The International Law Institute (ILI) is pleased to present a new two-week seminar on Project Development for Power and Renewable Energy that will take place in Washington, D.C. from April 1st – 12th, 2019. This seminar will explore renewable energy under the umbrella of creating bankable projects in the power sector. Don De Amicis, a longtime advisor at the International Law Institute, will serve as Course Advisor.

For many years, the opportunity cost of renewable energy was not considered because the cost of fossil fuels in the atmosphere was accepted as a necessary cost. Power is essential, especially in countries with emerging economies, and renewable energy sources are frequently considered cost-prohibitive despite their benefits. However, the reliance on fossil fuels for power generation is now abating. In 2015, the signatory countries of the Paris Climate Agreement pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions thereby committing themselves to diversifying their power sources. Mr. De Amicis believes there is a clear interest and need for renewable energy generation in developing countries, and that feasible projects require thoughtful planning and coordination.

Professor De Amicis points out, “Capacity building is important at all levels within the government but also among civil society groups, advisors, and the private business. There are many countries that are still unfamiliar with renewable energy technologies and the issues they introduce into the generation, transmission and distribution of power.”

In December, 2017, the World Bank announced at the One Planet summit and on the two-year anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement that it will no longer finance upstream oil and gas projects beginning in 2019. Fortunately, renewable technologies have matured and the private sector has taken a more active role in developing and financing renewable projects. In combining a public need for energy with private entities, he believes that partnerships between the public and private sectors will become more important in the future.

“There’s a need for careful project preparation of these independent power projects. The relationship between these projects and a nation’s public-private partnership laws are important and must be carefully designed and implemented. The roles of the various government ministries need to be highly coordinated for projects to become effective. To be successful, the public and private sectors must understand the risk profile of projects, and the steps necessary to mitigate such risks.  A great deal of capacity building is required in the area of risk identification and mitigation.”

Prof. De Amicis has structured the seminar to be highly interactive, combining lectures with discussions and presentations by participants on projects they have worked on in the past. This seminar will also share some sessions with the Project Preparation, Analysis, Feasibility, and Financing seminar that runs concurrently.

Don De Amicis is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches international business transactions, and a Senior Advisor at the International Law Institute. He was previously Vice President and General Counsel of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. government’s development finance institution, which supports private investment through project finance and political risk insurance. Professor De Amicis was a partner at the international law firm Ropes & Gray, where he focused on finance, corporate law, and restructuring. He is a member of the Sanctions Committee of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Enforcement Committee of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and also serves as an independent arbitrator.

By Jillian Skonieczka

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