Climate Law Update

Climate Law Update: Climate Change & Sustainable Energy News : Renewable Energy, Construction, Project Finance Lawyers & Attorneys, Personal Injury Lawyers and Car Accident Lawyers.

Climate Law Update an Injury Lawyer Resource

One consequence, of course, is that Climate Law Update will now be focused on  personal injury and accident law.

Since going live  Climate Law has attracted tens of thousands of visitors to its blend of journalism, analysis, and daily collections of stories from around the world of climate change and renewable energy. Often the site has been enriched by the legal acumen of many attorneys. While intended to showcase the firm as a leader in the renewable energy industry, the site has adhered to the highest standards of journalism. Its purpose was always to deliver the latest and most important information about renewable energy and issues concerning climate change.

Readers, who include attorneys, journalists and industry consultants, have rewarded Climate Law with their time and interest in the site. Thelen attorneys have also aired their views and interpretations of legal developments in the energy field via the site. News publications have called asking to interview them as expert sources.

Along the way, Climate Law also has evolved into a remarkable research tool. Through its many links, visitors can have access to literally hundreds of primary sources of information, including court filings, government reports, analyses from industry insiders and many, many other documents. Those who are involved with the site are especially proud of this public service component.

Current plans call for maintaining the site in live status at least for now, and it's possible there might be occasional updates to its postings. However, its founders, Senior Writer  Jerome Lawson 

If this is, indeed, the final posting for Climate Law, the folks responsible for this unique and innovative communications effort would like to thank those who have read the posts, clicked on the links, contacted our attorneys and commented to us about their efforts.

Neither the climate nor the law show any signs of disappearing. Hopefully, news about them both can be updated, in this or even an improved form, in the near future.

In The News


In The News

Anyone who can figure out the economy is probably too rich to be reading this, anyway, but a recent survey of reports conducted by a U.S. Department of Energy publication suggests the puzzling, if not downright contradictory nature of the situation, as it relates to the clean energy industry.

"Divergent trends for clean energy investments suggest that some companies may need to tighten their belts, even as they prepare for significant future growth," began the article in EERE Network News.

The item cited a report from New Energy Finance, an international private research company, that found private equity expansion capital had fallen significantly to $1.6 billion in the third quarter of the year. That was down from the previous quarter's $4.5 billion, according to the energy department report. 

A press release from the research firm described investment in clean energy firms via public markets as "well down this year," driven down by a number of factors, including plunging oil and gas prices and investors fleeing to other types of stocks. 

At the same time, the company found some brighter signs. For instance, it described early-stage venture capital as "buoyant," suggesting that "investors continue to see exciting new technology in the clean energy sector." And it said financing of new capacity, such as wind farms, solar parks and biofuel plants, was at a "high level" during the quarter, at $18 billion, a figure the energy department compared to the second quarter total of $21.9 billion.


In The News

Some newly released data suggests just how difficult will be the battle to control emissions of gases believed to contribute to climate change.

A new analysis from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that despite widespread concern about climate change, annual carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and manufacturing cement have grown 38 percent since 1992. The increase pushed the yearly total from 6.1 billion metric tons of carbon to 8.5 billion metric tons in 2007, according to a statement issued by the lab, an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy

Rapidly developing countries such as India and China have been the source of much of the increase, suggested the research. Gregg Marland, of the laboratory's environmental sciences division, said in the statement:

"The United States was the largest emitter of CO2 in 1992, followed in order by China, Russia, Japan and India. The most recent estimates suggest that India passed Japan in 2002, China became the largest emitter in 2006, and India is poised to pass Russia to become the third largest emitter, probably this year."

According to the researchers, the three most important human-caused sources of carbon dioxide emissions are burning fossil fuels and cement manufacturing, along with deforestation.

Then, even more recently, according to Reuters, another set of researchers found levels of a potent heat-trapping gas, nitrogen triflouride, were four times as high as previously thought. The gas, described as thousands of times more effective at warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, is used in the manufacture of flat-panel monitors, to etch silicon wafers, and, perhaps ironically, in the manufacture of thin film photovoltaic solar cells.


In The News


A series of recent reports and business developments serves to illustrate both the promise and turbulent nature of the renewable energy industry in today's challenging economy.

First, for the promise. The American Wind Energy Association this week reported that the United States is on track to install about 7,500 megawatts worth of new turbines this year. That, according to a statement from the trade association, would be a record significantly surpassing 2007's installations of 5,249 MW.

The wind group also asserted that the industry "is also aggressively expanding its manufacturing base" in the nation even in what it called "a difficult financial climate." The association found eight new turbine component plants had been opened during the year and nine expanded, with announcements of an additional 19 facilities. The expansions mean that about half the components in the new turbines are domestically produced, the association said. 

But at the same time, there were some less-positive signs.

A Connecticut project developer sold out of both phases of a planned 159 MW wind project in Michigan, apparently in an effort to raise cash and reduce costs, according to a New Energy Finance report carried by Clean Edge News. Then, the Wall Street Journal's Environmental Capital blog noted a big plunge in stocks for the Spanish turbine maker Gamesa, despite a tripling of profits, apparently because the company also said it would temporarily halt production at some of its plants.

Then, the ongoing concern over transmission capacity again emerged, this time in a new report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, which oversees the reliability of the continent's bulk power system. The report found a slight increase in transmission lines since 2007 but predicted that additions to generation, such as from wind farms, would significantly outpace the development of new transmission facilities.

Even there, however, there were somewhat mixed signals.  There was a report from the Rocky Mountain News that Colorado's two biggest power suppliers have teamed up to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on new transmission lines, which the paper said could serve wind, solar or coal generation.


In The New

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