Saturday, January 1, 2011

Verification of Renewable Energy Reporting Programs



Verification for Renewable Energy Programs

Clean Energy Finance

Sales of Renewable Energy Certificates in the Voluntary markets posted a year over year increase of 43% during 2009, following an equally impressive increase of 45% in the previous year.  But 2010 represented a turning point for the industry. Government stimulus throughout the year fueled the clean energy markets by as much as $100 billion in a single month.  This is a significant investment in United States industry considering a market cap of $58 Billion on the S&P Global Clean Energy Index for 2010.  Public acceptance of alternative energy sources  combined with the result of stimulus should fuel even higher growth rates moving forward.
As the market grows, so does LakeShore Global.  We  offer verification service for RECs, RINs, CO2, and emissions.  We are the Verification Experts.  Ask us to show you how we can streamline your compliance cost and improve the experience.

Green-e Energy Verification Protocol

LakeShore is the fatest growing verifier of Green-e Energy products in the world. We are the best Green-e Auditor in the industry because we are focused on the renewable energy credit markets every day of the year.  Our expert knowlege of the Green-e Energy Protocol combined with our unique cost structure provides our large clients with an extremely high value proposition. Switch to LakeShore this year and realize a significant savings in audit fees.  We have seen client's reduce their audit fees by  over 50% upon engaging LakeShore Global. 
Our constant attention to the markets and a strong working relationship with the Center for Resource Solutions gives LakeShore the insight to spot opportunities in the market in time to take action.  We know the Green-e Energy Protocol so well because of the time we spent working with CRS staff re-writing the Protocol in 2009.  LakeShore's proprietary software reporting tool is specifically tailored to the Green-e Energy program and results in a significant reduction in preparation and reporting time for our clients.  The exclusive software available only to our clients results in simplification of both reporting and auditing.  Call us to find out how LakeShore can help you to reduce compliance cost and increase efficiency while continuing to maintain a sucessful market strategy for your voluntary trading program.
Our value does not end with the issuance of a report.  With major changes visibile on the industry horizon, you need an auditor with a diverse skill set in the global clean energy markets. Our broad based market focus and technical strength gives us the ability to easily guide you through any changes in compliance procedures or environmental cross market obstacles that might arise.  As new cap and trade schemes come on line, expect additional carve outs and set aside allowances similar to what was seen in RGGI.  Your auditors knowledge of the emmissions market as well as efficiency will be critical to the success of your trading program.  Take measures this year to ensure a seamless  integration towards future consolidated electronic registries.  As cross functioning product markets continue to converge, LakeShore stands out with the optimum skill set of financial, engineering and information technology expertise needed to assist your organization in reaching the next critical milestone.

Independently Certified REC Portfolios

Often contractual requirements mandate certificates need to be Green-e certifiable.  If you are not a Green-e Participant, we can still accomplish this for you.  Because of our expert knowledge of the Green-e Energy Protocol for Renewable Energy Certificates, we can custom tailor a program to meet your contractual requirements.  As compliance costs continue to rise, many of our customers have found this be be a cost effective alternative to obtaining broader portolio certification.  Independent certification of RECs is becoming increasingly acceptable and our price for this service is very reasonable.  You can rest assuredly knowing that pre-verified environmental products are used in the transactions critical to the success of your sustainability programs.

Individual Transaction Certification

Biomass facilities represent a higher risk fuel source for failing to meet the qualification for classification as a renewable facility.  Strict rules are in place regarding biomass facilities, so we recommend consultation with an expert if there is any uncertainty regarding the transaction.  Feel free to call us to discuss any transaction before or after it occurs.  We have experience working with biomass repowering and certification as well as certifying unregistered facilities.  LakeShore can perform the due diligence required to ensure your purchase will qualify as a certified transaction. 

Facility Certification

LakeShore can assist you in obtaining the appropriate certifications to ensure compliance with industry standards or state/federal registration requirements to ensure facilities are properly classified and certified as a qualified renewable facility.
Need an Ecologo Certifcation? Call us to discuss how we can streamline the process for you and help to reduce barriers to international trade.   We are working with our Canadian counterparts to help break down barriers that restrict international trade of RECs.

Federal GHG Programs

As part of the Federal Energy Management Program directives, US government facilities have been a major purchaser of RECs recently.  The federal guidelines for these purchases require verification in order to close the sale and LakeShore has performed these types of verifications.  If you are securing a federal contract for the sale of RECs to a Federal or State agency, call us.  We have streamlined the process and can get your transactions verified quickly and efficiently at a very reasonable price for your government contracts.  If you have a government contract requiring verfication, call us.

LakeShore Global

The Verification Experts
Austin, Texas
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Van Ness Feldman Law Firm: Emissions Trading, Carbon Markets, & Offset Project Development

Van Ness Feldman Law Firm: Emissions Trading, Carbon Markets, & Offset Project Development: "Van Ness Feldman
Washington, DC Seattle, WA
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Emissions Trading, Carbon Markets, & Offset Project Development
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More and more companies and investment firms are participating in environmental credit markets, including regulated and voluntary markets for carbon and other greenhouse gas emission reductions and renewable energy credits. Companies’ motivations for participating in these markets include:

* Complying with international, national, state, or local mandates - or hedging against the risk of future mandates.
* Demonstrating corporate social responsibility to customers or shareholders;
* Gaining experience in new markets.
* Taking advantage of emerging investment opportunities in new 'green' or clean energy and technology markets.
* Monetizing emission reduction or sequestration activities.

Comprehensive Services to Environmental Market Participants

Van Ness Feldman’s emissions trading and emissions reduction project development practice integrates decades of environmental, energy, and transactional experience for the benefit of our clients. With one of the largest and most diversified energy practices in the U.S. (including an active renewable energy practice), we bring unique perspective and value to trading transactions and emissions reduction projects.

Since 2000, we have advised on environmental markets transactions for over 50 million credits and voluntary emission reductions (VERs). Surveys of emissions trading market participants by Environmental Finance have consistently ranked Van Ness Feldman as a leading law firm in GHG Emissions, North American Markets, and for the voluntary markets.

Among other services, we help clients:

* Formulate and implement emissions trading strategies.
* Develop projects and structure commercial transactions.
* Understand how greenhouse gas emissions trading can fit within a comprehensive corporate climate change (or portfolio management) strategy.
* Work with third-party project developers, financing sources, brokers, verifiers, and regulators to ensure that credits are marketable and properly documented.
* Form joint ventures and other vehicles to maximize financing and bring together complementary assets and capabilities.

The firm’s deep expertise in environment, energy, and natural resources issues allows us to understand not just the transactional elements but also the underlying projects.

Our emissions trading experience extends to a variety of different types of project activities, including: bagasse generation; coal mine methane capture; landfill methane capture; reforestation, afforestation, and avoided deforestation; gas flaring, fuel switching, and geothermal energy.
Our Clients

We advise buy-side and sell-side U.S. and international market participants, including: energy companies and utilities; emerging clean technology ventures; chemical and metals companies; hedge, venture capital and private equity funds; renewable project developers; market intermediaries; and others.
Representative Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Advisory Work

* For an international climate change investment group, counseled and drafted a master agreement for the sale of retail renewable energy certificates, and represented the client in the purchase of carbon dioxide equivalent sequestration rights from a project that will involve grassland restoration and/or preservation.
* Represented a trading company in a series of transactions in which it made a forward purchase of Kyoto Protocol Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from three bagasse energy projects in Latin America and then sold the bundled credits to an electric power company in an Annex I country.
* For an international investment fund, counseled on purchase of approximately 250,000 emission reduction units that are certified under the Voluntary Carbon Standard and/or Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism, from a waste incineration and power generation plant in the People’s Republic of China, and counseled on a Voluntary Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement (VERPA) for the sale of 10,000 verified emission reduction units generated from a wind power generation project located in the People’s Republic of China.
* For an international investment fund, advised on a three-party Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) for the purchase of the output CERs from seven manufacturing facilities in the People’s Republic of China.
* For the Climate Cent Foundation of Switzerland, served as primary outside counsel for all emissions trading transactions. The Foundation committed to contracting 6 million tons of Kyoto credits by mid-2008.
* For an international emissions trading consulting firm, drafted a VERPA for the purchase of approximately 300,000 emission reduction units that are certified under the Voluntary Carbon Standard from a hydroelectric power project located in near Asia.
* For a carbon fund, drafted and advised on an Emission Trading Master Agreement for the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.
* For a UK investment fund, advised on an ERPA for the purchase of approximately 750,000 Certified Emission Reductions from an electricity generation project in Southeast Asia.
* Serving as counsel to PowerTree, a limited liability company that purchases verified emission reduction credits from forestry projects on behalf of two dozen power companies.

For a multinational energy company, provided counsel on sales of Kyoto Protocol Certified Emission Reductions from a geothermal project and a gas flaring project, both located in Southeast Asia.

For an oil company, analyzed potential competing claims for ownership of emission credits resulting from carbon sequestration/enhanced oil recovery projects in which the company was participating.

For a manufacturer in Latin America, provided counsel on the company's sale of Kyoto Protocol Certified Emission Reductions to an international financial institution.

Counseled a Southeast Asian manufacturing company on the sale of the company to an international carbon fund. The company owns a Clean Development Mechanism project expected to generate approximately 2 million CERs through 2012, including 'prompt start' CERs.

Advised a company on its participation in the Chicago Climate Exchange.

For a carbon asset management fund, advised on the creation of standard ERPAs from perspectives of both the Buyer and Seller.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Federal mandate on emissions reporting... how will corporate America comply?

Considering the mandate is set at a relatively low threshold, all company's will need to self evaluate whether they will be impacted.  LakeShore Global  has primarily been working in the voluntary markets, but we are now moving into the the California Air Resource Board mandatory emissions reporting program. Under that program, just about everyone is required to report, and if you breach the threshold, then verification is required. Verification is when a company (like LakeShore) with an accredited verification body perform an independent audit on your emissions inventory... or a measure of your carbon footprint. This includes everything like office electricity usage and vehicle fleet gas consumption... so it's not just for power production and manufacturing. It makes since that the large industry players such as the EPA Climate Leaders are voluntarily involved to stay abreast of developments in this industry. The good news is that at a federal level, there is currently no mandate for verification and this will save the corporate pocket book for the time being. Because the states have been very pro-active at restricting emissions, there are many special interest groups that advocate a federal mandate, but with administration and enforcement at the state level.

So from a compliance standpoint, it is good news that the federal mandate will not require verification, however companies will need to have the ability to evaluate and measure their carbon footprint in order to submit to the mandated reports. So, back to the question of how? Corporate America is being forced to measure their carbon footprint. You should select a reputable company to evaluate your footprint and set up a "self administered" reporting program (alternatively you may want to outsource the function altogether). Select a vendor who submits to voluntary monitoring to ensure quality product and service offerings to participants in the clean energy compliance marketplace. Expect to see high growth rates for the participants in this market in the coming months due to the massive inflows of investment into clean tech by federal programs. Yesterdays renewable energy companies will be the industry power players of tomorrow and the companies who are already established in these markets will be the ones to go with.

It will be interesting to see what happens at the
state level. It will likely fall in some form of extension to the state Renewable Portfolio Standards and/or implementation of programs similar to California or some of the regional cap and trade programs that are in place in half the states in the country already. Watch out if you breach the threshold, because most of those programs will likely require verification. If the market participants can measure their footprint, half the battle is won already. And if the players can actually measure the reduction of their carbon footprint.... one would need to ask what are those players doing with that reduction?  If they are not monetizing, they could be leaving millions in potential revenue on the table.