Report: U.S. CLEAN Programs – Where Are We Now? What Have We Learned?

Date: 11 Jun 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 7 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance identifies all of the existing CLEAN (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now) programs in the United States (also known as feed-in tariffs) and examines the lessons learned from the early adopters. Download the report [pdf] Read the ebook version Executive Summary CLEAN programs (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now) provide … Read More

Who Has the Most Cost-Effective Solar Feed-in Tariff?

Date: 4 May 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 7 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In a forthcoming report on U.S. feed-in tariff programs, I’ll provide a comparison of solar feed-in tariff (FIT, a.k.a. CLEAN Contract) rates across the United States. Comparing published rates is not particularly helpful, however, because contract lengths vary (from 15 to 25 years) and the solar resource also varies widely.  For international comparisons (e.g. Germany), it’s also … Read More

Net Metering a Cost to Utilities, or a Benefit?

Date: 11 Apr 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Update: A third-party study of net metering in California also found that solar customers provide more benefit than cost to the utility Utilities often claim that allowing customers to run their meter backward (by generating electricity on-site, e.g. from rooftop solar) can affect their bottom line because these customers don’t pay enough to cover the cost … Read More

Ontario Feed-in Tariff Prices Drop, Germans Still Far Cheaper

Date: 23 Mar 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Ontario just completed a revision of their landmark feed-in tariff program and rates for renewable electricity generation and prices fell sharply: 30% for solar and 15% for wind power. This continues a trend of falling costs for renewable energy around the world. As a bit of background, Ontario’s feed-in tariff gives wind and solar producers (and … Read More

Solar Policy Can Advance (or Delay) Grid Parity by a Decade

Date: 23 Mar 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In their excellent interactive graphic, Bloomberg Energy Finance calls solar grid parity (when electricity from solar costs less than grid power) the “golden goal.”  It’s an excellent illustration of how the right energy policy can help a nation go gold on solar or wallow in metallurgical obscurity.  In the case of the U.S., it may mean … Read More

Distributed Generation Hits Sweet Spot in Cost v. Transmission

Date: 24 Feb 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Update 3/27/12: added clarification to text and chart that prices include federal tax incentives If the cost of electricity were the only factor in energy discussions, we’d probably have a lot more coal and a lot less renewable energy.  But the truth is that renewable energy can compete on cost and distributed renewable energy has a … Read More

German Policy Could Make Solar in America “Wunderbar”

Date: 23 Feb 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This post was originally titled Residential Solar for $2.24 per Watt in Germany? The Germans are debating significant revisions to their landmark renewable energy policy, and instead of declaring the death of the German solar market, Americans should focus on why solar still costs so much on this side of the Atlantic. After a significant step-down … Read More

Residential Solar for $2.24 per Watt in Germany?

Date: 23 Feb 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The Germans have proposed significant revisions to their landmark renewable energy policy, the feed-in tariff, and the proposed prices should make Americans wonder why solar still costs so much on this side of the Atlantic. After a significant step-down in March, German utilities will be buying rooftop solar on long-term contracts from projects 10 kilowatts or … Read More

Electricity Priced by the Hour Boosts Distributed Solar Value by a Third or More

Date: 1 Feb 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Updated 2/1/12 because I underestimated how the tiered pricing worked.  Thanks to bkarney at Renewable Energy World for the comment. Last week I wrote about the time-of-use pricing scheme that PG&E offers in San Francisco, and how solar power is worth 14% more compared to a standard flat-rate electricity plan.  In reality, it’s 36% or more … Read More

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