to 50 Mt CO2/y, which is 0.4% to 0.8% of total U.S. GHG emissions.  The report finds that GHG emissions from electricity usage vary by region because some regions rely more on carbon-intensive fossil fuels, whereas other regions use more nuclear and renewable energy sources.

Apart from electricity consumption and GHG emissions, the report notes that crypto-asset mining operations also cause local noise and water impacts, electronic waste, air and other pollution from any direct usage of fossil-fired electricity, and additional air, water, and waste impacts associated with all grid electricity usage. The report recommends action by the federal government to encourage and ensure responsible development and adoption of crypto-assets. 

Blockchain as Enabling Technology for Environmental Markets and Distributed Energy Resources

Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) may have a role to play in enhancing market infrastructure for a range of markets, including environmental markets.  However, the rationale for replacing existing market infrastructure technologies with DLT will depend on the context in specific markets, including switching costs. The report cautions that, in environmental markets specifically, those who propose to adopt DLT should ensure that the environmental benefits are clear, relative to the environmental footprint of existing market infrastructure technologies. The report also recommends that DLT adopters ensure the environmental footprint of the DLT does not negate the benefit of the associated environmental market products.

Emerging use cases of DLT include energy management for distributed energy resources (DERs) such as electric vehicles, fuel cells, residential and commercial battery systems, and solar power systems.  DLT could potentially serve as the digital ledger for the registration, authentication, and participation of these DERs in a smart grid, enabling flexible grid operations as more variable renewables are adopted.  Additionally, DLT could enable verification by allowing grid-operators and aggregators to audit, in real-time, the services provided by every DER within the pool through analysis of the tamper-resistant distributed ledger.

Recommendations from the Report

To ensure the responsible development of digital assets, the report recommends that policy-makers consider the following factors when developing legislation and policy decisions for crypto-assets:

1. Minimize GHG Emissions, Environmental Justice Impacts, and Other Local Impacts from Crypto-Assets

The report suggests that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE), and other federal agencies collaborate to develop “effective evidence-based environmental performance standards for the responsible design, development, and use of environmentally responsible crypto-asset technologies.”  The report proposes setting standards for energy intensities, water usage, noise generation, clean energy usage by operators, and standards that strengthen over time for additional carbon-free generation to match or exceed the additional electricity load of these facilities.  Should these measures prove ineffective, the report recommends exploring executive actions and legislation to limit or eliminate the use of high energy intensity consensus mechanisms for crypto-asset mining.

2. Ensure Energy Reliability

The report recommends that the DOE coordinate with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation and its regional entities to conduct reliability assessments of current and projected crypto-asset mining operations on electricity system reliability and adequacy.  If these reliability assessments find current or anticipated risks to the power system as a result crypto-asset mining, the report suggests developing, updating, and enforcing reliability standards and emergency operations procedures to ensure system reliability and adequacy under the growth of crypto-asset mining.

3. Obtain Data to Understand, Monitor, and Mitigate Impacts

The report recommends that the Energy Information Administration and other federal agencies collect and analyze information from crypto-asset miners and electric utilities in a privacy-preserving manner to enable evidence-based decisions on the energy and climate implications of crypto-assets. The collected data could include mining energy usage, power purchase agreements, environmental justice implications, and demand response participation. The report also suggests establishing a National Science and Technology Council subcommittee to coordinate with other relevant agencies to assess the energy use of major crypto-assets.

4. Advance Energy Efficiency Standards

The report recommends that the current administration work with Congress to enable the DOE and encourage other federal regulators to promulgate and update energy conservation standards for crypto-asset mining and related operations.

5. Encourage Transparency and Improvements in Environmental Performance

The report recommends that the National Science Foundation, DOE, EPA and other relevant agencies promote and support research and development priorities that improve the environmental sustainability of digital assets.  Such research could include crypto-asset impact modeling, assessment of environmental justice impacts, and understanding beneficial uses for grid management and environmental mitigation. 

- Adam Schurle, David B. Weisblat and Tori Roessler
Prevailing Wage and Apprenticeship Guidance for ITC and PTC

On November 30, 2022, the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service published Notice 2022-61 (the “Guidance”) describing how to satisfy certain prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements (the “PWA Requirements”) for purposes of obtaining the full credit amounts for the Section 45 production tax credit (“PTC”) or the Section 48 investment tax credit (“ITC”).  The Guidance also applies to several other tax credits that incorporate prevailing wage requirements, apprenticeship requirements, or both, including Section 45Y clean energy production tax credits, Section 48E clean electricity investment tax credits, Section 45Q carbon sequestration tax credits, Section 45V hydrogen production credits, and Section 30C electric vehicle charging infrastructure tax credits. 

As detailed in our prior post covering the key provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “Act”), to be eligible for the full ITC or PTC amounts, the taxpayer generally is required to either (A) satisfy the PWA Requirements, or (B) “begin construction” of the project on or before the date that is 59 days after guidance is issued with respect to the PWA Requirements (January 28, 2023).  Exceptions apply for certain projects with a maximum net electrical or thermal energy output of less than 1 MW (AC).

PWA Requirements

To satisfy the prevailing wage requirements, all laborers and mechanics employed by the taxpayer, any contractor, and any subcontractor, must be paid wages at rates not less than the prevailing rates for construction, alteration, or repair of a similar character in the locality in which the project is located as most recently determined by the Secretary of Labor, both (i) during the construction of the project, and (ii) in the alteration and repair of the project for five years (in the case of the ITC) or ten years (in the case of the PTC) after the project has been placed in service (the “Required PW Period”).   

With respect to the prevailing wage requirements, the Guidance requires taxpayers to access www.sam.gov to determine the specific prevailing wage rates required to be paid based on the relevant geographic area for a project, the type of construction, and labor classifications for laborers and mechanics performing the work.  In many cases, no such information has been published.  If the Secretary of Labor has not published a relevant prevailing wage determination, the Guidance instructs taxpayers to contact the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division via email at IRAprevailingwage@dol.gov with the type of project, project location, proposed labor classifications, proposed prevailing wage rates, job descriptions and duties, and any rationale for any proposed classification.  The Guidance clarifies that the prevailing wage requirements apply to any individual performing services for the taxpayer, contractor, or subcontractor in exchange for remuneration, meaning that prevailing wages must be paid to all individual laborers and mechanics performing construction, repair, or alteration work, whether they are classified as employees or independent contractors. 

Finally, the Guidance also sets forth certain recordkeeping requirements, which generally require the taxpayer to maintain and preserve sufficient records to establish that laborers and mechanics were paid prevailing wages during construction of the project and the Required PW Period.  These records include, but are not limited to, identifying the relevant wage determinations, the mechanics and laborers who performed the work, the classifications of work they performed, the hours worked in each classification and the wage rates paid for the work.  Taxpayers must keep in mind these recordkeeping requirements when negotiating EPC agreements, build-transfer agreements, O&M agreements, and other project contracts.

To satisfy the apprenticeship requirements for purposes of the full ITC and PTC, the following percentage of total labor hours for construction, alteration or repair work on the qualified project must be performed by qualified apprentices:


Construction Begins

During 2023

Beginning 1/1/2024

Required Percentage

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 project.  The Guidance imposes recordkeeping requirements with respect to the apprentices that are similar to those described above for prevailing wages.

The Guidance does not change the good faith exception for requesting qualified apprentices, or the remedial provisions included in the Act in the event that the PWA Requirements are not satisfied.

Beginning of Construction Deadline

The Guidance also triggers the 59-day window during which construction must begin on ITC, PTC, and certain other credit-eligible projects to be eligible for the full credit amounts without needing to satisfy the PWA Requirements.  As such, to qualify for the 30% ITC or the full PTC without satisfying the PWA Requirements, construction must begin on or before January 28, 2023 (note that the Guidance states that construction must begin on or before January 29, 2023, but this appears to be one day off).

With respect to beginning of construction guidelines, the Guidance remains loyal to long-standing ITC and PTC guidance for determining when construction begins.  To avoid application of the PWA Requirements, taxpayers are entitled to rely on the physical work test and 5% safe harbor described in Notices 2013-29 (with respect to the PTC and ITC in lieu of the PTC) and 2018-59 (with respect to the ITC), and subsequent notices, for establishing when construction of a project begins.  

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

- David Berezowsky
Mexico Announced Aggressive Renewable Energy Targets during COP27

In the middle of the consultations with the Mexican government regarding Mexico’s energy policy under the USMCA and the legal fight the private sector is facing against the legislative and administrative measures the Mexican government has implemented in Andres Manuel López Obrador administration, the Mexican government announced aggressive renewable energy targets to fight climate change during the United Nations climate change conference, known as COP27, in Egypt.

The Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry, in a joint news conference at COP27, announced that Mexico intends to deploy more than 20 additional gigawatts of renewable power generation capacity (wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower) by 2030, in order to reach more than 40 gigawatts of renewable generation capacity.

Mexico and the National Oil Company, Pemex, will eliminate routine flaring and venting on its oil and gas operations, and an investment plan of close to $2 billion USD to achieve 50% sale share of zero-emission vehicles in 2030.

The target is to reduce emissions by 35% from business-as-usual levels by 2030. Mexico is lifting Mexico’s previous target of 22%. Mexico is the second largest greenhouse gas emitter in Latin America.

Although the announcement made by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign affairs constitutes a formal commitment by the Mexican government, it seems to be difficult that such commitment will be achieved. This because the federal budget for the fiscal year 2023, recently approved by the Mexican Congress, does not contain the necessary funds to support this commitment. More importantly, the Mexican energy regulator, the Energy Regulatory Commission, continues with its mission to block the private investment in the sector by not granting power generation permits for renewable energy sources or facilitating the modifications to the ones already granted.

The Mexican government will be required to drastically change its energy policy in order to achieve the commitments made in the COP27 conference.

- Jeffery R. Atkin, Adam Schurle and John R. West
Made in the USA - IRA Tax Credits for Renewable Energy Component Manufacturers

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) this past August saw the introduction of a number of new and expanded tax credits aimed at onshoring American manufacturing. These changes in the tax code represent opportunities for manufacturing within critical industries, in particular those industries that are key players in the administration’s goal to address climate change. The incentives range from tax credits directly to manufacturers of certain equipment to incentives for taxpayers to purchase equipment from American manufacturers.

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service are currently working to implement the changes to the tax code, as many of them will go into effect on January 1, 2023. Treasury and the White House have stated that they will work with industry to ensure that the regulations have a broad consensus and can benefit both large and small manufacturers.

We expect the tax incentives described below will stimulate growth in domestic manufacturing of renewable energy components and facilitate financings and joint ventures that utilize such tax incentives.

Section 45X Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit

A new production tax credit that was introduced with the IRA, the Section 45X Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit, is a credit for manufacturers of eligible components produced by a taxpayer within the United States and sold to an unrelated party. Eligible components include components within wind, solar, and battery projects, such as PV cells, PV wafers, solar modules, blades, nacelles, inverters, and battery cells and modules, among many others.  Credit rates vary depending on the component, with some rates depending on the cost of production and others based on certain capacity factors. 

The tax credits are available to the taxpayer who manufacturers the equipment in the United States or a possession of the United States.  Credits are available on an annual basis for eligible components sold beginning in 2023, going through 2032 (with a phaseout beginning in 2030).

Section 48C Advanced Energy Project Investment Tax Credit

The IRA expanded a tax credit that provides incentives for solar manufacturers, among other clean energy producers, for purchasing and commissioning property to build a manufacturing facility before January 1, 2025. The credit was expanded under the IRA and includes additional types of qualified investments for up to $10 billion in credits. Section 48C offers a tax credit up to 30% on investments into production facilities. Qualified facilities may elect to claim the Section 48C investment tax credit in lieu of the Section 45X production tax credit.

Credit Adders for Domestic Content

The investment tax credit under Section 48 of the Code and the production tax credit under Section 45 of the Code provide taxpayers with credits for certain renewable energy facilities and the production of electricity from such facilities.  The IRA includes adders for both of these credits 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.  These domestic content adders will provide incentive for renewable energy project developers to buy equipment manufactured in the United States.

See our prior summary of the domestic content adder and IRA changes for the Section 48 and Section 45 credits here

Direct Pay and Transfer of Credit

For taxpayers that don’t have the tax appetite to claim the credits on their returns directly, the IRA enacted two new provisions that may help taxpayers take advantage of these credits. In the case of the Section 45X production tax credit, manufacturers can receive a direct cash payment from Treasury for 45X production tax credits for the first five years for which the manufacturer would otherwise have been eligible for the credit. This five-year limitation does not apply if the manufacturer is a tax-exempt organization. For the Section 48C investment tax credit, manufacturers can receive a direct cash payment only if they are tax-exempt organization.

For the Section 45X production tax credit and the Section 48C investment tax credit, manufacturers can also elect to transfer in exchange for cash all or a portion of credits for a given year to an unrelated eligible taxpayer. Cash payments would not be included in the transferor’s taxable income.

Implementation

These provisions are currently undergoing the rule-making process within the Department of Treasury. On September 12, 2022, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) designating the White House Office on Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation to implement the energy and infrastructure provisions of the IRA. The EO also established a National Climate Task Force, which will play a key role the in law’s implementation. The Treasury Department released six notices with respect to various IRA provisions, including manufacturing credits, domestic content adders, direct pay, and transferability, on which Treasury is requesting comments on technical language and interpretation of the new law. The Treasury Department has indicated that it expects to provide rules with respect to some of these issues by the end of this year.

- Marshall J. Brown
The USPTO Joins WIPO GREEN

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has recently joined the WIPO GREEN technology exchange platform of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

WIPO GREEN was established in 2013 with an online technology exchange platform that connects entities with needs for solving climate change problems with sustainable solutions.  The WIPO GREEN database includes thousands of technology resources in a wide range of green technology and climate change categories.  In the energy space, WIPO GREEN provides resource and needs information from around the world in areas such as wind and solar technology, energy storage, and energy transmission and distribution.   Technology information includes patents from around the world, university research technologies in conjunction with the Association of University Technology Managers, and technology information uploaded by individual, corporate, and organizational users.  Users are also able to post needs in particular technology areas.  For both those with technology resources and technology needs, parties are able to directly connect to engage in commercialization and licensing opportunities.  Members of WIPO Green include intellectual property offices, research entities, nongovernmental organizations, and major corporations from around the world. 

WIPO GREEN also works with intellectual property offices on various joint initiatives, increasing collaboration between offices and supporting the WIPO GREEN network.  Joint initiatives have included matchmaking activities, acceleration projects in priority fields of technology, and the presentation of events showcasing the contribution of intellectual property management to new technology solutions.

On July 21st, the USPTO officially became a technology partner to the WIPO Green platform, the eleventh Intellectual Property Office to do so.  In addition to potentially participating in current and future initiatives of WIPO GREEN and its technology partners, the USPTO will be making its own contributions to WIPO GREEN through its own initiatives.  The first two such initiatives announced by the USPTO are:

The USPTO Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program.  For patent applications with technologies relating to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, applicants can request that examination be accelerated, providing the opportunity for a faster patent grant.  The Patents for Humanity: Clean Energy Technologies awards competition.  This competition recognize innovators who use new technologies to meet global challenges relating to clean energy.   More information regarding this competition is expected to be announced in the coming months.

Additional information on the Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program can be found here.

- Amy Beard and Craig P. Chick
Foley’s Texas Government Solutions Team – Helping Drive Hydrogen Expansion

Recently, McKinsey published a study for the Center for Houston’s Future predicting that hydrogen could add an estimated $100 billion to Texas’ GDP, which is equivalent to 6% of Texas’ 2019 GDP. Texas is already the largest producer of hydrogen in the United States—producing more hydrogen than all other 49 states combined for use in the refinery and chemical industry. The potential for development of hydrogen is focused on these primary areas -- energy storage, export fuels, industrial applications, heavy weight truck transportation and power generation.

Foley & Lardner’s Texas Government Solutions practice group has been working with an advocacy group of hydrogen related companies called the Texas Hydrogen Alliance (THA).  THA members comprise a widely diverse group of companies in the hydrogen economy from production, manufacturers of electrolyzers, transportation, energy institutes and large scale industrial facilities.

In January of 2023, the alliance will be heavily engaged in the development of policies to be considered during the 88th Texas Legislature. The Texas Legislature will convene for a 140-day regular session. We anticipate the Legislature will consider a number of hydrogen related proposals. These proposals will help kickstart the diversified use of hydrogen.

THA is also engaged in Texas’ application for a federal hydrogen hub grant.  Earlier this month, the Department of Energy noticed a funding opportunity of $7 billion authorized under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program to establish six to ten regional clean hydrogen hubs across America. These hydrogen hubs will create networks of hydrogen producers, consumers, and local connective infrastructure to accelerate the use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier that can deliver or store tremendous amounts of energy.

- 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.

- craigshields
Welcome to 2GreenEnergy.  We’re Glad You’re Here. 
To those who have been with us since our inception in 2009, as well as to those who are just joining us now for the first time, here’s a brief summary of what we at 2GreenEnergy are all about.  We …

Welcome to 2GreenEnergy.  We’re Glad You’re Here.  Read More »

- craigshields
A Time Machine Could Tell Us What We Already Know
Barring a miracle, the average temperature of the Earth is going to rise somewhere between 2°and 5° C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the 21st Century.  The planet will be ravaged by storms, wildfires, droughts, and the loss …

A Time Machine Could Tell Us What We Already Know Read More »

- craigshields
Trump Tried to Overthrow the U.S. Government, But There’s Nothing to See Here, Folks
As political commentator Bill Kristol says, the mainstream media’s coverage of Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign ignores the fact that he clearly committed a wide array of crimes, among which is seditious conspiracy.
- craigshields
Our Grand Indifference
What New York Times columnist Charles Blow writes here is completely true, and more than a little relevant to today’s America.  In general, we’re indifferent to the suffering of others who share our planet with us today, and we’re even …

Our Grand Indifference Read More »

- craigshields
Christianity in Decline
Here’s an interesting article on the decline of Christianity in the United States, in which the author speculates on the reasons for the erosion: the Cold War, 9/11, and the Internet. I would suggest that Americans’ spiking interest in politics …

Christianity in Decline Read More »

- craigshields
Locked and Loaded
At left is a post that’s going around Trump’s social media platform “Truth Social.” A few points: Promoting violence in all cases is a criminal act, though it somehow seems even worse in that it’s in response to a string …

Locked and Loaded Read More »

- craigshields
We’re Laughing, Not Crying
I don’t think educated people are offended by shirts like this as much as they are amused. There will always be morons among us, and there’s really nothing that can be done about that.
- craigshields
The End of Trump
As I’m sure readers are aware, some of these posts are inspired purely by images that are distributed on social media.  I really love the one to the left. Trump is finished, because too many Republicans have grown tired of …

The End of Trump Read More »

- craigshields
Banning Books
Re: the meme here, let’s be honest.  Until a few years ago, the idea of removing controversial books from school libraries never occurred to anyone.  We didn’t need book police to determine what was right or wrong for our children, …

Banning Books Read More »

- craigshields
McDonald’s “Can” Pay Its American Employees More, But …
Yes, McDonald’s can pay its employees in the states more, but it doesn’t have to, so it won’t. Like every other law in the United States, the legislation that governs labor is made by people who receive enormous campaign donations …

McDonald’s “Can” Pay Its American Employees More, But … Read More »

- craigshields
America’s Deep Rut of Violence
Our culture is deeply rooted in guns and violence.  And, as a nation taken as a whole, we seem to have very little capacity to pull ourselves out. Tomorrow, next year, and a decade from now, it appears that we’ll …

America’s Deep Rut of Violence Read More »

- Tiranth
  Demand for reliable price data expected to hit new high in 2023 as renewables investors and lenders seek more certainty on investment and PPA decisions  Joint product combines futures and fundamentals to provide a consistent valuation framework for the full lifetime of renewable energy projects   Pexapark and AFRY have formally launched the ‘Daily […]
- Sumon Vangchuay
New ‘Daily Valuation Curve’ combines Pexapark’s short-term pricing approach with AFRY’s 40-year fundamental curve The new product will provide a consistent investment valuation framework for short- to long-term renewable energy investments  Stockholm / Zurich, 14 November 2022 – AFRY and Pexapark have entered a partnership to develop the market’s first ‘Daily Valuation Curve’, providing renewables […]
- Maritina Kanellakopoulou
Corporate Power Purchase Agreement: How is it priced?
You know you want a Corporate PPA and all the perks that come with it. You issue a tender and receive plenty of bids. Do you know how to read the numbers? We created a guide to explain the main drivers behind Corporate PPA pricing in simple terms. What is a Corporate PPA? A Corporate […]
- Florent Petitfrere
Nobel-prize economist Harry Markowitz argued that diversification is the only free lunch in investing, which was our inspiration behind the title of this report. But what did he mean by this? It’s a reference to a good diversification strategy’s primary benefit: the ability to increase your renewable investment revenues without increasing your risks! A well […]
- Maritina Kanellakopoulou
The client Encavis AG is a pan-European Independent Power Producer (IPP) and asset manager. Based in Hamburg, the SDAX-listed solar and wind operator’s own portfolio currently comprises more than 210 renewable energy plants with a total capacity of 1.97 GW. Most of Encavis’ portfolio generates stable yields through Feed-in-Tariffs (FiTs) and Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). But […]
- Maritina Kanellakopoulou
Many renewable energy players are new to the concept of an ETRM. In this article we will provide a few quick answers to the most frequently asked questions around the topic, some of which may surprise you! What is ETRM? Energy trading risk management (ETRM) is an enterprise software solution that enables the management of […]
- Maritina Kanellakopoulou
Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) – An overview
LCOE is a key consideration in the grid parity era of renewable energy. In essence, LCOE was built as a countdown metric to when renewables would be able to compete on their own strengths in the merchant markets. And this time has come! Let’s do some housekeeping on what the metric means for the PPA […]
- Sumon Vangchuay
PEXAPARK SECURES FURTHER €8 MILLION IN SERIES B FUNDING · Latest injection of funding builds on backing from BayWa r.e. Energy Ventures, Encavis, and RP Global – underlining Pexapark’s bright future · New strategic investors S&P Global Commodity Insights and Fluence provide routes to accelerated growth for Pexapark in energy storage and global markets Zurich, […]
- Sumon Vangchuay
Co-branded indices to further price transparency and risk assessment in the renewable energy markets NEW YORK, 30 June 2022 – S&P Global Commodity Insights, the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets, and Pexapark, the leading provider of reference pricing, enterpr is e software and execution services for […]
- Florent Petitfrere
CEE GROUP UPGRADES RENEWABLE ENERGY TRADING CAPABILITIES TO DRIVE POST-SUBSIDY MARKET GROWTH Hamburg-based asset manager invests in its PPA and trading expertise to deliver strong returns for investors and continued portfolio growth in receding government support structures Zurich/Hamburg, May 31st, 2022 – Hamburg-based CEE Group, an asset management company for renewable energies, has invested in […]
- 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.

- Dory Larsen
Electric Transportation Toolkit Update Includes New Federal Funding

Each year the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s Electric Transportation Toolkit is updated to ensure its content is current and meaningful. The 2023 update further simplifies the process for decision-makers to identify…

The post Electric Transportation Toolkit Update Includes New Federal Funding appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Forest Bradley-Wright
A New Chance to Go Big with Energy Efficiency in Tennessee

Energy Waste Drives Up Electricity Bills in Tennessee The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) once promised to be a leader in energy efficiency, but in practice, the utility’s efficiency investments have never lived…

The post A New Chance to Go Big with Energy Efficiency in Tennessee appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Maggie Shober
TVA CEO Releases Record of Decision on New Gas Plant

On Friday, January 20, 2023, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s CEO, Jeff Lyash published a Record of Decision in the Federal Register: it plans to replace the retiring Cumberland coal plant with a…

The post TVA CEO Releases Record of Decision on New Gas Plant appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Patrick King

This op-ed, written by SACE Electric Transportation Equity Manager Patrick King, originally appeared in the Georgia Recorder on December 22, 2022. It is reprinted here with permission. In recent months, Georgia has…

The post Florida is scoring BIG in electric transportation wins, will Georgia play smart to catch up? appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Maggie Shober
On the Eve of 2023, North Carolina Utilities Commission Releases Carbon Plan

For the past fourteen months, as directed under North Carolina HB 951, the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) has been evaluating options to meet carbon reductions of 70% from 2005 levels by…

The post On the Eve of 2023, North Carolina Utilities Commission Releases Carbon Plan appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Stan Cross
Southeast State and Local Govt’s Stepped Up Their Electric Transportation Game in 2022

If 2022 goes down as the year the nation and the Southeast reached the electric vehicle tipping point, federal, state, and local government actions may prove to be critical catalysts. There has…

The post Southeast State and Local Govt’s Stepped Up Their Electric Transportation Game in 2022 appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Bryan Jacob
Georgia PSC Grinches Deny Tricycles

My wife and I have 3 kids, all in their 20s now; they each drive cars. But when they were young, they rode tricycles; then bicycles with training wheels, then without. We…

The post Georgia PSC Grinches Deny Tricycles appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Maggie Shober

On December 21, by a voice vote, the U.S. Senate approved President Biden’s six nominees to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Board of Directors. Those nominees are: Beth Pritchard Geer Robert (Bobby)…

The post Senate Approves TVA Board Nominees appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Maggie Shober
TVA Nears Decision to Build New Gas Plant and Pipeline in Middle Tennessee

Update: On January 6, 2023, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) made a final decision to retire the Cumberland Fossil Plant northwest of Nashville and replace it with a new 1,450-megawatt fossil gas…

The post TVA Nears Decision to Build New Gas Plant and Pipeline in Middle Tennessee appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

- Stan Cross
Believe the Hype: The Electric Vehicle Tipping Point is Now

Industry analysts have speculated about the imminent rise of electric vehicles for the past decade. Meanwhile, automakers slow-walked the technology and consumers kept buying their gas cars, trucks, and SUVs. So if…

The post Believe the Hype: The Electric Vehicle Tipping Point is Now appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

Moving Past Politics to Effectively Communicate on Climate Change
Moving Past Politics to Effectively Communicate on Climate Change

Climate change, if you haven’t heard, is real1.

As advertisers and brands, it falls on us to do what we can to tell the story of a realistic, more sustainable future. We have a duty to do so responsibly and in a way that not only resonates, but drives people to actually change. And yet, one major hurdle still stands in the way: the continued political polarization of the topic. 

Responsible advertising related to climate change must break through this polarization to reach a wide audience, make sustainability a priority for brands, and continue to shift public opinion.

A Social Media Guide to Reaching Consumers in 2023
A Social Media Guide to Reaching Consumers in 2023

If one thing is sure about the way people consume content in the digital space, it’s change. BeReal, TikTok, the Metaverse, the Elon-rollercoaster that is now Twitter: New social platforms and new ways to engage and consume content are on the rise.

- Shaina Kaye
2022: A Year in Review
2022: A Year in Review

As 2022 winds down, we’re joining countless others in a moment (or two) of reflection over a year fueled by forward thinking, positive momentum, and growth. 

How We Took A Carbon Footprint Message to the Finish Line
How We Took A Carbon Footprint Message to the Finish Line

The best way to understand someone’s problems, as the old adage goes, is to walk a mile in their shoes.

How Regenerative Marketing Can Affect Consumer Culture and Behavior
How Regenerative Marketing Can Affect Consumer Culture and Behavior

In 2021, $284 billion was spent on advertising in the United States. That’s a staggering number, representing a lot of power.

How KSV Turned Uncertainty Into a Funny, and Effective, Message
How KSV Turned Uncertainty Into a Funny, and Effective, Message

“What if we do nothing instead?” 

So asks the uncertain doppelganger of our decision-making hero in KSV’s latest “Uncertainty” energy-efficiency campaign. But our hero is undeterred: She won’t let this uncertain version of herself stop her. No, upgrading to energy-efficient equipment with expertise and funding incentives is too good of an idea.

Messaging for Change in the Age of the Apocalypse
Messaging for Change in the Age of the Apocalypse

“Ours is a banal sort of apocalypse,” Amanda Hess wrote recently in her New York Times essay “Apocalypse When? Global Warming’s Endless Scroll.”

“From Don’t Look Up to Greta Thunberg videos to doomsaying memes, we are awash in warnings that we are almost out of time. But the climate crisis is outpacing our emotional capacity to describe it.”

Big Problem, Bigger Solutions: How We Made An Elephant the Face of PECO’s Latest Energy Efficiency Campaign
Big Problem, Bigger Solutions: How We Made An Elephant the Face of PECO’s Latest Energy Efficiency Campaign

The brilliant idea was, as they so often are, initially laughed off.

- 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!

- Amanda Winstead

The post How Climate Change Is Shaping the Modern Home appeared first on Earthava.

Climate change is inevitable. Patterns of human activity and other natural forces continue to alter the temperature and weather that our planet experiences.  In time, resources that we currently take for granted will be less accessible. The ramifications remain to be seen, but we can expect a lot more global conflict and diplomacy surrounding the […]

The post How Climate Change Is Shaping the Modern Home appeared first on Earthava.

- Amanda Winstead

The post 3 Ways To Encourage Sustainability Practices in Your Community appeared first on Earthava.

Sustainability is a topic we can’t get away from. And we shouldn’t want to. Doing everything in our power to promote and sustain the planet’s health should be on all our to-do lists.  Things are improving in this regard, with 51% of respondents in an IBM survey agreeing that environmental sustainability is more important to […]

The post 3 Ways To Encourage Sustainability Practices in Your Community appeared first on Earthava.

- Amanda Winstead

The post Why a Community of Care Is Essential to Fight Climate Change appeared first on Earthava.

While climate change affects the whole globe, underserved communities are more likely to be adversely impacted. And while climate change as a whole requires systematic changes from governments and corporations around the world, underserved communities can organize themselves to cope with the current issues they face.  Local grassroots movements can also strengthen the bonds of […]

The post Why a Community of Care Is Essential to Fight Climate Change appeared first on Earthava.

- Abhay Gupta

The post 9 Eco-Friendly Products to Make Your Life Simpler appeared first on Earthava.

Going green and going eco-friendly has become a trend, and people are becoming conscious of the effects of their acts on the environment.  Our single-use plastic usage has gotten out of hand. So large amounts of trash on land, in our waterways, and in our oceans are causing so much damage to this earth. Understanding […]

The post 9 Eco-Friendly Products to Make Your Life Simpler appeared first on Earthava.

- Adrian Johansen

The post 3 Sustainable Ways For Winterizing Your Home (Without Sacrificing Convenience) appeared first on Earthava.

As winter approaches, it is time to prepare for colder temps and the chance of snow. In addition to preparing yourself, you also need to make adjustments around the home so you can ensure that you stay warm and comfy until spring arrives again. The good news is that with proper planning, you can get […]

The post 3 Sustainable Ways For Winterizing Your Home (Without Sacrificing Convenience) appeared first on Earthava.

- <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