Energy Regulation Round Up, May 2023

Author photo: Gaven Simon
By Gaven Simon
Industry Trends


The Americas:

            The Biden-Harris Administration today announced the availability of $11 billion in grants and loan opportunities that will help rural energy and utility providers bring affordable, reliable clean energy to their communities across the country. Funding is available through two programs that are open to eligible applicants. The first program, Empowering Rural America has $9.7 billion dollars available and will be facilitated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Applicants who are eligible include rural electric cooperatives that are deploying renewable energy systems, zero-emission and carbon capture systems (Link).    After a yearlong stalemate, California, Arizona, and Nevada have agreed upon a plan to take less water from the drought-stricken Colorado River. The agreement will cut down 13% of the total water use in the lower basin and will affect Native American tribes, farm operators, and will trigger significant water restrictions. The plan is expected to conserve 3m acre feet of water over the next three years, to put it into perspective one Californian household needs about a single acre foot of water a year. The savings will be compensated by the federal government with 1.2bn in grant money financed from the Inflation Reduction Act and will be split upon the states, tribes, and water districts. (Link)

Energy Regulation


              Germanys Vice Chancellor right hand man and top energy official, Patrick Graichen stepped down last week due to swarming favoritism allegations. Mr. Graichen was appointed to state secretary back in 2021 after serving as the chief of Berlins influential Berlin based think tank “Agora”. He quickly created a large reputation for himself, most notably playing a huge role in the controversial law, a ban on fossil heaters from 2024. Allegations began to swarm during the appointment process for Germanys own think tank, Dena. Graichen failed to disclose his close personal relationship with designated government think-tank chief Michael Schäfer, once his best man. Amidst favoritism allegations it was revealed that Mr. Graichen had approved a funding application of €600,000 for a Berlin environmental NGO, coincidentally his sister Verena Graichen on its board. This is a major blow and is expected to leave a hole in the Chancellor Habeck ability push forward the country’s green transformation.


             The French government plans to budget half a billion euros annually for a new tax credit for investments in green technologies. The tax credit will cover companies’ capital expenditures on 25-40% of their investments in wind, solar power facilities, heat pumps and batteries. Aside from the tax credits, the bill includes cash incentives for buying new electric cars conditional on them being built within Europe. A shockingly similar policy can be found here in the states under the Inflation Reduction Act. The Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the tax credits will be available on a temporary basis in line with EU rules until 2025 with the possibility of an extension to 2029. The next tax credit is expected to generate private investments up to twenty billion euros by 2030. (Link)


           On May 19th, The seventy ninth session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) hosted in Bangkok concluded. The session’s theme focused on “accelerating climate action in Asia and the Pacific for sustainable development.” During this session leaders re-committed to immediately curb greenhouse gas emissions and agreed upon ten resolutions aimed at strengthening regional climate action. The resolutions include promoting clean energy technology, low emission mobility, early warning systems, and sustainable urban development. During the closing statements, the UN secretary general, Armida Alisjahbana said, “the global climate fight will be won or lost in this crucial decade; in this context, the resolution demonstrates the commitment by countries in this region to take faster and bolder climate action.” The Asia Pacific region has the largest and fastest growing population and accounts for the largest share of global emissions. (Link)

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