Energy & Clean Technology Connections: Your Law Firm Link to Industry News -- August 2013

by Mintz Levin - Energy & Clean Technology Matters
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In the August edition of Energy & Clean Technology Connections, we’ve gathered recent information from a wide variety of sources in an effort to keep you abreast of what’s new in the world of clean energy. We draw your attention to the latest industry developments, news from local governments to Capitol Hill, grant opportunities, and upcoming events.

This month, the Energy & Clean Technology Practice would like to note the upcoming event, NextWave Greentech Investing, which will take place in Menlo Park on September 12, 2013. Hosted by Greentech Media, this event will provide a forum for participants to engage in discussions about investments in green tech market reinvention. Mintz Levin’s Energy & Clean Technology team will be in attendance and we hope to see you there!

On July 12, ML Strategies monitored the Center for Strategic and International Studies briefing on the new Power Africa initiative that President Obama announced in South Africa on June 30. The initiative leverages public and private sector funding totaling $7 billion to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa. For those interested in this and other African matters, please see ML Strategies’ weekly Africa Update.

In Washington last month, the seat of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, which had been vacant since late 2012, was filled by Gina McCarthy. Following a confirmation process that took over five months and culminated in a 59 – 40 vote in the Senate, Secretary McCarthy is now tasked with carrying out President Obama’s recently released climate change plan. This includes developing regulations limiting carbon emissions from power plants with specific rules tailored to each state. Secretary McCarthy will also focus upon coal ash regulations, a review of ozone national ambient air quality standards, and finalize Tier 3 standards and a definition for “solid waste.” Along with Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz as the lead energy official, and Secretary of State John Kerry guiding environmental protection and energy regulation discussions and decisions on an international scale, Secretary McCarthy rounds out Obama’s environmental protection and energy regulation “big three” with her domestic regulatory authority.

In Congress this month, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved two energy bills on July 17. The Energy Consumers Relief Act (H.R. 1582), approved on a 25 – 18 vote, will prevent the EPA from finalizing any regulations that the Department of Energy found would strain the economy and exceed costs of $1 billion. The second bill, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act (H.R. 1900), requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to either approve or deny a natural gas pipeline certificate application within 12 months of receiving it. The House will take up both bills before the August recess. Also, during a July 17 hearing by the House Natural Resources Committee, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell defended proposed federal regulations for hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas on publicly owned land. Additionally, she highlighted the importance of building more naturally resilient infrastructure, such as mangrove swamps, which can ease the effects of climate change and protect a community from the effects of natural disasters, such as hurricanes.

During a hearing held on July 18 by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Department of Energy Loan Program Office Executive Director Peter Davidson stated that the application process for financing opportunities (including master limited partnerships, real estate investment trusts, state green banks, tax reform, and placing a price on carbon) has been streamlined. The Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works also held a hearing on July 18 to address the threats posed by climate change, including temperature trends, the increasing and rising intensity of natural disasters, and economic costs related to such changes.

Mintz Levin’s Energy & Clean Technology blog brings you the latest information and events impacting the energy and clean technology industries. The blog includes in-depth analysis from the Associates and Members that work within our Energy & Clean Technology Practice. Please visit the following link that will bring you directly to the blog: http://www.energycleantechmatters.com/.

We hope that you enjoy this month’s edition of the newsletter. For the most up-to-date information on federal legislation and programs, read the most recent ML Strategies Energy & Environment Update.

Mintz Levin’s Monthly Innovator Profile

New York City is furthering its interest and investment in the clean technology field through the construction of a 10,000-square-foot incubator in downtown Brooklyn that is set to be opened in the fall. The incubator, which is possible through a partnership between the New York City Economic Development Corp. and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU), will be called the Clean Technology Entrepreneur Center and will have space for 20 start-ups focused on energy efficiency, resilience, climate adaption, and other technologies. This focus on data and digitally enabled technologies to address environmental, energy, and resource constraints is known as “Green 2.0.” NYU and the Polytechnic Institute are trying to replicate their incubator successes in other parts of the city by opening in Brooklyn’s Tech Triangle. This is the third incubator that the city has run in partnership with the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. To date, these incubators have generated $251 million in economic activity, created more than 900 jobs, and contributed $31.4 million in local, state, and federal tax revenue. We would like to congratulate Micah Kotch, director of innovation and entrepreneurship for NYU-Poly and the NYU-Poly team.

In This Edition

In the News: United States 
In the News: World 
Government Financial Assistance 
Privately Sourced Financial Grants 
Federal & State News 
Legal News 
Events

In the News: United States

US and European PV Developers Hold Lead, as Chinese Advance

Renewable Energy World – July 31, 2013

More Info »

Rank ’Em: The Most Solar-Friendly States in the US

Renewable Energy World – July 30, 2013

More Info »

Climate Study Predicts a Watery Future for New York, Boston, and Miami

The Guardian – July 29, 2013

More Info »

BP Calls Off Sale of US Wind Business

Renewable Energy World – July 29, 2013

More Info »

With Too Much Rain in the South, Too Little Produce on the Shelves

New York Times – July 29, 2013

More Info »

Which States Are Leading in Smart Grid?

Greentech Media – July 29, 2013

More Info »

Report: Small Business Impacts from Climate Change, Extreme Weather

American Sustainable Business Council – July 25, 2013

More Info »

CSP Key Players Focus on the Desert

Renewable Energy World – July 25, 2013

More Info »

From Cities to Soap, Recognizing the US EPA's Newest Top Green Power Users

Renewable Energy World – July 24, 2013

More Info »

As Solar Costs Drop, Energy Storage Solutions Take Center Stage

Renewable Energy World – July 24, 2013

More Info »

First Wind Energy Propose New England’s Largest Wind Farm

CleanTechnica – July 24, 2013

More Info »

Renewables Provide 25% of New US Electrical Generating Capacity in First Half 2013

Renewable Energy World – July 19, 2013

More Info »

Judge Rules Against BP Attempt to Suspend Payments

New York Times – July 19, 2013

More Info »

Is Fracking for Enhanced Geothermal Systems the Same as Fracking for Natural Gas?

Renewable Energy World – July 16, 2013

More Info »

The Cost of New Renewable Power Generation: Approaching Parity?

Renewable Energy World – July 15, 2013

More Info »

Ideas to Bolster Power Grid Run Up Against the System’s Many Owners

New York Times – July 12, 2013

More Info »

US Government Assessment of BP Oil Spill “Will Not Account for Damage”

The Guardian – July 11, 2013

More Info »

US, China Unveil Joint Climate Initiatives

The Hill – July 10, 2013

More Info »

US Passes 10 GW Installed Solar PV Capacity Milestone

CleanTechnica – July 10, 2013

More Info »

SolarWorld Shuttering Oregon Silicon Operations in US Restructuring Finale

Renewable Energy World – July 9, 2013

More Info »

GE Brilliant Wind Turbines Heading Down Under as Part of $350 Million Boco Wind Farm Project

CleanTechnica – July 9, 2013

More Info »

RPS Helped Drive $100 Billion in Private Investment for Clean Energy

Clean Edge News – July 2, 2013

More Info »

In the News: World

China and EU Agree on Solar Trade Deal

Renewable Energy World – July 29, 2013

More Info »

Shale Threatens Saudi Economy, Warns Prince Alwaleed

Wall Street Journal – July 29, 2013

More Info »

World Energy Use to Jump 56% by 2040, Study Says

Los Angeles Times – July 26, 2013

More Info »

Towards a Green Economy in Europe: EU Environmental Policy Targets and Objectives 2010 – 2050

European Environment Agency – July 25, 2013

More Info »

Vice President Biden Keeps HFCs at Top of US Geo-Political Agenda During India Visit

Environmental News Network – July 25, 2013

More Info »

European Investment Bank Cuts Lending to Fossil Plants, Supports Renewables

Renewable Energy World – July 25, 2013

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Vattenfall Hails Wind Farm Radar Breakthrough in UK as Company Readies to Split in Two

Renewable Energy World – July 25, 2013

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Building-Integrated Solar PV Market Set to Triple by 2015

Renewable Energy World – July 24, 2013

More Info »

Germany’s Energy Storage Subsidy Is No Solar Miracle

Greentech Media – July 24, 2013

More Info »

Cuadrilla Prepares to Drill for Oil in Sussex

The Guardian – July 23, 2013

More Info »

India’s Renewable Energy Potential Remains Untapped

Renewable Energy World – July 23, 2013

More Info »

World Bank Turns Away from Coal

Greentech Media – July 22, 2013

More Info »

India GHG Program Launches with More Than 20 Leading Companies

Greenhouse Gas Protocol – July 22, 2013

More Info »

The Renewable Energy Pain in Spain

Renewable Energy World – July 22, 2013

More Info »

China’s Feud with West on Solar Leads to Tax

New York Times – July 18, 2013

More Info »

Offshore Wind Investment to Average Almost €15 Billion Per Year

CleanTechnica – July 16, 2013

More Info »

Europe Doubles Its Offshore Wind Capacity, but Policy Uncertainty Still a Challenge

Renewable Energy World – July 16, 2013

More Info »

Investors Pair Up for Chilean Wind-Solar Projects

Renewable Energy World – July 15, 2013

More Info »

Peru Solar Power Program To Give Electricity To 2 Million Of Poorest Peruvians

CleanTechnica – July 15, 2013

More Info »

China Says It Will Not Set Carbon Cap

Renewable Energy World – July 8, 2013

More Info »

UK Feed-In Tariff Generated Nearly 380,000 Renewable Installations In Three Years

CleanTechnica – July 8, 2013

More Info »

Chinese Makers Boost Domestic Solar Output on Tariff Concerns

Bloomberg Businessweek – July 2, 2013

More Info »

Government Financial Assistance

Tax Incentives & Rebates

Federal

Federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credit

More Info »

Federal Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit

More Info »

Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency

Expiration Date: December 31, 2016

More Info »

Federal Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction

Application Deadline: December 31, 2013

More Info »

State

California Self-Generation Incentive Program

More Info »

California Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems

Expiration Date: December 31, 2016

More Info »

Massachusetts Incentives / Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

More Info »

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center: Commonwealth Wind Incentive Program – MicroWind

More Info »

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center: Commonwealth Solar II

More Info »

Massachusetts Energy Efficiency for Businesses & Institutions

More Info »

Massachusetts RPS Solar Carve-Out

More Info »

Privately Sourced Financial Grants

GE Ecomagination Challenge

More Info »

The Carbon Trust: Innovation

More Info »

Federal & State News

Democrats Launch CoalBlue Project

Coal Age – July 26, 2013

More Info »

Senators Weigh High Stakes Test Votes on Keystone XL, Climate During Efficiency Debate

E&E Publishing – July 26, 2013

More Info »

White House to Focus Comprehensive Energy Review on Infrastructure

The Hill – July 25, 2013

More Info »

O’Malley Releases Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan at Climate Change Summit

Washington Post – July 25, 2013

More Info »

Maryland Governor Unveils Strongest US Plan to Fight Climate Change

CleanTechnica – July 25, 2013

More Info »

Solar Installer Fraud and a Rebate Fight in Missouri

Greentech Media – July 24, 2013

More Info »

What Will Replace the California Solar Initiative?

Renewable Energy World – July 24, 2013

More Info »

Energy Department Announces New Awards to Small Businesses to Accelerate Commercialization of Clean Energy Technologies

DOE Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy News – July 24, 2013

More Info »

California and Texas Lead Smart Grid Progress

Clean Edge News – July 23, 2013

More Info »

Massachusetts Among Top Solar States

Boston Globe – July 23, 2013

More Info »

US Sets September Date for Virginia Offshore Wind Auction

Richmond Times-Dispatch – July 22, 2013

More Info »

Vestas Joins DOE, Texas Tech to Break Ground on Unique Wind Research Facility

Renewable Energy World – July 22, 2013

More Info »

Texas A&M Launches World’s Biggest Solar Photovoltaic R&D Facility

CleanTechnica – July 19, 2013

More Info »

Solar Helps New York Tackle High Electricity Costs, Utility to Solicit 100 MW

Renewable Energy World – July 17, 2013

More Info »

California High-Speed Rail to Have Net Zero Emissions

CleanTechnica – July 16, 2013

More Info »

As World’s Largest Solar Thermal Plant Opens, California Looks to End Solar Wars

KQED Science – July 12, 2013

More Info »

$54 Million for New York State Solar Projects

CleanTechnica – July 11, 2013

More Info »

Another Banner Year for California Rooftop Solar as Successful Rebate Program Winds Down

Renewable Energy World – July 11, 2013

More Info »

Coalition for Renewable Heating and Cooling Forms in Massachusetts

Renewable Energy World – July 10, 2013

More Info »

DOE to Toughen Energy Efficiency Standards for New Federal Buildings

The Hill – July 8, 2013

More Info »

Why the Military Is a Game Changer for Clean Power

GigaOm – July 4, 2013

More Info »

Los Angeles Kicks Off Second Round Solar Feed-In Tariff

CleanTechnica – July 3, 2013

More Info »

Legal News

Energy & Environment Update

ML Strategies – July 29, 2013

More Info »

Energy & Environment Update

ML Strategies – July 22, 2013

More Info »

Energy & Environment Update

ML Strategies – July 15, 2013

More Info »

Energy & Environment Update

ML Strategies – July 8, 2013

More Info »

Energy & Environment Update

ML Strategies – July 1, 2013

More Info »

EPA Reduces Regulatory Burden for Industrial Facilities Using Solvent Wipes / Common-Sense Exclusion Will Save Industry Up to $27.8 Million Per Year

Environmental Protection Agency – July 23, 2013

More Info »

Air Resources Board Fines Nine Companies Under Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule

California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board – July 12, 2013

More Info »

EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules Upheld by Federal Court

Huffington Post – June 26, 2013

More Info »

Events

August

Renewable Energy Storage Symposium

August 13 – 14
Boston, MA

More Info »

Electrical Power and Energy Conference 2013

August 21 – 23
Halifax, NS Canada

More Info »

Pacific Rim Energy and Sustainability Conference

August 27 – 29
Hiroshima, Japan

More Info »

September

NextWave Greentech Investing

September 12
Menlo Park, CA

More Info »

2013 ACEEE National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource

September 22 – 24
Nashville, TN

More Info »

October

Greentech Media’s Softgrid 2013

October 1 – 2
San Francisco, CA

More Info »

Global Cleantech 100 Summit & Gala 2013

October 9 – 10
Washington, DC

More Info »

Solar Power International

October 21 – 24
Chicago, IL

More Info »

November

Cleantech Tour of China

November 3 – 8
China

More Info »

Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo

November 12 – 14
Orlando, FL

More Info »

December

US Solar Market Insight Conference

December 10 – 11
San Diego, CA

More Info »

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