On October 1, 2014, Víctor Osorio, Chile’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced that 200 public land concessions were being made available, through a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Energy, to Non-Conventional Renewable Energy (NCRE) projects. The goal of the program is to use the public lands concessions to facilitate the growth of NCRE’s, all
Roger Stark, a partner in Stoel Rives’ recently opened Washington, DC office, has been advising clients for over 20 years on energy project development, finance and regulatory matters. He has extensive experience in the renewable energy, "cleantech" and fossil fuel sectors, including project finance and other transactions in more than 30 states and 25 foreign countries. He has counseled clients in a broad range of innovative transactional structures that were industry "firsts" and also has represented clients in energy mergers/acquisitions and public-private partnerships in the U.S. and Latin America. His energy regulatory and litigation experience includes representing clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state electric utility commissions
Earlier this year, a group of Stoel Rives attorneys traveled to Mexico to assess existing opportunities and pending developments in the Mexican power markets. Some of the reforms and key trends identified during that trip are now taking shape. See also my blog post “Let the Market Decide: The Third Wave of Energy Investment in Latin America and Caribbean.”
Our work in Mexico included meetings with existing clients, senior partners of a major Mexican law firm, a briefing with a senior Mexican policymaker regarding implementation of the reforms and attendance at the Mexican International Renewable Energy Conference. Here are some key “take-aways” from these meetings:
- A Mexican renewable energy market has been successfully launched, with more wind than solar developed to date.
- A package of “secondary” laws implementing Mexico’s energy reform legislation are pending in the Mexican Congress.
- The secondary laws will include some form of renewable portfolio standard (e.g., 30% by 2024) that relies on (among other elements) renewable energy certificates.
- The secondary laws are also expected to launch a wholesale electricity market, a demand response market and other provisions designed to encourage distributed generation.
- Solar module manufacturers and other stakeholders are concerned about the government’s decision to apply a 15% import tax on electrical “generators” to non-NAFTA solar modules.
The Administration’s Clean Power Plan (the "Plan"), released on June 2 and published on June 18, confirms that climate change mitigation goals are now a key driver of both environmental and energy policy. By imposing total power sector CO2 emission reductions of 30 percent (from 2005 levels) by 2030, the Plan is likely to trigger both a wholesale shift of power production fuel usage from coal to natural gas and renewable energy, and a critical debate about energy resource priorities.
The Plan reflects the latest development in a multi-year conflict over climate change legislation and energy policy. Early in the Administration’s first term, a "cap and trade" approach was proposed by Congressional Democrats and opposed by most Congressional Republicans. The opponents prevailed, effectively blocking the legislation.Continue Reading Climate Change Mitigation: The New Energy Policy
I recently moderated an ABA/ACORE webinar focused on cross-border renewable energy development in Latin America and the Caribbean. To introduce the topic, I recounted a recent experience at an on-the-record dinner hosted by David Bradley, publisher of The Atlantic Magazine. The dinner was sponsored by the global CEO of one of the largest energy companies in the world, and included a Pulitzer prize winner, a former Member of Congress and other prominent energy, government and media representatives.
What does this Washington vignette have to do with renewable energy in Latin America and the Caribbean? Quite simply, everything, because it goes to the fundamental challenges inherent in making good policy decisions without metrics that allow for "apples to apples" comparisons.
As you might expect, the dinner conversation focused on global energy. As the meal progressed, it became clear that most guests fell into one of three categories: those invested in traditional fossil fuel technologies; those invested in renewable energy technologies; and those who were either agnostic or insufficiently knowledgeable to choose a side.Continue Reading Let the Market Decide: The Third Wave of Energy Investment in Latin America and Caribbean
Intermittent resources create unique challenges for 21st Century Utilities, RTO’s and System Operators. The now infamous "Duck Chart" highlights a key element of the problem — central station thermal plants cannot ramp efficiently, leading to "worst of all" scenarios where the benefits of renewables are not fully utilized and central station plants operate inefficiently for…
On November 20, I will be moderating a webinar to preview the roll-out of the U.S. Army’s latest Renewable Energy Services Agreement (RESA).
The RESA is key to implementing the Army’s commitment to purchase up to $7 billion in renewable energy. As reported on this blog, the Army has selected several companies to bid…
I recently co-chaired an American Bar Association/American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) webinar on SmartGrid and Microgrid technologies. For my inaugural blog post on Renewable + Law, I wanted to share the brief remarks that I made at this July 17, 2013, webinar regarding the importance of both technologies to our evolving 21st Century energy sector: In setting the stage for the presentations, I put forth two propositions, which may be provocative, but highlight the importance of the topic: Continue Reading SmartGrid/MicroGrid: Transformative Technology for Today’s Energy Markets