Feed-in tariffs –
right for Germany,
wrong for California
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
California’s regulators are exploring whether or not California should follow the German model to promote rooftop solar power by adopting a “feed-in tariff” for solar energy. This tariff sets a price for any and all electric power that the solar installation feeds into the electric grid, even relatively small amounts. Rooftop photovoltaic installations on both homes and businesses have blossomed in Germany due to the use of this incentive.
So we know that this policy can convince building owners to invest in more solar installations. But it is not the only way to develop solar power – or the best way. In Ontario, Canada, a feed-in tariff that paid four times the normal price for electricity failed to stimulate small-scale projects. The Ontario Power Authority has been unwilling to up the ante, because it would raise electric rates for consumers – the biggest problem with high feed-in tariffs is that they result in higher utility bills, because ratepayers pay top dollar for every single kilowatt produced. Here in California, we are already subsidizing solar through higher utility bills. Thus a high feed-in tariff is unnecessary, and unfair.
Please read the article for more details. I am on vacation and being an angel.