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  1. Economic Development Obligations: Unintended Consequences

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014 10:14 am by

    The message from the South African Department of Energy at the Windaba Conference in Cape Town last week could not have been clearer. In his address during the opening session of the conference, Dr. Wolsley Barnard (Deputy Director General: Energy Programs and Project at the DOE) forced home the point that the South African authorities “…will be enforcing penalties…” for breaches of the mandatory economic development obligations under the South African Government’s Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme.

    Listening to Dr. Barnard’s address got me thinking. Three years on from its launch has the REIPPP Programme made a real difference to South Africa’s manufacturing and service sectors? The answer quite clearly has to be a yes. The development of the R300-million wind turbine tower factory at the Coega IDZ, the recent announcement by SunPower of the construction of a new 160MW solar panel manufacturing facility in Cape Town and the DOE’s job creation forecasts for construction and operational posts in the renewable energy sector make this apparent. But it did occur to me that there may be some unexpected side effects to the approach being taken by the DOE to this point. (more…)


  2. Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power Project Lights the Way for the East African Power Market

    Wednesday, October 29, 2014 10:07 am by and

    Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy, yet it faces a power supply crisis.  Per capita, it generates barely 4% of the power generated by South Africa.  Only 18% of the population has access to electricity and, even for this fortunate minority, rationing and blackouts remain a daily reality.

    The Kenyan Government has ambitious development goals for the country, seeking to achieve annual double-digit growth and to ‘create a prosperous and globally competitive nation with a high quality of life by the year 2030’.  There is certainly plenty of cause for optimism.  Politically, the country is relatively stable. The capital, Nairobi, is home to the regional offices of some of the world’s largest multinational corporations, including General Electric, Google and Coca Cola.  These companies enjoy access to a labour force that is increasingly urbanised, professional, computer-literate and English-speaking. (more…)


  3. EPA Adopts Quality Assurance Program to Reduce RIN Fraud

    Friday, July 18, 2014 9:13 am by

    To address past issues associated with invalid Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) generated for compliance with the renewable fuels standard (RFS), EPA has established a voluntary quality-assurance program (QAP).  79 Fed. Reg. 42,078 (July 18, 2014).

    Types of RINs Available

    Under the voluntary QAP, independent third-party auditors can certify the validity of various types of RINs.  Three of the four types of RINs available to establish compliance under the RFS program are verified RINs: (more…)


  4. Environmental Regulations Impacting the Energy Industry – Summer 2014

    Friday, June 20, 2014 11:06 am by


  5. NBR Interview with Jason Hutt: The Role of Government Support in Solar Power Growth

    Thursday, June 5, 2014 2:22 pm by

    On June 4, Bracewell partner Jason Hutt was interviewed on Nightly Business Report by NBC’s Jackie DeAngelis about the role of government support in the growth of the solar power industry. Click here to view the Nightly Business Report clip.


  6. Has the Sun been Shining too Brightly in the UK?

    Monday, May 19, 2014 10:38 am by

    Last week (13th May) the Department of Energy & Climate Change (“DECC”) unveiled proposals to “maintain the growing momentum behind renewable electricity investment in the UK, while continuing to deliver value for money for consumers.” DECC’s paper[1] has been published to consult with the industry regarding the financial support available for solar power generation. Whilst it has been recognised that solar photovoltaic (PV) is an important part of the UK’s energy mix, the sector’s growth in recent years is considered to be already significantly ahead of expectations.

    In 2013, the Government revised that the Renewable Obligation Credits (ROC) for solar PV in the expectation that there would be approximately 900MW of new large scale solar PV development by the end of 2016/2017. The latest published data has recorded around 545MW of solar PV projects had been accredited by March 2014. The growth has been stronger than anticipated due to support from the small scale feed in tariff (FIT) scheme and ROCs as well as the decreasing costs as a result of global development in large solar markets like China and Germany. (more…)


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