Feed-in Tariffs: Best Way to Sustainable Solar Future

The SEMI PV Group has released a White Paper on solar feed-in tariffs,intended to promote widespread awareness and understanding of publicpolicy best practices in support of solar energy.

Developed inresponse to SEMI Board of Directors direction and under the guidance ofPV Advisory Boards from around the world, the White Paper outlines thePV Group’s summary of public policy principles in support of PV poweradoption and key best practices for feed-in tariff policy design andimplementation.

The PV Group supports the development of feed-intariffs around the world as the most effective means to ensuresustained growth for the PV industry. The continued spread of nationalfeed-in tariffs that are stable, transparent, and substantial will fuelthe rapid PV market growth and support new investment in the emergingsolar economy.

Feed-in tariffs are also versatile in that theycan be successfully integrated with existing polices such as rebates,renewable portfolio standards, tradeable renewable energy credits, netmetering, and tax credits.

The public policy principles that thePV Group hopes to advance with the White Paper include stable andpredictable policies to encourage private investment; transparent andstreamlined policies to promote fair and honest outcomes; and open andaccessible policies to enable distributed energy production.

Bestpractices encouraged by the White Paper include support for technologydifferentiation, generation cost-based rates, fair purchase andinterconnection requirements, use of fixed-price and long-termpayments, and the use of predictable incentive declines.

“Thereis now broad consensus among both the renewable energy policy-makingand the financial communities that feed-in tariffs are one of the mostpowerful solar energy policy tools available,” said Dan Martin, PVGroup executive vice president.

“Today, over 40 differentfeed-in tariff policies are in effect around world, with no two alike.This White Paper was produced to catalogue and evaluate feed-in tariffdesign practices and recommend a set of best practices against whichfuture policy development can be benchmarked.”

Today, nearly 80percent of the world’s solar demand arises from FIT-supported policyenvironments. Feed-in tariffs have become preferred policy instrumentsbecause they are performance-based (pay for actual MW), do not requiretaxpayer subsidies (cost assigned to energy users), and do not conflictwith other renewable energy policies.

The ability of feed-intariffs to attract low-cost capital from a broad range of differentinvestor types has become even more important in the wake of thefinancial crisis.

In support of the paper’s conclusions andrecommendations, the White Paper includes over 50 academic and otherreferences, and a comprehensive table summarizing feed-in tariff ratesand other information from twenty-nine global regions.

Download the white paper from: http://www.pvgroup.org/NewsArchive/ctr_033406.

Source: SEMI, USA


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