Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

270.7 sec. 001 - Renewable Energy Law and Policy (Spring 2021)

Instructor: Michael Mathai-Jackson  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Units: 2
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


M 6:25 PM - 8:15 PM
Location: Internet/Online
From January 25, 2021
To May 04, 2021

Course Start: January 25, 2021
Course End: May 04, 2021
Class Number: 32074

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 7
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 16
As of: 05/08 05:45 AM

Public policies seeking to transform energy systems to utilize more renewable forms of energy have created a highly dynamic and exciting body of law. The goal of the course is to gain sufficient familiarity with applicable statutes, regulations, regulatory agency decisions, and other technical and policy information to enable students to advocate effectively before regulatory agencies (e.g., the California Public Utilities Commission or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) and legislative bodies on issues related to renewable energy.

This is fundamentally an experiential learning course. Thus, the focus will be not only on understanding the legal foundations of renewable energy law but also developing the practical advocacy and drafting skills that are necessary to participate in regulatory forums.

Students are expected to be already familiar with the basic physical and regulatory design of the U.S. energy system (through, e.g., having worked in the energy industry or taken other basic energy law or policy coursework), or to develop this familiarity independently through recommended reading. We will begin this course by considering renewable energy's specific role within the larger energy system, including gaining a high-level understanding of the entire renewable energy development process and the important role of integration of renewable electricity generators into the larger electric grid. Next, we will review dominant forms of renewable energy with a goal of understanding the relative advantages and drawbacks of each.

The heart of the course will be an in-depth examination of various renewable energy promotion policy alternatives, including reviewing laws and regulations associated with each type of policy. These will include: Feed-in tariffs; renewable portfolio standards; auction mechanisms; community solar programs (solar community gardens); net energy metering programs; tax incentives; direct public subsidy programs; loan guarantee programs; research and development programs; and direct public procurement programs. Although case studies will predominantly focus on California, we will end this segment of the course with a comparative review of renewable energy policies adopted in selected other countries and U.S. jurisdictions.

Time permitting, the course will also cover: regulatory review of renewable power purchase agreements; environmental and social justice considerations associated with renewable energy; and biofuels.

Student grades will be based upon participation in classroom discussion and exercises, performance in legal skill development exercises (e.g., mock hearings, workshops, brief/comment drafting, presentations, legislative drafting), and a final exam consisting of a take-home final.

Students from other U.C. Berkeley graduate departments may apply to take this course with the instructor's permission. Note: Non-law students cannot be granted enrollment until the Law's Add/Drop deadline, which is two weeks after the start of class. Non-law students are required to attend the first class, unless the student has the instructor's prior permission not to attend. Non-Law students will not be enrolled in the course unless there are open seats available and no waitlist.

Due to the nature of this class, real-time attendance is required (without an alternative way to earn equivalent credit) except in cases of illness or emergency.

Grady Mathai-Jackson has practiced within the fields of energy and environmental law since 2003. He has taught Renewable Energy Law and Policy and Introduction to Energy Law at Berkeley Law School, and he conducted independent comparative research on renewable energy integration policy in Germany in 2017. Mr. Mathai-Jackson currently represents Pacific Gas and Electric Company in regulatory proceedings, particularly those related to microgrids, renewable energy, and energy storage. Prior to PG&E, Mr. Mathai-Jackson practiced air pollution law for the United States Environmental Protection Agency - Region 9, was in private practice with Latham & Watkins LLP, and served as a Luce Scholar and visiting fellow at the Thailand Environment Institute. Mr. Mathai-Jackson served as a law clerk to Judge (Ret.) Irma Gonzalez in the United State District Court for the Southern District of California. Mr. Mathai-Jackson currently serves as a Director of the Conference of California Public Utilities Counsel.

Real-time attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

Requirements Satisfaction:

Units from this class count towards the J.D. Experiential Requirement.

Exam Notes: (TH) Take-home examination
Course Category: Environmental and Energy Law

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A reader will be used in this class.

Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.

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