Several European countries and the Canadian province of Ontario have recently adopted feed-in tariffs, a mandated, long-term premium price for renewable energy paid by the local utility company to renewable energy producers. A new study by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) shows how feed-in tariffs could turbocharge Minnesota’s renewable electricity standard, reduce costs, and spread the economic benefits across the state.
"For years states have relied on federal tax credits or renewable mandates," says study author John Farrell, "but feed-in tariffs combine the goal and the tool for boosting renewable energy production. It’s the perfect implementation tool for states that already have a renewable mandate."
The report shows that this simple, yet powerful, strategy to expand renewable energy benefits local economies and achieves greater results at a lower cost than other strategies like tax incentives or renewable energy mandates alone.
"Evidence in European countries shows that feed-in tariffs encourage more renewable energy production for a lower cost. By enabling citizens to produce their own energy, it also helps retain the economic benefits of increasing renewables."
Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariffs (REFITs) level the playing field by scaling renewable prices by the project size and the available resource (e.g. wind speed). The adjustable price supports small-scale projects while growing renewables on a large scale.
The full report, Minnesota Feed-In Tariff Could Lower Cost, Boost Renewables and Expand Local Ownership, can be viewed online at http://www.newrules.org/de/feed-in-tariffs.pdf. For more information, or to arrange an interview with John Farrell, please contact BrookeGullikson.