From April 26th-28th, San Francisco hosted the 2017 Ceres Conference. Ceres is a non-profit organization advocating for sustainability leadership. The annual conference brings together more than 600 investor and company leaders and advocates who are catalyzing the biggest breakthroughs on sustainability.

This year’s jam-packed agenda spanned a variety of topics surrounding the energy industry, but two key themes emerged: (1) that there is a growing need for standardized data to measure the impact of investments made in energy, and (2) that sustainable energy is playing an increasingly central role in the investment decisions for stakeholders across sectors and across the political landscape – in other words, the push for clean energy isn’t going anywhere. Continue Reading Recap: The 2017 Ceres Conference on Sustainability

Mintz Levin attorney Kristin Gerber garnered recognition in a Huffington Post article last week for her work in the social entrepreneurship sector.  Kristin was highlighted as one of the Hult Prize Foundation’s “Great Partners” – people who have engaged directly with teams competing for the Hult Prize to create value – for the services she has provided to Hult Prize competitors over the past few months.  She has spent at least 40 hours providing legal advice for free, serving as a legal mentor for the competition’s six finalists. For more on the Hult Prize and how Kristin has assisted these social entrepreneurs, read on!

Continue Reading Mintz Levin’s Gerber Recognized for Hult Prize Work

Mintz Levin is proud to have hosted the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE) 2014 National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. For the third consecutive year, Mintz Levin hosted the first day of the two-day competition at its Washington, D.C. office. During the first day, Chair of our Energy Technology team, Tom Burton, and President of Washington D.C.’s ML Strategies, David Leiter, delivered the opening remarks welcoming the competition’s keynote speaker, John MacWilliams, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy. After a number of panels and investor connection sessions throughout the day covering topics ranging from the role of incubators to federal funding programs, Mintz Levin held a reception for investors, strategic partners and participating start-ups. Continue Reading 2014 U.S. Department of Energy National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition

The federal government released May 6 the Third National Climate Assessment, a comprehensive examination of peer-reviewed science on climate change impacts in the United States. The assessment echoes the findings of the most recent reports from the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change, stating with high certainty that emissions from human activities are causing global climate change, and concludes that climate change is negatively impacting Americans already. Thirteen federal agencies overseeing the completion of the assessment under the Global Change Research Program examined climate change over a long-term timescale, observing past trends, identifying current changes, and projecting future scenarios. More than 240 scientists from across public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors volunteered their time on the Global Change Research Act of 1990-mandate report.

Researchers opted not to put a price on domestic climate change impacts because the number would have been difficult to capture accurately, and, ultimately, far too small. The report does include figures for some potential costs posed by climbing temperatures, rising seas, and other changes to specific regions and sectors. Continue Reading ML Strategies’ Energy & Environment Update: Week of 5/12/2014

On Tuesday, Mintz Levin sponsored New England Women in Energy and the Environment’s (NEWIEE) Fourth Annual Achievement Awards, which recognized and celebrated the accomplishments of women leaders in the fields of energy and the environment.  The inspirational night began with opening remarks by Erin Ailworth of the Boston Globe, who commented on the ups and downs of the energy industry.  Karen Gordon Mills, Former Administrator, Small Business Administration, followed with a keynote speech that highlighted the need for women to step-up and embrace leadership roles because they are deserved and because this country will benefit when more women have a “seat at the table.”  Finally, NEWIEE presented Alicia Barton, Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center; Janet Gail Besser, Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs, New England Clean Energy Council and Elin Swanson Katz, Consumer Counsel, State of Connecticut with Achievement Awards and Patricia Stanton, Senior Vice President of Policy & Advocacy, Conservation Services Group received the NEWIEE Leadership Award.

Mintz Levin is proud to be a part of the Clean Edge 2014 Clean Energy Trends Report. The annual report, now in its 13th year, provides substantive data analysis of happenings in the cleantech marketplace and insights into issues which will be impactful in the near future.  Our attorneys were involved in dozens of energy technology transactions last year, and helped our clients with myriad other issues. Through this work we are aware of emerging trends across the industry, and we commend Clean Edge for the depth of their research and the clarity with which they present the results of their extensive efforts.  Among the highlights of the report:

Continue Reading Clean Edge 2014 Clean Energy Trends Report: Key Trends Emerging from 2013

With the establishment of a sustainable cap-and-trade program in California as well as the Obama administration’s stance on regulating greenhouse gas emissions, a changed regulatory landscape has emerged, imposing substantially more rigorous reporting requirements on financial institutions that invest in the energy sector either through debt or equity.

Mintz Levin’s Megan Gates and Jeremy Glaser and Enviance Inc.’s Lawrence Goldenhersh and Yann Risz recently published an article in Law 360 describing the GHG-related disclosure and reporting obligations now faced by financial institutions in a new regulatory world. The authors also provide recommendations for cost-effectively conducting the more rigorous risk analysis that is now required. Continue Reading Law360’s “Exxon Opens a New Disclosure Frontier for Energy Finance”

In last week’s post, we highlighted a number of available DOE grants for incubators. Today, we will be highlighting grants for research on geothermal systems and building technologies.

The DOE continues to support research being done by companies and think tanks nationwide. Enhanced insight into geothermal systems and solutions is of particular interest this year. The following research and development grants are now open:

Continue Reading Examples of 2014 DOE Grants, Loan and Financing Programs – Part 2 of 3

Energy issues garnered attention on the international front as well as here at home last week.

Delegates at last week’s climate talks in Bonn continued to take steps to prepare for a 2015 climate treaty. The next round of meetings will take place in June, setting up for the annual Conference of Parties negotiations at the end of the year in Peru.

In Congress, the Senate Climate Action Task Force held an all-night session on the Senate floor March 10 to highlight the importance of acting to address climate change. Over in the House, Energy and Commerce subcommittees held a joint panel to debate the question of whether carbon capture and sequestration technology has been adequately demonstrated, even though it is not produced at a commercial scale. Continue Reading ML Strategies’ Energy & Environment Update – Week of March 17, 2014

The Houston-based SURGE Accelerator connects energy-oriented startups with industry leaders and mentors in order to solve the world’s energy problems using technology. The mentor-driven, venture accelerator puts energy tech startups through an intensive 12-week program and provides each company with $30,000 in exchange for a share of equity. The program ends with their demo day, known as SURGE Day, for the startups to present to more than 600 investors and customers, which previously have included corporations such as Shell, Halliburton, and Austin Ventures. Start-up ventures from the two previous SURGE Accelerator programs have successfully raised $25 million in funding as well as created over 150 jobs. This year, 11 new energy-technology companies, ranging from an electricity pricing software company to a subsurface imaging software company, have been accepted as members of the SURGE Accelerator’s third class.

The current startup ecosystem is increasingly attractive to budding entrepreneurs due to the prevalence of accelerator programs like the SURGE Accelerator. Launching a startup is becoming “cheaper than ever before,” according to Forbes, because technology is less expensive and because there are many organizations and programs dedicated to mentoring and fostering these businesses. The biggest decision entrepreneurs and startup investors have to make is determining whether the startup is going to take off at some point in the near future or whether it will fizzle out. Accelerator programs teach startup organizations skills to achieve benchmarks, to scale their businesses, and to raise capital that will help increase the likelihood of getting a greater return on their investment in an entrepreneurial venture while connecting the founders to expert mentors and strategic potential customers.