Thursday, July 19, 2012

Renewable Energy Law News - Week of July 16

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 Bill would allow utilities into energy efficiency

Electric utilities in Delaware would be able to count energy efficiency toward their state renewable energy purchase requirements, under a bill under consideration in the General Assembly.

The bill would also allow Delmarva Power to offer energy efficiency programs to residents and businesses. It is largely restricted from doing so under current law, which assigns the Sustainable Energy Utility that responsibility.

Delmarva Power has long supported energy efficiency programs for its customers, said Matt Likovich, spokesman for the utility. Delmarva has programs such as offering money for trading in old appliances in Maryland, but in Delaware, its only efficiency programs are those directly tied to the use of its “smart meters.”

The SEU, a not-for-profit, state-created energy efficiency organization, has mostly focused on large state and university buildings since overspending its residential and small business efficiency budget late last summer.If the bill is signed into law, the utilities, along with the SEU, will become responsible for carrying out energy efficiency programs in Delaware, Likovich said. If that happens, “Delmarva Power looks forward to cooperating with the SEU and the State Energy Office to offer energy efficiency programs to our Delaware customers.”

Japan: Japan Launches The Feed-In Tariff System For Renewable Energy

Effective July 1, 2012, Japan implemented a new feed-in tariff ("FIT") system under the Act on Special Measures Concerning the Procurement of Renewable Energy by Operators of Electric Utilities (the "Act"). Under the terms of the FIT system, power utilities must purchase electricity from applicable renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass, and others, generated by certified power generating facilities (the "Certified Facilities") at a fixed price (the "Purchase Price") for a given period (the "Purchase Period"). This Commentary provides an overview of the FIT system with specific focus on key items stipulated in the newly promulgated ordinance for the Act (the "Ordinance").

Purchase Price and Purchase Period

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ("METI") has set the Purchase Price and the Purchase Period for the mandatory purchase of power generated by renewable energy sources under the FIT system for fiscal year 2012. The initial Purchase Price and the Purchase Period apply to a renewable energy project if (1) a power utility receives a written request from the generator for connection of a Certified Facility to the power utility's transmission facility and a power generating facility is certified as a Certified Facility and (2) the date of such request or certification (whichever is later) falls between July 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013. The Purchase Period starts from the date renewable energy supply commences to the power utility. The following chart sets forth the initial Purchase Price and Purchase Period for each type of renewable energy subject to the FIT system:

METI designed the Purchase Price and the Purchase Period for each type of renewable energy with the goal of providing sufficient incentives for new investments in renewable energy projects. Although METI fixed the Purchase Price for the applicable Purchase Period, it retains authority to revise the Purchase Price during that period if required by a significant change in prices and other economic factors, in accordance with the opinion of a third-party committee of experts and subject to reporting the basis of the calculation of the revised prices to the Diet. 

United Kingdom - DECC delays announcement on renewable subsidies

Ministers had been expected to reveal new support levels for projects from April next year.

But the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said it was still "discussing and finalising" details.

Labour's shadow energy minister, Tom Greatrex, claimed investment in clean energy would grind to a halt unless ministers "end the dithering".

Scottish Power also expressed concern, arguing that sticking to the timetable was key to investor confidence.

The DECC was due to announce the outcome of a review into renewable obligation certificate (ROC) banding, a system which obliges electricity companies to buy a certain amount of their electricity from renewable sources.

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