The Alliance for Renewable Energy’s mission is to build support in North America for bold, proven, renewable energy policies that will rapidly increase our shift from fossil fuels to decentralized, clean, renewable energy. These policies call for 15-20 year contracts, with set rates and no limit on production, between all renewable energy producers and buyers.
The Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) today released a
report calling for a modest solar photovoltaic (PV) feed-in tariff
program in the City of Angels.
The second of two reports by UCLA's Luskin Center lays out a detailed
economic proposal for creating a multi-tiered system of feed-in tariffs
(FIT) for solar PV that would result in 600 MW of solar PV within ten
The proposal's limited objective will contribute to only 3% the city's
electricity supply in 2020. Further, LABC's proposal considers only
solar PV and not any other form of renewable energy.
In a dramatic display of the power feed-in tariffs have in driving
markets, Italy installed more solar photovoltaics (PV) in 2009 than the
entire US. Moreover, within the first quarter of 2010, Italy's total
installed solar PV capacity was expected to exceed that of the US.
Italy installed 720 MW of solar PV in 2009, nearly all of that on
rooftops. In contrast, the US installed 435 MW during the same period,
according to a draft report by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council
Italy introduced a system of feed-in tariffs for solar PV in February,
2007 after concluding that the previous program of Tradable Green
Certificates was not delivering the results desired.
By the end of 2007, Italy had installed five times more solar PV than in
the previous year. Despite numerous bureaucratic roadblocks, the solar
industry took off in 2008 and installed nearly 350 MW, then a
record-breaking number. Solar PV installations have been doubling since
then and are expected to reach 1,500 MW in 2010.
The World Future Council has issued a report grading North American
feed-in tariffs for renewable energy. Only Ontario and Vermont make a
passing grade. All other programs in the US and Canada failed to pass.
Gipe evaluated the programs using ten criteria that have been
found critical in creating successful renewable energy policy. He then
devised a weighting system to reflect the relative importance of each
criterion. Most criteria received 10 points, some less. Tariff
differentiation by size or application, a hallmark of successful
programs, received 20 points.
Program caps, 10 points
Project size caps, 10 points
Contract terms, 10 points
Technologies included, 10 points
Tariffs based on cost of generation, 10 points
Tariffs differentiated by technology, 10 points
Tariffs differentiated by size or application for each technology, 20 points
Tariffs differentiated by resource intensity for wind energy, 10 points
Contrary to what some commentators are saying, Oregon did not just adopt
a feed-in tariff (FIT). ELAW has been working diligently to ensure
that Oregon adopts a FIT because FITs have been proven to be the most
effective and efficient means of moving renewables onto the grid. Sadly,
Oregon’s program falls far short of the mark.
Renewable energy businesses and activists
entered the month of April with high hopes of seeing the State Legislature
pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA), a comprehensive bill designed
to propel Wisconsin toward energy independence, along the way creating
thousands of new jobs and strengthening the sustainable energy marketplace.
This comprehensive bill would have raised the renewable energy content
of electricity sold in Wisconsin, while stepping up ratepayer support
for smaller-scale renewable energy installations throughout the state.
Unfortunately, on April 22, the State
Senate adjourned for the year without taking action on the Clean Energy
Jobs Act bill, effectively killing the measure and leaving hundreds
of businesses and individuals who campaigned for the bill empty-handed.
If life imitates poetry, then the line
that opens T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land—“April is the cruelest
month”—aptly encapsulates the evolution of a campaign that overcame
many obstacles in the final weeks only to be undermined by the unwillingness
of Senate leaders to schedule a vote on the bill.
The first objective is to establish “a broad federal legislative
and regulatory package” to accelerate the growth of the solar industry
and encourage consumer adoption of solar technologies. This
includes specific incentives for U.S.-based clean energy manufacturing –
the company recommends a permanent extension of the Section 48c
advanced manufacturing tax credit – and a package of policies to clear
hurdles to market adoption and provide strong, consistent domestic
demand for solar power.
This package of incentives includes a broad and robust national
renewable electricity standard (RES) to “get the whole country marching
in the right direction,” Mr. Peeters said, as well as targeted and
robust production incentives in the form of feed-in tariffs or other
“renewable energy payment” policies.
These targeted incentives are particularly important, Mr. Peeters said,
“because solar is an infant industry really. It's young. There is a lot
to learn. Technology development is very very fast. Solar will get to a
cost where it is competing with traditional sources of energy … We will
see it in the next ten years the technology will evolve fast enough so
that in many places, those incentives will go way way down, maybe down
to zero. But right now, today,” Peeters noted, “[production incentives]
are an important tool to bring some people over this initial barrier,
to give the activation energy to make this happen."
As part of Nova Scotia's Renewable Electricity Plan announced today, the
province in Eastern Canada will implement a series of feed-in tariffs
for locally-owned projects.
Nova Scotia, one of Canada's Maritime Provinces, announced the
Community-Based Feed-in Tariffs or COMFIT program to "encourage the
development of local renewable energy projects by municipalities, First
Nations, co-operatives, and non-profit groups."
If implemented as proposed, Nova Scotia will be the third province to
use feed-in tariffs to develop renewable energy. Prince Edward Island,
also a Maritime Province, has had a simple feed-in tariff for several
years, and Ontario, Canada's most populous province launched its
successful program last fall.
The government's Renewable Electricity Plan proposes building 300 MW of
new renewable capacity by 2015 in three equal tranches: one for the
provincial utility, one for independent power producers, and one for
community-owned projects. Significantly, the plan proposes reducing
coal-fired generation from 75% of supply to 40% of supply by 2020.