April 9, 2018

Staying on top of the legal and policy developments in the climate change arena is no small task. As a special service to our members, the Environmental Law Institute provides a series of monthly conference calls with national experts on climate law and policy to keep you up to date and to answer your questions.



SPECIAL NOTE: In April we are pleased to welcome Sally Fisk of Pfizer to our panel to address private-sector initiatives in the climate change area. She and Nikki Roy, who provides our legislative segment, will alternate on the monthly panels. Sally is lead counsel and a strategic advisor for Pfizer’s Environmental Sustainability program, including matters related to climate change. She also leads the Environmental Law Group’s business transactions program and legal support for environmental sustainability disclosures.

Topics to be addressed in this month's call:

  • Please check back on the Friday preceding the session for a complete list of topics to be discussed . . .

Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director, Climate Center, Georgetown University
Sally Fisk, Assistant General Counsel, Pfizer
Michael B. Gerrard, Professor, Columbia Law School; Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
Robert Sussman, Principal, Sussman & Associates

ELI members will have access to a recording of this session (usually posted w/in 48 hours). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.

ELI Monthly Climate Briefings are made possible by the
generous support of our institutional members.

NOTE: This call/recording is for ELI members only. No comments may be quoted
or used without the express written permission of ELI and the panelist.

April 9, 2018

An ELI Public Webinar

“Distributed generation” describes electricity that is produced at or near the location where it is used, and can include renewable energy technologies such as solar photovoltaic panels, which currently account for over 90% of U.S. distributed generation capacity. How to compensate “grid-tied” distributed generation systems—which sell electricity to the grid when more energy is produced than consumed at the use site—is currently the subject of vigorous debate.

Advocates of the prevalent net metering approach, in which distributed generators are compensated for electricity they sell to the grid at the same rate they would pay to receive energy from the grid, argue that it is a crucial incentive for investments in renewable energy, helping to avert health- and climate-related costs of fossil fuel consumption. Critics of this approach argue that it requires utility companies to provide grid maintenance and other services without revenue from distributed generators, and to pass those costs on to utility customers who lack the ability to invest in distributed generation.

In a 2017 article appearing in the Harvard Environmental Law Review, Dr. Burcin Unel and Professor Richard L. Revesz (New York University School of Law) argue that an “Avoided Cost Plus Social Benefit” policy should be adopted for valuing distributed energy generation, whereby distributed clean energy is rewarded for its environmental and health benefits and utilities are compensated for the services they provide–until a more comprehensive retail rate reform can be achieved that ensures the efficient integration of all types of distributed energy resources into the grid.

Join ELI, co-author Burcin Unel, and commenters from the private sector, government, and advocacy groups for a webinar discussion of this proposal. This webinar will include interactive opportunities to have your questions answered by the panelists and to glean deeper insights into electricity generation and pricing.

Linda K. Breggin, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute

Burcin Unel, Ph.D, Energy Policy Director, The Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law, Co-Author
Ellen Anderson, former Chair of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
Bradley Campbell, President, Conservation Law Foundation
Adam Benshoff, Deputy General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Edison Electric Institute