Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles

Project Description

 

Electric vehicles are gaining in popularity as clean, reliable alternatives to gasoline-powered automobiles. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) present an opportunity to reduce local emissions, expand the U.S. clean fuel sector, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

At the turn of the century, steam and electricity were both considerably more popular as transportation fuels than gasoline as both were more readily available to consumers and manufacturers. Biofuels also powered many early vehicles. Rapid improvement to roads and fueling station availability in the 1910s and 1920s, combined with a precipitous decrease in gasoline prices, paved the way for gasoline as America’s transportation fuel of choice.

The ability to transport Americans quickly and cheaply at great distances heralded the triumph of gasoline over electricity. Electric vehicle production remained essentially dormant from the 1920s through the 1990s, with scattered attempts to manufacture electric vehicles in the 1960s and thereafter failing. The California Air Resource Board (CARB) attempted to create a market with 1990’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate. The ZEV mandate was ultimately weakened by CARB, and it did not produce a meaningful impact on gasoline’s dominance over transportation fuels. It did set the stage for electricity’s re-introduction into the market.

 

Sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) have steadily increased throughout the 2000s and now represent a significant segment of new vehicles sold in the United States. Hybrid electric sales in the United States rose over 400% between the years 2003 and 2005, and have continued to trend steadily upwards. On the heels of hybrid electric successes, BEVs and PHEVs have been introduced into the marketplace. Just as hybrid electric vehicles sold limited quantities during their initial years on the market (less than 30,000 total during the first three years of sale), BEVs and PHEVs have sold limited numbers, but also trend upwards.

Project Details

 

Client NYSERDA

Date Current Project

Renewable Fuels Roadmap

Pace Law School’s Energy and Climate Center has produced the Renewable Fuels Roadmap and Sustainable Biomass Feedstock Supply for New York State (Roadmap) for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Intended to help guide state policy on renewable fuels, the Roadmap was a recommendation from Governor David A Paterson’s Renewable Energy Task Force report issued in February 2008. The Roadmap evaluates the future of liquid biofuel production and feedstock supplies for transportation purposes in New York State in order to address increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as independence from petroleum usage.

Advanced Biofuels

Part of a series of clean fuels briefs, this was created to explain the current state of the Advanced Biofuel industry and its technological opportunities to state policy makers. This brief includes a short history and a state by state guide of the Northeast and Mid Atlantic incentives, subsidies, and preferential policies used to promote advanced biofuels.

International Energy

International Energy

Project Description

 

Since the Center’s inception, it has had strong involvement in international energy issues, and in recent times, in climate change mitigation and adaption, focusing on energy-related climate change solutions. There also has been heavy emphasis on seeking to educate about the advantages of energy efficiency and renewable energy to help developing countries advance economically, eliminate the heavy financial and health burdens of reliance on imported fossil fuels, and reduce their contributions to climate change.

In performing this work, the Center relies heavily on the strong involvement of Center staff, student Research Assistants and Pace Law School faculty members active in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its IUCN Academy of Environmental Law. The Academy’s 180 global universities with strong environmental law programs hosts collaborative research projects and holds annual colloquia on important issues of environmental law through which the Center presents and publishes much of its work.

Thus, the Center through its founder, Dean Emeritus Richard Ottinger, was a principal organizer of the Academy’s first Colloquium in 2004, held at Shanghai Jiao Tong University on the topic, The Law of Energy for Sustainable Development.  The Colloquium was attended by more than 500 environmental and energy law experts and presentations were made by many of the most prominent leaders in this field. Its proceedings were published in 2005 by Cambridge University Press, along with a volume of the laws presented, Compendium of Sustainable Energy Laws.

A number of projects demonstrate the global reach of the Center, including Renewable Energy Law and Development, A Case Study, published by Edward Elgar Ltd of London, which included chapters by Research Assistants from China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Morocco.  In 2007, the Center was the principal organizer and editor of The UNEP Handbook for Legal Draftsmen on Environmentally Sound Management of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Resources. UNEP has recently contracted with the Center to organize a sequel to the Handbook.

The Center has done pioneering work on climate change mitigation, including a recent presentation to the European Environmental Law Association conference in La Rochelle, France, containing detailed recommendations for success of the COP21 climate change negotiations, Expanding COP 21 INDCs to Include Non-National Contributions.

Center student Research Assistants have performed much of the research supporting the Center international work.  The important Center climate change article, Innovative Financing of Renewable Energy.was researched and presented at the IUCN Academy Colloquium in Tarragona, Spain by a Center RA.  Similarly the article, Options for Adaptation, researched by two student RAs, was prepared for the National University of Singapore and was presented at an APCEL Workshop on Adaptation to Climate Change: ASEAN and the Comparative Experiences (17 & 18 July 2014), to be published in a book of its proceedings.

The Center has done extensive work with China for many years, helping it to overcome its serious air pollution and other environmental problems. In recent years our China work has been done primarily in partnership with leading China environmental law authority, Wang Xi, Professor of Law and Associate Dean at Shanghai Jaio Tong University and Director of its Environmental and Resources Law Institute. With Dean Ottinger, he is also co-chair of the Energy and Climate Change Specialty Group of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law. Together they published an extensive study of implementation of environmental law, the recommendations of which were largely adopted by the recent PRC revision of China’s environmental laws.  Professors Wang and Ottinger are presently collaborating on a comparative study of air pollution remediation actions by Los Angeles, California and Beijing, again with Center RA research assistance.

Project Details

Client International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Date  2004 – Present

Compendium of Land Use Laws for Sustainable Development

This book collects land use laws from countries on each continent that attempt to achieve sustainable development. Due to the startling evidence of global deterioriation and the long-term trends in land use, the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development was signed in 2002. In the laws collected in this volume, the reader can witness the evolution of national legal systems as they respond to the challenge of sustainable development.

Innovative Financing for Renewable Energy

Renewable energy holds great promise for solving the world’s energy needs with minimal climate change and pollution consequences. While renewable energy is the fastest growing type of energy production, the prospects for it to displace fossil fuels are seriously inhibited by the high first/capital cost of renewable energy infrastructure.

State Climate Action

State Climate Action

Project Description

The Center’s experts have been closely involved with numerous state-level initiatives to design and implement policies to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from various sectors.  Some current projects in this area include:

  • North America 2050: A Partnership for Progress.  Center experts serve as primary facilitators to the more than 20 states and four Canadian provinces that are looking for ways to stimulate the economy while reducing emissions.  The Center is also the primary facilitator and advisor for the Power Sector Working Group of NA2050, whose focus is to help states prepare for impending federal standards covering existing power plants.
  • The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  Center experts have served as advisors to state decision makers.  The Center also convened a group of electric generators, utilities and environmental groups in a Pace RGGI Dialogue to submit joint comments to the states on how to improve the RGGI program during its 2012 review

Project Details

 

Client State and Local Governments
Date 2012
Experts Thomas G. Bourgeois, Karl R. Rábago

North America 2050: A Partnership for Progress

Center experts serve as primary facilitators to the more than 20 states and four Canadian provinces that are looking for ways to stimulate the economy while reducing emissions. The Center is also the primary facilitator and advisor for the Power Sector Working Group of NA2050, whose focus is to help states prepare for impending federal standards covering existing power plants.

The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Center experts have served as advisors to state decision makers. The Center also convened a group of electric generators, utilities and environmental groups in a Pace RGGI Dialogue to submit joint comments to the states on how to improve the RGGI program during its 2012 review.

Hydrokinetic Energy

Hydro Kinetic Energy

The Challenge

 

Although not yet widely used, tidal energy has potential for future electricity generation. Tides are more predictable than the wind and the sun. Among sources of renewable energy, tidal energy has traditionally suffered from relatively high cost and limited availability of sites with sufficiently high tidal ranges or flow velocities, thus constricting its total availability.  (Wikipedia)

The Solution

 

Pace recently concluded a report on the legal and regulatory requirements for hydrokinetic facilities.  We convened a workshop of prominent experts to inform state policy make

  • <p>Middle East and North Africa</p> 1.8% 1.8%
  • North America 17.5% 17.5%
  • <p>Latin America & The Carribean</p> 14.8% 14.8%
  • <p>South and Central Asia</p> 6.6% 6.6%
  • <p>Africa</p> 1.5% 1.5%
  • <p>Southeast Asia & Pacific</p> 3.6% 3.6%
  • <p>East Asia</p> 29.9% 29.9%
  • <p>Europe</p> 24.3% 24.3%

Hydro power capacity by region

As of 2011, over 160 countries were using hydro power capacity, with 11000 hydro power stations having a total global installed capacity of approx. 936 GW. China is the leading hydro power generating country, followed by Canada, USA, and Brazil (World Energy Sources: 2013 Survey, 2016).

International Renewable Energy Agency

 The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was founded in 2009 and formally established in 2011 as an intergovernmental organisation. IRENA supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international co-operation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy, in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity. For more information, visit the IRENA website at: www.irena.org
Karl R. Rábago

Karl R. Rábago

Executive Director