Feed-in Tariff Legislation Lags in U.S.

Feed-in tariffs have provided significant legislative mandates for renewable energy adoption in other countries such as Germany and Denmark, but the United States has been slowing in considering such models for clean energy.

The U.S. Congress is expected to adopt targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the Clean Energy bill that was passed by the House and is working through the Senate. The Obama administration is also calling for a 25% renewable electricity by 2025 standard (RES), and many states already have a Renewable Energy Portfolio (REP) standard setting targets for utilities. But while standards set goals, a feed-in tariff (FIT) is a mechanism that can provide a strong impetus for renewable energy growth.

A feed-in tariff (FIT) is an incentive structure to encourage the adoption of renewable energy through a guaranteed price at a premium rate under a standardized long-term contract for a grid connection from a renewable energy project. Feed-in tariffs are “the most egalitarian method for determing where, when and how much renewable generating capacity will be installed,” according to wind energy expert Paul Gipe, and he says that they “enable homeowners, farmer, small businesses, community groups and the continent's indigenous population to become reweable energy entrepreneurs.”

Hows and Whys of FIT

Electric Meter
Feed-in Tariffs guarantee power prices

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Gainesville adopts Solar FIT

This year Gainesville, FL became the first city in the United States to legislate a feed-in tariff giving higher payments for solar power generation, more than twice the standard electricity rate and guaranteed for 20 years.

States consider FITs

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Ontario Revises FIT

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Fine-tuning FIT for the U.S.

State Clean Energy Policies Analysis (SCEPA) Project: An Analysis of Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariffs in the United States by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory