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Emerging Opportunities in Efficient Energy Law and Business

Energy growth areas in energy are related to renewable energy and energy efficiency.Although related, they are two distinct areas of law and business.In today’s market place, renewable energy and energy efficiency best practices intersect with government policies, regulations and legislation, which form a significant part of the renewable energy business. Incentives such as Feed-In tariff laws, investment or production tax credits, renewable portfolio standards (RPS), and auction mechanisms provide financial certainty and economic support for each project and/or transaction.


Renewable Energy Law: Renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric, solar, wind and geothermal, have provided an increasing percentage of energy needs throughout the world.  In the U.S., these sources of renewable energy have now surpassed the production of the nuclear power energy.


Renewable energy law is a sub-area of general energy law, and relates to the development, implementation, and commercialization of renewable sources of energy, such as solar, wind, geothermal, etc. It is predominantly transactional in nature, and comprises the project development aspects of energy law, including land use, facility siting, construction, commercial operations and finance issues which are encountered by developers and interested parties as to renewable energy projects.


Energy Efficiency Law: Energy efficiency is premised upon the goal to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services, including the reduction of production manufacturing energy required to produce goods, as well as the amount of energy required for heating and cooling in order to achieve and maintain a certain temperature. Energy Efficiency law generally covers methods, regulations and procedures for increasing and promoting efficiency in energy generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption.


Projects generally focus on the reduction of energy consumption in industrial, residential and commercial buildings, power generation plants, transmission and distribution networks and public-sector buildings and structures.  In the typical commercial context, this involves real estate and business owners, tenants and lenders undertaking projects or entering into contracts with energy efficiency contractors and lenders to remove and replace inefficient equipment, design and structural elements to significantly reduce a building’s or company’s energy consumption.  


The main systems of a building or structure to be retrofitted include lighting, HVAC, electronic system controls, and building envelope (including thermal insulation).Significant legal considerations involved in these retrofit endeavors include the structuring of agreements, project development, construction and financing issues, as well as government incentives and compliance.


As energy efficiency policies are becoming an integral part of the international energy market, there remains vast untapped potential for growth and opportunity in countries throughout the world to implement energy efficiency measures.


Business opportunities: In response to the depletion of natural resources, environmental concerns, and a world-wide demand for clean, inexpensive and stable energy, the development and use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies are skyrocketing.  Add to that the projected energy supply deficit globally, and it is not hard to correlate the constantly increasing wave of investment into the industry and its increasing job-creation.  


Simply put, economies and governments are turning to renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind, and energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting and efficient HVAC systems, for the benefits, in addition to the other more universal benefits.Both groups of technologies are now generating profits, and yielding significant energy costs savings for their project developers and property owners, further driving their adoption.


A few of the industry-related opportunities are:


  • Solar Panel & Balance of System Sales and Distribution

  • Components Procurement

  • Solar Panel/Wind Installation

  • Project Superintendent & Construction Management

  • Maintenance Services

  • Power Storage Distribution and Installation (Inverters & Uninterrupted Power Supply)

  • Sales and Consulting Services (related to renewable and efficiency projects)

  • Energy Auditing and Efficiency System Design

  • Geothermal Installation Contracting

  • Financial Consulting and Project Finance


RKF has established an active renewable energy and energy efficiency practice focus, and we assist clients throughout all phases of renewable energy and energy efficiency development projects.  RKF has extensive experience in advising clients and transactions as to solar, LED, energy efficiency and battery technologies, and counsels on project structuring, financing, development and commercial operations. To that end, RKF works directly with federal, state and local governments relating to such projects, including equity, financing, and government incentive issues.


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