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

Democratic energy policy means strong public support for renewables

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

Conducted by market research institute Forsa on behalf of municipal utilities in Germany, the survey found that 61 percent of Germans are willing to pay more for their power if the extra cost helps ramp up the share of renewables. Public acceptance even extends to acceptance of wind turbines “in my backyard”; 54 percent of those surveyed said they would find it “good” or “very good” if a wind turbine were set up nearby.

That’s the German feed-in tariff at work…

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U.S. Climate Negotiator Calls for Feed-in Tariffs

Date: 7 Dec 2011 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 2 Facebooktwitterredditmail

From a friend at the United Nations climate meeting in Durban, South Africa:

Todd Stern, the head of the climate change negotiating team for the US Government called for Feed-in Tariff policies as key to solve the problem. Stern gave the briefing on December 7th to nearly 300 environmental group leaders in Durban, South Africa at the UN Climate Change negotiations. One of his major points was that the US and countries worldwide need to utilize the Feed-in Tariff approach in order to transform the energy production sector of society. While there was at best, luke warm, reception to his overall presentation of the US negotiating position, the crowd was impressed with his recognition of the transformative power of the German style renewable energy (Feed-in) approach. By providing investor security these policies have proven to be the fastest way to get gigawatts of good energy on line the quickest. As they say, when the house is on fire speed matters. [emphasis added]

Since feed-in tariffs are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the world’s wind power and 90 percent of the world’s solar, it’s a policy that would make sense for the American energy market.

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American and Germany Getting Their Renewable Energy Just Desserts

Date: 2 Dec 2011 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 3 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Germany is the unquestioned world leader in renewable energy.  By mid-2011, the European nation generated over 20 percent of its electricity from wind and solar power alone, and had created over 400,000 jobs in the industry. The sweet German success is no accident, however, and the following pie chart illustrates the results of a carefully crafted … Read More

Gainesville, Florida, Uses CLEAN Contracts (aka feed-in tariffs) to Become a World Leader in Solar

Date: 1 Dec 2011 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

You don’t have to be big to go big on solar power.  That’s the lesson from the Gainesville Regional Utilities, the electric utility whose feed-in tariff solar policy has brought over 7 megawatts (MW) of solar to the city’s 125,000 residents.  The raw number isn’t much, but it puts Gainesville among the world leaders in solar … Read More

What Renewable Energy Policy Works Best? Feed-in tariffs

Date: 5 Oct 2011 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Feed-in tariffs are responsible for two-thirds of the world’s wind power (64 percent) and almost 90 percent of the world’s solar power.  With simplified grid connections, long term contracts and attractive prices for development, that’s policy that works. Click to see more of our feed-in tariff (also known as CLEAN Contracts in the U.S.) coverage on … Read More

Keeping Energy Dollars in Minnesota

Date: 28 Sep 2011 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

I gave a presentation last night to a public forum hosted by Think Again MN on maximizing the economic returns from the state’s clean energy resources.  I was joined by Lynn Hinkle of the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (and former union labor representative) and George Crocker from the North American Water Office (and passionate community organizer).  The whole video is below, with my presentation starting around 24:00.

To view just the slide show of my presentation, click below:

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