Autumn 2015-2016

LAW 515/GSBGEN 332 | Sustainable Energy: Business Opportunities and Public Policy

This course examines trends and opportunities in the sustainable energy sector with a particular focus on low carbon energy. We examine these trends in the context of technological change, emerging business opportunities and the parameters set by public policy. Specific topics to be examined include: > The State of the Global Cleantech Industry.> The Impact of Regulatory Policies and Tax Subsidies.> Cost Competitiveness of Alternative Energy Technologies.> VC Perspective on Sustainable Energy Start-ups.> Project Finance > Fossil Fuels and Carbon Capture.> Renewable Energy, including Solar PV and Biofuels.> Energy Efficiency and Storage. Elements used in grading: Active class participation (30% of grade), case studies (30% of grade) and a course project (group project) to be delivered at the end of the fall quarter (40% of grade). The course project can alternatively (i) develop a (rough) business plan, (ii) analyze an existing business or technology in the sustainable energy domain, or (iii) analyze the impact of an existing regulation or proposed policy. Enrollment: Enrollment is capped at 60 students. The class is open to all MBA and Law School students. 10 seats will be set aside for graduate students from outside the two schools. These students are required to obtain instructors’ permission for enrollment. Compressed class: Class will meet in weeks 3, 4, 5 and 7 of the Autumn Quarter.

Stefan Reichelstein | Dan Reicher | Donald Wood
Units: 3 | Grading: Law Mandatory P/R/F


 

LAW 605 | International Environmental Law

This course examines the legal, scientific, political, economic, and organizational issues associated with the creation of international environmental regimes. The principal emphasis will be on the issue of climate change, with a focus on the current regime(s) and the lead-up to the Paris Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention. The course will also address the Montreal Protocol for Ozone Depleting Substances, the International Convention for Regulation of Whaling, and other multilateral agreements. The course examines the choice of legal instrument, as well as the implementation, evolution, and ultimate effectiveness of environmental regimes. Finally, close attention is paid to equity and development issues that are critical in bridging north-south divides on international environmental issues. Substantial student participation is expected and class participation will constitute twenty percent (20%) of the overall grade for the course. Elements used in grading: Class participation and final paper.

Michael Wara
Units: 3 | Grading: Law Honors/Pass/R credit/Fail

Winter 2015-2016

LAW 774/GSBGEN 335 | Clean Energy Project Development and Finance

This case study-oriented course will focus on the critical skills needed to evaluate, develop, finance (on a non-recourse basis), and complete standalone utility-scale energy and infrastructure projects. The primary course materials will be documents from several representative projects – e.g. solar, wind, storage, and carbon capture – covering key areas including market and feasibility studies, environmental permitting and regulatory decisions, financial disclosure from bank and bond transactions, and construction, input, and offtake contracts. Documents from executed transactions are highly customized. By taking a forensic and cross-disciplinary approach, looking at several different deals, we can learn how project developers, financiers, and lawyers work to get deals over the finish line that meet the demands of the market, the requirements of the law, and (sometimes) broader societal goals, in particular climate change, economic competitiveness, and energy security. Elements used in grading: Class Participation (35 %), Lecture-based Assignment (15 %), Group Project (50 %). Absences affect grade. Also open to engineering graduate students.

Jeffrey Brown | Dan Reicher |  David Rogers
Units: 3 | Grading: Law Honors/Pass/R credit/Fail

 

Spring 2015-2016

LAW 716 | Energy Deals

Course description: TBA. Elements used in grading: TBA

Michael Wara

Units: 3 | Law Honors/Pass/R credit/Fail


LAW 603 | Environmental Law and Policy

This course provides an introduction to federal environmental law, regulation, and policy in the United States. The course emphasizes the cooperative and competing roles that the federal and state governments play in implementing environmental law in the United States. The course encourages students to adopt a comparative and dynamic view of environmental protection under U.S. law. We begin with a discussion of the property law roots of environmental law. Next we briefly touch on some aspects of U.S. administrative law that are essential to understanding the material that follows (students should feel free to take this class without having taken Administrative Law). This is followed by a discussion of the risk assessment and cost-benefit frameworks essential to understanding the current U.S. approach to environmental problems. We conclude this segment with a comparison of two approaches to chemical safety regulation – the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act and the EU REACH directive. Next, we focus on three key substantive federal environmental statutes: the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Next, we turn to the National Environmental Policy Act to understand how environmental concerns are included in the process of making agency decisions. The course concludes with a discussion of current EPA efforts to address emissions of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Special Instructions: Substantial participation is expected and class participation constitutes twenty percent (20%) of the overall grade for the course. In addition, students are expected to complete two 1000 word written assignments during the course that will constitute forty percent (40%) of the overall grade. Finally, an in-school exam will, similar in format and length to the written assignments, constitute the remaining forty percent (40%) of the overall grade. Elements used in grading: Class participation (20%), written assignments (40%) and final exam (40%).

Michael Wara

Units: 3 | Grading: Law Honors/Pass/R credit/Fail

Previous Courses

Clean Tech: Business Fundamentals and Public Policy
Course type: Lecture
The course materials include case studies, book chapters, reports, homework exercises, videos, guests, and the presentation of final course projects. COURSE OBJECTIVES: * Examine developments in the cleantech sector related to energy and carbon emissions. * Provide a framework for comparing the cost competitiveness of alternative energy solutions. * Examine current trends in public policy and regulatory initiatives related to carbon emissions and clean energy standards. * Understand challenges for the commercialization of new energy technologies. Examine strategies for avoiding the “Valley of Death.” This course is crosslisted with GSBGEN 532. Class taught at TBA. Special Instructions: This course is limited to 20 Law School students. Class will meet October 7 to October 18. Elements used in grading: Class participation (35%), written assignments (25%) and paper (40%) that either provides a (rough) business plan or examines an existing business (or policy) initiative related to the cleantech sector.
Dan Reicher | Stefan Reichelstein


 

Hot Topics on Major Federal Environmental Statutory Schemes
Course type: Seminar
This workshop seminar will provide students with the opportunity to examine and critique cutting-edge research and work in the field of environment, energy, and natural resources. Although it is open to all students, the seminar is designed especially for those with an interest in the field who wish to stay abreast of current issues, work, and ideas. In each class, an academic expert, policy maker, or practitioner will present their current research or work and engage in a robust discussion. Special Instructions: Grades will be based on class participation and; Option 1 (Section 01, 2 units) – You will receive a course credit if you choose to write reflection/discussion papers. Grading for this option is Mandatory P/R/F. Option 2 (Section 02 or 03, 2-3 units) – Students will have the option, to write reflection/discussion papers and a longer paper for Research (R) credit or Writing (W) credit, with consent of the instructor. If the longer paper involves independent research, then it is eligible for “R” credit. The instructor and student must agree whether the student will receive “R” credit or “W” credit. Students approved for “R” credit will be enrolled in Section 02 for 2-3 units depending on paper length, student approved for “W” credit will be enrolled in Section 03 for 2 units. Writing (W) credit for 3Ls only. Grading for this option is H/P/R/F. Elements used in grading: (1) Class participation and reflection/discussion papers (2) Class participation, reflection/discussion papers and longer papers for Writing/Research students.
Michael Wara


 

Climate and Energy Seminar
Course type: Seminar
(Same as EESS 310) This course examines the links between climate change policy and other regulation of the energy sector in the U.S. context. In the electricity sector, these policies are likely to be closely interconnected, yet they are often considered in isolation. We will evaluate the impacts of energy, air pollution, and water pollution regulations on US greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector. We will also examine how state regulatory activities aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector are likely to have co-benefits for air and water pollution.
Dan Reicher | Felix Mormann | Michael Wara


 

Potential Impacts of Highly-Innovative Emerging Technologies on Climate and the Economy
Course type: Seminar
Course code: ENVRES 245
Recommended: ENERGY 102, CEE 173, CEE 207, EEARTHSYS 103 (or other energy technology background). This research seminar will evaluate the economic and greenhouse gas impacts of nascent, highly-innovative technologies. Areas of investigation to include electric, shared, and autonomous vehicles; innovation in buildings; manufacturing (3D printing, materials, and machine-to-machine communications); energy storage; big data (smart grid, resource exploration, customer segmentation); and distance engagement (e-commerce, online education, telecommuting). The course research will be applied to the New Climate Economy report to be presented to the UN Secretary General’s Leaders Summit on Climate Change in September 2014.
Stefan Heck


 

China’s Solar Industry and its Global Implications
Course type: Practicum
Course Description:
China dominates and defines a growing global market for solar power. That market faces a stark dichotomy. Solar energy’s prospects as a meaningful electricity source are increasingly bright. Yet, amid a global glut of solar panels, the future contours of the industry – the relative roles of leading players such as the United States and China – are increasingly unclear. Students in this seminar will analyze industry and policy data to assess China’s competitive strengths in the global solar industry and, based on those conclusions, to suggest finance and policy approaches that the US and China each could adopt so that the two countries operate more strategically in an economically efficient global solar market – and, by extension, a globalizing market for cleaner sources of energy. This research will figure into a project on this theme underway at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance. Course deliverables will vary among students and will be based on discussions at the start of the class between the instructors and the students. Some students will produce papers; others will develop and analyze key sets of data.

Students from graduate programs around the university – the law school and others – are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to those with demonstrated interest in energy finance and policy, particularly bearing on China, and with fluency in Mandarin, though neither is a firm requirement. Given that the Steyer-Taylor Center project will continue through the academic year, preference also will be given to students who intend to continue with the practicum in both the winter and spring quarters. Students have the option to write papers for W or R credit. If the paper involves independent research, then it will be eligible for R credit. The instructor and student must agree whether the student will receive an R or a W. After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from the W writing section (01) into section (02), which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor. Students may normally receive no more than four units for a Policy Lab practicum and no more than a total of eight units of Policy Lab practicums and Directed Research projects combined may be counted toward graduation unless additional units for graduation are approved in advanced by the Petitions Committee. A student cannot receive a letter grade for more than eight units of independent research (Policy Lab practicum, Directed Research, Senior Thesis, and/or Research Track). Any units taken in excess of eight will be graded on a mandatory pass basis. Elements used in grading: Class Participation, Written Assignments or Paper. Consent Application: To apply for this course, students must complete and e-mail the Consent Application Form available on the SLS Registrar’s Office website (see Registration and Selection of Classes for Stanford Law Students) to the instructors.
Jeffrey Ball | Dan Reicher


 

Economics of Competing Energy Technologies
Course type: On-line Course Module
While it has become clear that we need to reduce our global carbon footprint, there is still significant debate around the cost vs benefits of renewable energies compared to traditional sources like coal, natural gas and oil remains. This course examines the economics of competing power sources from an investor perspective. Learn how to evaluate alternative technologies that have vastly different developmental and ongoing costs. Evaluate public policy instruments including taxes, regulations, and incentives and learn how they can influence outcomes. Study real-world examples of alternative energies and the financial models that can be used to assess results. Explore the potential for future cost reductions through technological improvements.
Stefan Reichelstein


 

Modern Fossil Fuel Extraction
This workshop seminar will provide students with the opportunity to examine and critique cutting-edge research and work in the field of environment, energy, and natural resources. Although it is open to all students, the seminar is designed especially for those with an interest in the field who wish to stay abreast of current issues, work, and ideas. In each class, an academic expert, policy maker, or practitioner will present their current research or work and engage in a robust discussion.
Michael Wara


 

Managing Natural Resources In the Face of Climate Change and Other Stressors Worksop
This workshop seminar will provide students with the opportunity to examine and critique cutting-edge research and work in the field of environment, energy, and natural resources. Although it is open to all students, the seminar is designed especially for those with an interest in the field who wish to stay abreast of current issues, work, and ideas. In each class, an academic expert, policy maker, or practitioner will present their current research or work and engage in a robust discussion.
Michael Wara