Energy Technology Matters

The Latest Legal, Financing, and Policy Developments in Energy and Clean Tech

British Columbia Provides Model for Massachusetts Carbon Pricing

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Events, Massachusetts Renewable Energy, State Happenings

On Monday, April 13, The Alliance for Business Leadership hosted “Embracing the Future: The Economic Success of British Columbia’s Carbon Pricing Policy” at Mintz Levin’s Boston office. The program outlined the economic, political, and environmental impacts of B.C.’s carbon tax. R.J. Lyman, a Mintz Levin Member and Senior Advisor at ML Strategies, gave opening comments, describing B.C.’s carbon pricing as “an economic policy with environmental benefits, not an environmental program with economic benefits.” The event featured a panel discussion moderated by Roger Freeman, President of Solventerra, and included Massachusetts State Senator Michael Barrett; Ross Beaty, Founder and Chairman of both Pan American Silver and Alterra Power; and Merran Smith, Director of Clean Energy Canada. After the panel, Mike Bernier, British Columbia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Energy Literacy and the Environment, made closing remarks. As the Massachusetts legislature considers carbon pricing legislation, the following are takeaways from these recognized leaders on this issue:

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Tax Day Update: 2015 Inflation Adjustments and Prices for Energy Credits Released by IRS

Posted in Energy Technology News, Federal Policy, Geothermal, Solar, Water, Wind

Just in time for tax day – but 14 days behind the Congressional deadline – the IRS released the statutorily required calculations to determine the value of the Section 45 Production Tax Credit (“PTC”) credit amount in 2015, and whether or not a phase-out of the calculation would be required.

The PTC has historically been the primary incentive for the wind industry, but a number of other clean energy technologies are also eligible for the credit.

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2015 Clean Energy Challenge – Today!

Posted in Biofuels, Energy Efficiency, Energy Technology News, Events, Solar, Wind

Today, the Clean Energy Trust, co-founded by Michael Polsky and Nicholas Pritzker, presents the 5th annual Clean Energy Challenge! The event, which counts Exelon, Boeing, Accenture, American Electric Power, ComEd, Invenergy LLC, and Wells Fargo among its sponsors, is being held in Chicago at Venue SIX10. Startup pitches, thought leadership, sponsor engagement, networking, live entertainment, and much more are scheduled throughout the day. We’re especially looking forward to an address from Nancy Pfund, Managing Partner at DBL Investors.

The competition’s finalists include wind generator Accio Energy, Power-over-Ethernet platform Igor, human hybrid vehicle designer Rahtmobile, and power cell developer Atlas Energy Systems, along with several others. Thanks to many of the aforementioned sponsors, the Trust is awarding up to $1 million in prizes this year. Mintz Levin is in attendance and excited to see who takes the top awards! Read on for the full list of competitors.

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California Drought Calls for Bold Energy Solutions

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Technology News, Legislative Updates, State Happenings, Water

Last week, California Governor Edmund (Jerry) Brown announced a $1 billion emergency drought package and an executive order mandating a statewide 25 percent cut in potable water use through the end of next February. These measures seek to save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful use, and coordinate the state’s drought response. In addition to impacting day to day water use, the drought has decreased California’s hydroelectric capacity, shifting the state’s energy landscape and increasing the risk of service disruption. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, California’s hydro production saw a 60 percent decrease from 2011 to 2014. Natural gas and solar are replacing relatively cheap hydroelectricity, resulting in utility price increases. A recent report by the Pacific Institute said electricity costs jumped $1.4 billion from 2012 to 2014 as electricity suppliers switched to gas-fired generation and other sources.

Keeping these energy needs in mind, Governor Brown’s announcements also called for new water energy technologies.

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ECO:nomics 2015 – Top 10 Takeaways

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Financing, Events, Federal Policy, Solar, Wind

From March 25 to 27, the Wall Street Journal brought energy stakeholders from around the world to Santa Barbara, California. Titled “ECO:nomics 2015,” the program focused on the biggest issues confronting business and the environment, including investing trends, the latest innovations and market disruptions, the environmental movement’s future, the horizon of energy policy, and the meaning of “sustainability.” If you did not get a chance to attend, continue reading for the top 10 takeaways from this intellectually challenging and dynamic event! For the Journal’s full report, click here.

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President Obama Issues Executive Order on Emissions as Budgets Move Through

Posted in Energy Technology News, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates

On March 19th, President Obama, continuing to push his climate change agenda over his final two years, signed an executive order requiring that by 2025 the federal government decrease its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent. The announcement was coupled with pledges from several private sector partners to cut their own GHG output. Meanwhile, in the last week the House and Senate moved on their budgets and the Department of Interior issued its fracking rule. Read more in the latest Energy and Environment Update from ML Strategies.

Department of Energy Releases Wind Vision Report: Accelerating Growth Offers a Promising Future

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Technology News, Federal Policy, Wind

Recently, the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy issued Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States. The report, a follow up to the 2008 20% Wind Energy by 2030, looks at the future of wind power through 2050 along with the economic, environmental, and social benefits of a robust wind industry. Key takeaways include: Continue Reading

U.S. Advanced Energy Market Surpasses Airline Industry, Rivals Pharmaceuticals

Posted in Articles, Capital Markets, Energy Technology News, Solar, Wind

In their recently released 2015 Market ReportAdvanced Energy Economy reveals that the US advanced energy market grew to $200 billion in 2014, an increase of 13% above the total for 2013. This activity positions the U.S. advanced energy market in strong company, $20 billion higher than the airline industry and neck-and-neck with pharmaceutical manufacturing. In addition, the powerhouse consumer electronics market lies within reach at $211 billion. Strong postings from wind, solar photo-voltaics, and natural gas added to the already strong foundation of the largest segment of U.S. advanced energy – building efficiency products and services.

The 2015 Report, the third such publication from Advanced Energy Economy, was compiled in partnership with Navigant Research. The report provides up-to-date information on a wide spectrum of energy-related market sectors, including transportation, fuel production, fuel delivery, building efficiency, generation, delivery and management, and more. Click here to view highlights from the report.

Cleantech Law Alert: Jordan Collins on Open Atlantic Coast Oil and Gas Drilling, Restricted Alaskan Waters

Posted in Articles, Energy Technology News, Federal Policy

In our second installment of this quarter’s Cleantech Law Alert from CleanEdge, ML Strategies’ Jordan Collins wades through numerous recent announcements made by the Obama Administration regarding oil and gas drilling leases off the coasts of the United States. These announcements, which came as part of the Department of the Interior’s Five-Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022, drew significant national attention for offering what would be the first off-shore drilling lease in the Atlantic, as well as for restricting a sizable portion of the Alaskan coastline from any future drilling due to ecological concerns. Click here to read Jordan’s full report and analysis.

This article was originally published in the CleanEdge Quarterly Clean-Tech Law Alert.

Energy Department Announces $35 Million to Advance Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies

Posted in Advanced Batteries, Energy Efficiency, Federal Policy

On March 3rd, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced $35 million in funding to promote innovation in fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. The funding announcement will facilitate early adoption of a wide variety of hydrogen fuel cell applications – including light duty fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) – by supporting research and development. Many automakers are showing interest in putting FCEVs on the road, potentially as soon as 2017. As these vehicles become increasingly commercially available, the Energy Department will be focusing on increasing technical advancements of critical hydrogen infrastructure including production, delivery, and storage.  In addition, the Department is seeking to continue demonstrating the value of early market deployments such as plug-in fuel cell vehicles. The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), available here, will include two general areas of interest each with several subtopics:

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