The changes to German feed-in tariffs for photovoltaics announced in February are more drastic than expected. So far, the success of the feed-in tariff was granted to the combination of long-term fixed price or premium payments, network connections, and guaranteed purchase of all RE electricity generated. Current government decisions, however, cause legal uncertainty and lawsuits which threaten not only the uptake of PV but the entire energy transition in Germany.
March 29, 2012 Comments Off on German government causes PV investment uncertainty
PV is seen as one of the main pillars for the energy transition as capacity was added in more than 100 countries during 2010. These achievements are mainly policy driven and depend not only on policy choice, but also on policy design and implementation. The details of design and implementation are critical in determining the effectiveness and efficiency of a policy.
Policy frameworks that are transparent and sustained can reduce investment risks and facilitate deployment of RE and the evolution of low-cost applications. Several studies have concluded that Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) are most effective and efficient at promoting PV electricity, mainly due to the combination of long-term fixed price or premium payments, network connections, and guaranteed purchase of all RE electricity generated.
An effective support scheme for PV is one that provides tariffs for all levels, from domestic to large-scale developments and takes into account the different levels of development of the technology. The calculation of tariffs must, therefore, be market-based-oriented. The degression rate must reflect the market situation. Further the policy must guarantee long-term investment security and is ideally administratively simple. The scheme should be easy to explain in order to ensure public acceptance. Well-designed FiTs cover these criteria.
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March 9, 2012 Comments Off on What Is a Good PV Policy?
In the last few years, FiT policy frameworks have been widely proposed by state representatives, thus leading a handful of American states to experiment and implement FiT policies at a small scale. Amongst these we have California, Florida, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin where many utilities have implemented different variations of FiT policies. However, these are not state-level policies which is why they differ considerably in design and effectiveness and this can also prove to be an obstacle in achieving a concrete national level policy.
The good news is that the practice of this „best policy“ to achieve change in societies is growing regardless, with Iowa’s talks on Feed-in Tariff laws.
March 9, 2012 Comments Off on Iowa’s modest Step towards Renewable Energy