Wall Street lawyers work with Government of Canada to expand market for clean energy

Indian lawyers and project developers from across the country met in New Delhi to learn about legal issues surrounding clean energy projects.

New Delhi, February 24, 2009


Indian lawyers and project developers from across the country met in New Delhi to learn about legal issues surrounding clean energy projects. Clean energy is a relatively new industry in India and policies, laws, and regulations are evolving in a highly dynamic environment. Many lawyers and law firms, and not only in India, have little experience in developing documents for clean energy projects.

In a unique project financed by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) and implemented by the Government of Canada's RETScreen International in association with The Energy + Environment Foundation, New York and Washington, D.C. energy lawyers have donated their time pro bono to create templates of key legal documents required for clean energy projects. "RETScreen aims to reduce the transaction costs of clean energy project development, but until this stage, nobody has ever addressed the legal costs in such a comprehensive way," stated Debashish Majumdar, Chairman and Managing Director of IREDA, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency.

The RETScreen Clean Energy Project Analysis Software® is a comprehensive clean energy decision-making tool for analyzing the financial viability of renewable-energy and energy-efficient technologies (RETs). The software, whose aim is to reduce the transaction costs (both financial and time) associated with identifying and assessing clean energy projects, is available free of charge in 30 languages covering 2/3rds of the world's population (www.retscreen.net).

The high cost of developing comprehensive and customized legal and financial documentation can be a critical barrier to the implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration projects. To help overcome this barrier, Natural Resources Canada's CanmetENERGY research centre in Varennes, in association with the Energy + Environment Foundation (EEF) and with funding from REEEP, have made available, via the internet, sample legal documents to assist project developers and other project stakeholders reduce the time and costs associated with developing legal and financial documentation for their projects.

"A variety of energy project model documents and suites of documents can be downloaded for free and then modified to meet local conditions. Our goal is to provide developers and attorneys access to these templates to help save in legal costs" stated Dr. Craig Hart, counsel in Alston & Bird's Energy Infrastructure & Climate Change Practice, and Executive Director of the Energy + Environment Foundation, in Washington, DC. While the legal documents project is being rolled out in India, the documents are freely available to project developers across the globe. Project developers are expected to experience significant savings in legal costs.

For more information contact:

Craig Hart
Executive Director, Energy + Environment Foundation
Counsel, Alston + Bird LLP
tel. +1 202 239 3912
e-mail: craighart@eeocw.org and craig.hart@alston.com
http://www.energyenvironmentfoundation.org/

or visit the RETScreen Website at: www.retscreen.net

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