Contact: James Plumb and Andrew Shute; Carter Newell (Queensland, Australia)
The Queensland Court of Appeal has recently been asked to consider the legal effect of an election notice issued pursuant to the negotiated access and compensation regime under the Queensland petroleum legislation.
Recent news that the government is to cut support for solar and onshore wind projects should not deter farmers from investing in the renewable technology.
According to Mark Neath, director at accountant Old Mill (Somerset, England - TIAG), there is still plenty of support for the Feed in Tariff and Renewable Obligation Certificate schemes, despite the recent negative headlines. “The announcement actually related to a new support scheme, not – as many people thought - affecting the existing FiT and ROC payments,” he says.
Queensland's strategic cropping land (SCL) regime is under review following a move by the State Government to bring forward the statutory review process by six months.
The Queensland Government has released a discussion paper seeking feedback on the effectiveness of the SCL framework to date and the future of the policy in light of the current reform of state planning instruments, as well as the push towards streamlining regulatory approvals and reducing red tape.
Specifically, the Newman Government is considering whether the existing framework for identifying SCL - based on a series of trigger maps and an assessment against SCL criteria - fits with the proposal to establish Priority Agricultural Areas in statutory regional plans.
Draft plans for the Darling Downs and Central Queensland areas were released in June. More information on the draft plans can be found in our July update.
The Government is interested in hearing from the resources and agricultural industries on how the legislation and administration of SCL can be improved. Submissions close on 9 September 2013.
The legal framework for the Panamanian Energy Sector (Law 6 of 1997) divides the Republic of Panama into three distribution territories. For each territory an exclusive concession is granted to one distribution company. Due to this exclusivity, regulations require these companies to purchase most of the power and energy they need to satisfy customer demand through reverse public auctions (energy bids), initially carried out by the distribution companies and most recently by the grid operator (Etesa).
Cheap gas prices driven by a boom in new shale gas development, coupled with more stringent emissions controls for coal fired plants, are causing a shift from coal to natural gas as the primary source of electric power in the United States. In the short term, most welcome this shift because natural gas produces significantly fewer greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. But it appears increasingly certain that in the long run, this shift will result in decreased energy grid reliability and significantly higher electricity costs due to natural gas price volatility.