Stephen C. Hall

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Stephen Hall is a partner in the Portland office of Stoel Rives LLP, and is the chair of the Firm's Renewable Energy Initiative.

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White House Executive Order calls for 40 GW of new CHP capacity by 2020

Last week the White House issued an Executive Order calling for 40 GW of new CHP capacity by 2020:

The Executive Order on Accelerating Investment in Industrial Energy Efficiency (also known as combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration) calls for federal agencies (including the Departments of Energy, Commerce and Agriculture), States, industrial companies and utilities to coordinate policies to encourage investment in CHP facilities with a goal of achieving 40,000 MW of new CHP generating capacity in the U.S. by 2020. Among other provisions, the Order calls for (i) set asides for CHP under emissions allowance trading program state implementation plans, grants, and loans and (ii) recognition of the emissions benefits of highly efficient energy generation technologies like CHP to provide compliance options under power and industrial sector regulations. By one estimate, this could create $40 billion to $80 billion in new capital investment in U.S. manufacturing facilities.

*Combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is an efficient, clean and reliable means of generating power and thermal energy (such as steam) from a single fuel source, including natural gas, coal, biogas and biomass.

RNP and AWEA respond to WSJ editorial about wind energy

The Wind and Solar Power Industries Now Employ Twice the Number of Workers in the U.S. as the Coal Mining Industry

In the midst of an unprecedented amount of bad news surrounding the economy, the robust growth in employment in the wind and solar energy sectors has been receiving a lot of attention. Wind industry jobs have increased 70% over the past year, totaling 85,000 in 2008. These 85,000 jobs in the wind industry include some 13,000 manufacturing jobs, many of which are being filled by workers who lost jobs in other manufacturing industries, like the steel industry. Similarly, the solar industry employs more than 80,000 workers in the U.S. ran an article earlier this week noting that the wind industry now outstrips the coal mining industry in number of workers.  The article, “Wind Jobs Outstrips Coal,” noted that the coal mining and extraction industry employs about 81,000 workers. According to a 2007 U.S. Department of Energy report cited in the article, these numbers have been steady in recent years, but are down nearly 50% since 1986. Estimates for the total direct employment in the U.S. coal industry range from 136,000 to 174,000 workers, and includes those who mine coal, haul it by rail, barge and truck, and who operate and maintain coal-fired power plants. Thus, the solar and wind energy sectors have quickly caught up the coal industry in terms of overall employment and will soon surpass the coal industry in total employment.

These facts demonstrate the potential of renewable energy to lead the country’s economic recovery when you consider that renewable energy currently supplies a tiny portion of the nation’s electricity supply—about 3 percent—compared to coal, which supplies about 50 percent of our electricity.

California PUC Moves to Allow Unbundled RECs


The California Public Utility Commission issued a draft decision on October 29th authorizing the use of unbundled and tradable renewable energy certificates (“RECs” or “TRECs”) for compliance with California’s RPS. 

Continue Reading...

Portland General Electric's RFP Garners offers of 3,000 MW

The Portland Business Journal is reporting that Portland General Electric Company received 38 offers in its April 2008 RFP totaling up to 3000 MW in renewable energy.  PGE's RFP called for 218 MWs of energy to begin generating electricity between 2009 and 2014.  Based on this response from bidders, PGE stated that it expects to meet its 2015 deadline of 15 percent renewable energy early.  Oregon's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requires utilities subject to the RPS to achieve 25 percent renewables by 2025. 

Oregon Public Utility Commission Gives Green Light to Third-party Ownership Model for Distributed Generation

Now for some good news. Today the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) issued an important decision giving a green light to companies seeking to own and operate solar and wind-powered distributed generation facilities. Third-party ownership of renewable distributed generation—especially solar—has really taken off in the past few years because it allows a utility customer to enjoy the benefits of on-site renewable energy, but pay the facility owner only for the electricity generated by the facility.  Continue Reading...

Welcome to the Renewable + LawSM Blog

Greetings! On behalf of the Stoel Rives Renewable Energy Initiative, I would like to welcome you to our blog, Renewable + Law.SM We intend Renewable + LawSM to be a catalyst for lively discussion about renewable energy and climate policies, major renewable energy projects, emerging technologies, market developments, new laws, tax credits and industry scuttlebutt.   


For reasons ranging from concern about global warming and the environment to economic growth, jobs, and national security, renewable energy has evolved into a major industry. Globally, renewable energy was a $148 billion business in 2007. In addition to renewable energy, emerging climate policy is shaping up to be one of the most important economic forces in our time. As of this writing, all three U.S. presidential candidates are in favor of some form of carbon cap and trade program at the federal level. At the state level, California has already adopted economywide caps on greenhouse gas emissions and other western states are pursuing a similar program through the Western Climate Initiative. Together, the western states are leading the nation in the development of cap and trade policies. Climate policy, in turn, will spur greater demand for renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building, carbon offset projects and other cleantech applications. 


From Seattle to San Diego, from Portland to Minneapolis, and from Boise to Salt Lake City to Sacramento, Stoel Rives has offices with lawyers working on renewable energy projects. Providing valuable advice to clients requires us to keep abreast of renewable energy and climate policy developments to place those novel legal questions into a larger context. Renewable + LawSM lets us share with you our passion for solar energy, wind energy, biofuels, ocean and hydrokinetic energy, biomass, waste-to-energy, geothermal and other clean technologies.  


Thank you for your interest. We hope that you enjoy Renewable + Law!SM




Learn more about Stoel Rives and our national legal practice devoted to renewable energy. You may also have an interest in our complimentary books on various legal issues involved with developing various renewable energy projects

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