Sep 10, 2019

U.S. Gas Plants will be Outperformed by Wind and Solar by 2035

Wind and Solar Power

Natural gas-fired power plants, which are largely responsible for undermining the economics of coal-fired plants, are expected to be undercut by renewable power by 2035. According to a September 9 report from the Rocky Mountain Institute, analysis performed on the cost of construction, fuel, and anticipated operations for 68 gigawatt gas plants compared to the cost of building a combination of solar farms, wind plants, and battery systems indicate that it will be more expensive to run 90% of the gas plants being proposed in the U.S. compared to sustainable energy plants. As gas plants lose their viability and power… Read more


Jan 23, 2019

Citigroup Issues €1B Green Bond to Fund Renewable Energy and Conservation Efforts

green bond by Citigroup

On Tuesday, January 22, Citigroup announced the issuance of its inaugural green bond, to be used for funding renewable energy, sustainable transportation, water quality and conservation, energy efficiency and green building projects. The bond was issued via €1 billion ($1.1 billion) three-year fixed-rate notes as part of Citi’s $100 billion environmental finance goal, under which the bank has committed to financing and facilitating $100 billion over 10 years to support renewable energy and conservation efforts. The company also announced on Tuesday that it will source renewable energy for 100 percent of its global energy needs by 2020. For more information… Read more


Dec 8, 2014

House Extends Tax Credits for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Last Friday, December 5, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 5771, the “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014”, which includes an extension of several tax credits and other tax benefits utilized in renewable energy projects and for energy efficiency.  Included in the extension are: Production tax credit for energy produced from wind, closed-loop and open-loop biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, qualified hydropower, marine, and hydrokinetic facilities Bonus depreciation New markets tax credit, often combined with specific renewable energy tax credits in qualifying locations Credits for energy-efficient new homes Special allowance for second-generation biofuel plant property Energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction… Read more


Mar 13, 2014

EPA Unveils Tool for States to Calculate Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs

Many states have implemented, or are considering, legislative or regulatory efforts to incentivize implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs (EE/RE). States have sought guidance from EPA on assessing the pollution benefits of such programs—reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2). The reduction of NOx and SO2 is relevant to state compliance with applicable national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The reduction of CO2 may be relevant to an upcoming EPA rule—due for proposal in June—establishing new source performance standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. On February 18, EPA released… Read more


Feb 3, 2014

Tax Credits for Renewables Up in the Air

Tax credits for renewable energy production and other incentives expired with 2013. The current Congress, facing mid-term elections, sees more pressing issues than the retroactive extension of these credits, including credits of a $1 per gallon of biodiesel, 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour of wind energy, $1.01 per gallon of ethanol produced from cellulose sources, and credits for household energy efficiency improvements. Projects that began construction before the December 31 expiration are entitled to many of the credits for renewables through the end of 2015, although new projects would not be eligible without extender legislation. If Congress takes any action… Read more


Feb 4, 2013

New EPA Guidance Broadens Tenant Protections at Brownfield Sites

In response to concerns that liability protection for tenants was not clear enough to encourage development of renewable energy on brownfield sites, EPA issued a guidance document on December 5 in order to broaden protections of tenants who meet certain criteria, even if the site owner does not qualify for protection as a Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser (“BFPP”).  Signed by EPA’s enforcement head Cynthia Giles and waste chief Mathy Stanislaus, the new protections are outlined in a memorandum entitled “Revised Enforcement Guidance Regarding the Treatment of Tenants Under the CERCLA Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Provision.” Under 2002 brownfield amendments to CERCLA, Section… Read more


Feb 14, 2012

GA State Senate Bill 401 seeks to promote property rights and renewable energy

On February 7, 2012, Georgia State Senator Buddy Carter (R-Pooler, Dist. 1) introduced SB 401, which seeks to clarify the purpose of the Georgia Cogeneration and Distributed Generation Act of 2001 (“CoGen Act”) and remove artificial barriers to renewable energy development in the state. At the request of representatives and business leaders in the renewable energy industry, SGR attorneys Steve O’Day and Jessica Lee Reece prepared the initial draft of the revised Act. The bipartisan bill is also sponsored by Ronnie Chance (R-Tyrone, Dist. 16), Jason Carter (D-Decatur, Dist. 42), Tommie Williams (R-Lyons, Dist. 19), Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock, Dist. 21) and… Read more


Jan 10, 2011

Separate Reporting of Biomass GHG Emissions Required by EPA

U.S. EPA recently published a final rule reversing its prior position on reporting so-called biogenic GHG emissions–emissions created from burning plant-based fuels. Beginning this month, industries that are large emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs), or those that are planning to build new facilities or make major modifications to existing ones, must obtain air permits and implement energy efficiency measures or, where available, cost-effective technology to reduce their GHGs emissions. In an earlier proposed rule, EPA did not require separate reporting of GHG emissions from biomass. Yet, on December 17, EPA released its final rule, which requires power plants that burn… Read more


Sep 7, 2010

Georgia losing out on renewable energy

Posted by Jessica Lee Reece (jreece@sgrlaw.com). The Reznick Group’s Wes Hudson, co-managing principal of the Atlanta office, recently authored an excellent article discussing how Georgia needs to up the ante in the renewable energy game, given that “in an economy with record unemployment, Georgia has turned down billions of dollars in federal grants intended to stimulate investment in renewable energy in the past 12 months.” An excerpt from Mr. Hudson’s article: It was recently reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (http://ajc.com/business/georgia-power-to-double-595617.html ) that “Georgia Power is doubling the amount of solar energy it will buy from independent producers.” Unfortunately, doubling a ludicrously low number… Read more