Sun Edison announced today a partnership with the electronic manufacturing facility Flextronics to begin construction on solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in Ontario, Canada. A specific aim is to help the region fulfill product demand for its new feed-in tariff program (FIT) -- the first such electricity pricing structure in North America. A FIT ensures that an owner receives a premium for the clean energy they generate.
Hawaii's plans for a feed-in tariff -- which have been in the works for quite some time -- are one step closer to being realized, thanks to a decision Wednesday by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (HPUC). The decision is part of a broad push in Hawaii to get 40 percent of the state's electricity from renewable resources by 2030.
Solar energy advocates at Solar Power International (SPI) this week are likely to promote the creation of a feed-in tariff program as an effective way for California -- and other states -- to generate more solar energy.
Pointing out that three quarters of the world's renewable energy was installed with support from a feed in tariff (FIT), Paul Newman of the Arizona Corporation Commission explained that Arizona "is pushing the possibility of a FIT to get some renewable infrastructure in the ground."
Travel north of the U.S. border to the Canadian province of Ontario and you'll run into a thriving solar energy industry. You'll also find the work of Atlantic Wind and Solar (AWSL), a renewable energy company that has made considerable headway with solar installations and technology development across the province. Through the Ontario government's Feed-In Tariff Program (FIT) and a relationship with the Ontario Power Authority, AWSL has become a leading solar installer in the Canadian province.
A little over a year ago, we reported that Oregon lawmakers were developing a pilot feed-in tariff program, following the passage of House Bill 3039. Now, countless meetings later, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has finally issued rules on the new initiative. Assuming you don't want to read the hundred or so pages of background and draft rules, we've set out to provide a quick overview of the most pressing questions.
In the interests of information-sharing, we just wanted to alert you to the National Renewable Energy Lab's (NREL) newly released report on feed in tariffs. It will make your knees weak if you're a policy wonk or an energy lawyer--I mean heck, it's entitled "Renewable Energy Prices in State-Level Feed-in Tariffs: Federal Law Constraints and Possible Solutions"--but it includes an overview for the FiT neophyte, as well. Don't read the whole thing, unless you're really, really having trouble sleeping, but do check out some basic definitions and context for the FiT programs developing across the country.
Unless some massive prank is being played on the solar industry, April 1st will kick off enormous changes in Europe (though solar stocks have already begun to react): Germany's feed in tariff will scale back by 16-17 percent, while the United Kingdom will enact a FiT for the first time.
As we've noted on this blog before, the apt phrase for the renewable energy industries is not, "If you build it, they will come," but rather, "If you subsidize it, they will build it." Such is the case of Ontario, Canada, which is seeing a boom in solar energy-related activity since putting in place a feed-in tariff (FIT) program earlier this year.