Global Power Law & Policy

Legal and Policy Developments Affecting the Global Power Industry.

 

1
Eye on the Election: Potential Impact on Tax Incentives for Power and Related Industries
2
K&L Gates Releases The H2 Handbook, Launches Global Hydrogen Practice
3
Renewables on Tribal Land: Addressing Environmental and Economic Equity on the Path to a Clean Energy Economy
4
U.S. House of Representatives Demonstrates Support for Fusion Energy
5
Join Us for a Webinar: The Promise of Fusion Energy May Be Closer Than You Think
6
FERC Issues Landmark Order No. 2222 To Facilitate the Participation of Distributed Energy Resources in Wholesale Markets
7
Senate ENR Committee Holds Hearing on FERC Commissioner Nominees
8
Senate ENR Hearing Slated for FERC Nominees
9
Join Us at Solar Power International
10
Join Us: PV Magazine Webinar – Is your company capturing the 2020 safe harbor?

Eye on the Election: Potential Impact on Tax Incentives for Power and Related Industries

Authors: Elizabeth C. Crouse, Mary Burke Baker, Jared D. Mobley, Joel D. Almquist, and Lauren M. Flynn

There is little doubt that the outcome of the 3 November federal election will be consequential for much of America, and that the consequences are likely to be very different depending on who sits in the Oval Office and the Senate after the inauguration. Of all the industries that employ Americans, the power and related industries such as oil and gas, carbon capture, and electric vehicles may experience the starkest consequences.

CLICK HERE to read the full alert.

K&L Gates Releases The H2 Handbook, Launches Global Hydrogen Practice

Hydrogen is on the rise as a major energy source and has the potential to play a significant role in reducing carbon emissions and slowing climate change. Like other sources of energy, commercial-scale hydrogen will require clear, informed, and transparent regulatory regimes at the local, national, and international levels. These regimes will need to balance hydrogen’s unique features and a desire to build out a robust hydrogen infrastructure that facilitates the penetration of hydrogen as a major global energy source.

To address the rapidly emerging hydrogen economy, K&L Gates lawyers and public policy professionals from a broad cross-section of our global offices and practices have produced The H2 Handbook – a unique, comprehensive, and free resource that explores the legal, regulatory, policy, and commercial issues impacting the future of hydrogen throughout the world.

Stay informed with developments in the hydrogen market. Sign up to receive timely information and subscribe to our upcoming podcast program.

Click here to learn more about our hydrogen practice.

Renewables on Tribal Land: Addressing Environmental and Economic Equity on the Path to a Clean Energy Economy

Authors: Bart J. Freedman, Teresa A. Hill, and Benjamin A. Mayer

Demand for renewable energy projects has never been greater. The newest, latest trend is the push for renewable energy projects with positive social impacts and benefits to marginalized communities. Indeed, some of the most significant consumers and supporters of renewable and carbon-free power are now making environmental and economic justice a central focus and condition of their use of and investments in clean energy projects.1 Utility leaders have identified racial justice as a top concern in the transition to a clean energy economy.2 Key stakeholders and influential civil rights organizations, including the NAACP, have created toolkits and are advocating for just energy policies and practices.3 The Rocky Mountain Institute announced this summer that it will be launching a residential solar program to expand the use of solar in communities of color.4 At the same time, clean energy transition legislation throughout the country is accelerating the need for carbon-free resources, including wind, solar, and storage projects, to replace traditional fossil fuel resources, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, to power the grid.5

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U.S. House of Representatives Demonstrates Support for Fusion Energy

Authors: Tim L. Peckinpaugh, Michael L. O’Neill, and Abraham Johns

Fusion energy continues to build support among U.S. policymakers. On 24 September 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a program for fusion energy research and commercialization as part of a legislative package covering a wide range of energy topics.1 On fusion energy, Reps. Conor Lamb (D-PA) and Lori Trahan (D-MA) authored an amendment authorizing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to pursue a range of programmatic goals, including a public-private partnership where federal funds will be available for private companies developing fusion energy solutions.2

Now attention turns towards the U.S. Senate, which has not set a date for considering a similar energy package. With scheduling constraints imposed by the upcoming 2020 election, it is not clear when the Senate might consider energy legislation and when, or if, this legislation will eventually be presented to the President for his approval to become federal law. But approval of these fusion provisions by the House of Representatives, especially the public-private partnership, signals that support for the commercial fusion energy industry is increasing in the U.S. Congress.

This article will outline the scope of the fusion energy provisions of the legislation, briefly analyze the provisions standing up the public-private partnership program, and outline next steps for codifying this fusion energy legislation as federal law.

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Join Us for a Webinar: The Promise of Fusion Energy May Be Closer Than You Think

Join us on 1 October 2020 for a webinar on fusion energy.

For nearly 100 years, scientists and engineers, as well as science fiction authors and fans, have dreamt of harnessing fusion reactions to power our economy. Despite daunting technical challenges, fusion energy may become a technically viable and economic energy source in the coming years, as an attractive carbon-free baseload alternative to conventional energy sources.

As the energy sector progresses towards commercial fusion, governmental regulators around the world are considering how they should treat fusion facilities. Two of the most active jurisdictions for commercial fusion development are the United States and the United Kingdom. Along with Fire Energy and Prospect Law, members of our K&L Gates fusion energy team will provide an update on the regulatory approaches to fusion that the US and UK are taking, the prospects for differentiating regulations for future fusion facilities from those applicable to existing fission-powered nuclear plants, next steps in developing regulatory certainty for the emerging fusion power sectors in these nations, and include a section on risk and the management of risk through insurance.

For more information and to register, please click here.

FERC Issues Landmark Order No. 2222 To Facilitate the Participation of Distributed Energy Resources in Wholesale Markets

Authors: Buck Endemann, Kimberly Frank, Elias Hinckley, and Patrick Metz

In a landmark order issued on September 17, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) adopted rules aimed at removing barriers to the participation of distributed energy resources (DERs) in the organized markets for electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services operated by Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators (RTOs).  Order No. 2222 builds on reforms previously undertaken by FERC and, once fully implemented, should be a major step toward opening up RTO markets to competition, facilitating new entry of resources, and fostering business model innovation.

Order No. 2222 envisions “aggregations,” which are groups of small DERs participating in the RTO markets as a single resource represented by their aggregators.  According to FERC, these aggregations will permit DERs to provide a variety of products and services that will compete with more conventional resources in the RTO markets.  FERC expects that this will, in turn, ensure that rates remain just and reasonable.

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Senate ENR Committee Holds Hearing on FERC Commissioner Nominees

Authors: Kimberly FrankSandra SafroDavid Wochner, and Patrick Metz

On September 16, 2020, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee held a hearing to consider the nominations of Mark Christie and Allison Clements to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Manchin focused their preliminary comments on the importance of ensuring that FERC has a full complement of five Commissioners and expressed interest in acting quickly to move through the confirmation process.  However, there was no indication of the specific timing of the Senate ENR and floor votes that would be required to confirm the nominees.  Several Senators praised both Christie and Clements, and no Senator expressed opposition to the nominees, though Clements received a few pointed questions from Senators Gardner and Lee about her time at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Senate ENR Hearing Slated for FERC Nominees

Authors: Kimberly Frank, Sandra Safro, David Wochner, and Patrick Metz

On September 9, 2020, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee announced that it would hold a hearing this Wednesday, September 16, 2020, to consider the nominations by President Trump of Allison Clements and Mark C. Christie to serve as FERC Commissioners.

The Senate ENR Committee hearing is an important first step toward the confirmation of Clements and Christie.  After holding its hearing, the Committee will hold a vote on whether to forward the nominees to the full Senate.  At that point, the Senate would need to consider their nominations and vote to confirm their appointments.  Each would then would need to be sworn in as Commissioners. 

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Join Us at Solar Power International

Please join K&L Gates Energy, Infrastructure and Resources Practice Area Leader, David Benson, at Solar Power International as he moderates the panel, “The Evolution of Finance in a Changing Offtake Market,” on Friday, September 25, 2020, at 3:05pm EDT.

This panel will discuss new revenue models, such as merchant projects, hedging strategies, and VPPAs, are changing how renewable energy projects are being financed. Topics will include how panelists view projects with these evolving offtake approaches and how they view risk in these markets, taking the audience through transaction structures and what it takes to execute renewable energy deals.

For more information on Solar Power International, please click here.

Join Us: PV Magazine Webinar – Is your company capturing the 2020 safe harbor?

Join K&L Gates partner, Elias Hinckley, as he participates on a webinar with PV Magazine, “Is Your Company Capturing the 2020 Safe Harbor?”

­This webinar will discuss the current 26% solar investment tax credit that will be reduced by to 22% on January 1, 2021 and steps to take to ensure your project captures the full credit.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday, 23 September, 2020, at 11:00 AM EDT.

For more information and to register, please click here.

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