Achmea Decision Fallout in the UK

In the Achmea case the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) held that Article 8 of the Netherlands – Slovakia bilateral investment treaty, which allowed for the resolution of disputes by way of arbitration, was incompatible with EU law. The rationale for the decision was that a tribunal may have to interpret or apply EU law and where a question of law arose, unlike a Member State court, that question of law could not be referred to the ECJ. In other words, intra-EU bilateral investment treaty arbitration provisions, as reasoned by the ECJ, deprived the EU courts of jurisdiction in respect of the interpretation of EU law.

We raised the prospect that the ramifications from the decision were potentially far reaching and were not, it seemed, confined to the BIT between Netherlands and Slovakia.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorneys Vijay Bange and Matthew Friedlander, please visit the Duane Morris London Blog.

Beware, Intra-EU Bilateral Investment Treaties May No Longer Offer Investment Protection

The impact and uncertainty caused by the Achmea case on investor state dispute settlement provisions contained in intra-EU Bilateral Investment Treaties continues. These issues are potentially far reaching and may extend further than originally envisaged, namely that this case was arguably specific to the BIT between Netherlands and Slovakia.

To read the full text of this blog post by Duane Morris attorneys Vijay Bange and Matthew Friedlander, please visit the Duane Morris London Blog.

New York City Enacts Gas Ban for New Buildings

           On December 15, 2021, the New York City Council passed a bill prohibiting the Department of Buildings from issuing a construction permit for any new building that burns any fuel that emits more than 25 kilograms of carbon dioxide per million BTUs.  The revised bill is directed in particular to the burning of natural gas for heating and hot water.  The passed bill reflected a compromise among parties who supported and parties who opposed the last version, a much more restrictive bill (see our November 23rd alert titled “New York on the Path to Requiring All-Electric Buildings,” commenting on the original bill). The passed bill eliminates the requirement found in earlier versions to ban gas use in renovated buildings, unless such renovation requires a new building permit, and moves out the effective date for gas-burning prohibition for buildings taller than seven stories.

            For all new buildings that are less than seven stories, the ban becomes effective on January 1, 2024, except that new buildings where 50% or more units constitute affordable housing  will have until January 1, 2026 for the ban to apply.  For buildings that are seven stories or higher, the ban takes effect after July 1, 2027 and for affordable housing after December 31, 2027.  Exceptions will be made where use of natural gas or another substance emitting carbon in excess of 25 kilograms per million BTUs is necessary for manufacturing, operation of a laboratory, laundromat, hospital, crematorium, commercial kitchen or for emergency or standby power.

            The bill is intended as a companion to Local Law 97, which provides for significant penalties if New York City buildings do not comply with mandates to reduce emissions according to the schedule set forth therein.  Currently in New York City, buildings are responsible for approximately two-thirds of the harmful emissions that result in poor air quality and impact the climate.

            Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill or allow it to lapse into law.  Reports indicate that Mayor-elect Eric Adams supports this initiative.

             See also:   ESG: – New York City Council Passes a Natural Gas Ban for New Buildings.

New York on the Path to Requiring All-Electric Buildings

Developers of new buildings in New York state and of new and renovated buildings in New York City may soon be prohibited from powering and heating their buildings with any fossil fuels. Bills are pending in the New York Senate and the New York City Council that, if enacted, would require newly constructed buildings in the state―and in the case of the city, renovated buildings―to be developed as all-electric buildings. With stakeholder opposition to both bills, either could see changes as they work their way through their respective legislative processes.

To read the full text of this Alert by Duane Morris attorney Phyllis Kessler, please visit the Firm website.

Funding the UK’s Nuclear Revolution

Current forecasts in the UK are that electricity demand will double in the next 30 years. Front and centre of the government’s planned solution for energy generation between now and 2050 is nuclear power. The Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill 2021-2022 proposes for the government to negotiate an arrangement with a specially regulated nuclear company, which would receive regular payments from electricity supply companies to help fund the construction of a new nuclear facility.

To read the full text of this Alert by Duane Morris partner  Steve Nichol, please visit the Firm website.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Cybersecurity Impacts on the Energy Sector

The November 15 signing of the Biden administration’s bipartisan $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act offers a prime opportunity to review the legislation, which brings a significant reinvestment in America’s energy infrastructure and an opportunity for many in the energy sector. Service providers hoping to benefit from the act’s substantial funding must be keenly aware of the cybersecurity requirements it implements, as they offer both potential opportunities for the prepared and potential pitfalls for the unwary.

To read the full text of this Alert by Duane Morris attorneys Owen Newman and Chris Chasin, please visit the Firm website.

Bright Future for Solar Developers in New Jersey? Only If They Act Fast

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities established a Successor Solar Incentive Program that provides new, reduced incentives to developers of solar generation projects compared to past incentive programs. The new program limits the number of solar incentives available each year to developers of projects smaller than 5 megawatts, so interested developers should move quickly. In addition to the annual limits, the value of the available incentives will be reduced over time, giving an advantage to early movers.

To read the full text of this Alert by Duane Morris attorneys Phyllis Kessler and Patrick Dinnin, please visit the Firm website.

New Jersey BPU awards 165 MW of Community Solar in Yr 2 of Pilot Program

On October 28, 2021, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (“BPU”) approved 105 applications under New Jersey’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program.  The applications and awards will create 165 megawatts of clean energy – enough energy to power approximately 33,000 homes – available to low-to-moderate income and historically underserved communities. Year 2 of the pilot program represented a significant increase in the amount of power generated (i.e., from 78 MW to 165 MW) and the number of applications seeking to install community solar.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Brad Molotsky, please visit the Duane Morris Project Development/Infrastructure/P3 Blog.

New Pricing Framework for Solar and Wind Power Projects

On 30 September 2021, the Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade (“MOIT”) confirmed that there would be No FIT extension for wind energy projects after 31 October 2021.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade recently issued a new draft Circular on regulations on methods of building electricity generation price brackets and determining electricity generation prices, power purchase agreement for solar and wind energy projects. This Circular will apply to solar energy projects that have not met the COD deadline of 1 January 2021 or wind energy projects that have not met the COD deadline of 1 November 2021. Though it is only at draft stage, it is expected that the Circular will come into force soon and give developers as well as investors clarity on renewable power projects development and related transactions.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Dr. Oliver Massmann, please visit the Duane Morris Vietnam Blog.

Energy and the Green Agenda: The New Industrial Revolution?

Globally, notable incidents of freak weather events giving rise to destruction and death have dominated the news. The increasing frequency of these erratic climate events has undoubtedly raised awareness of global warming and, on a political level, the need for states to move quicker towards green energy and the reduction of carbon emissions. Global warming is an inescapable issue that affects us all and which has forced governments to elevate this to the top of the agenda, filtering down to economic policies that will touch upon most industry sectors.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorneys Vijay Bange and Tanya Chadha, please visit the Duane Morris London Blog.