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Renewable Energy: Corporate Obstacles and Opportunities

March 2020

Citation: 50 ELR 10181

Issue: 3

Author: Scott Fulton, Sofia O’Connor, Wayne Balta, Janice Dean, and Beth Deane

In the absence of a national mandate to intensify use of renewable energy, many corporations are increasing their own reliance on renewables. Numerous utilities are likewise transitioning toward wind, thermal, and solar power. But renewable energy continues to face challenges, including battery storage, grid expansion and incorporation of renewables into the grid, initial project costs, and regulatory barriers. How are utilities and energy-consuming companies increasing their renewables portfolios while navigating this terrain? On October 22, 2019, the Environmental Law Institute hosted its 2019 Annual Corporate Forum, which explored these questions and discussed the obstacles and opportunities for renewable energy. Below, we present a transcript of the discussion, which has been edited for style, clarity, and space considerations.

Scott Fulton is President of the Environmental Law Institute. Sofia O’Connor (moderator) is a Staff Attorney with the Environmental Law Institute. Wayne Balta is Vice President of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety at IBM Corporation. Janice Dean is Deputy Counsel at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Beth Deane is Chief Counsel for Project Development at First Solar.

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