Murphy’s Law and Renewable Energy Projects: If It Can Go Wrong, It Probably Will
by David Huard and Jack Stoddard
BNA Environment ReporterAugust 5, 2011
This spring California officially increased its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) mandate from 20 percent to 33 percent by 2020. This new goal places California among the most aggressive of the 36 states that have established some kind of renewable energy mandate. Renewable project developers interested in tapping into this second phase of the California renewable energy gold rush should be mindful, however, that significant impediments to successful project development remain.
Developers, practitioners, and policymakers may note that many of the barriers to development and programmatic pitfalls—institutional and otherwise—are not unique to California and will become issues of national concern as other states establish new renewable energy mandates. Hopeful developers will be well served to plan on encountering, one, or all, of the pitfalls discussed below. As the old adage called Murphy’s Law, states, if something can go wrong, it probably will.
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