One way to feed a country's biofuels: feed-in tariffs

At the Alt Car Expo last December, I listened to Angelina Galiteva discuss the difference between feed-in tariffs (FITs) and renewable portfolio standards (RPS). Gailteva, who works with the World Council on Renewable Energy, said she strongly favors feed-in tariffs as a way to boost renewable energy production and use (you can go back and read why, if you're interested). Miguel Mendonca, of the World Future Council, writes in a post at Renewable Energy Access, that he, too, believes FITs (sometimes known in the U.S. as the advanced renewable tariff, or ART) are the way to get renewable energy off the ground, and calls the results of implementing FITs "staggering."
As I wrote last December, the basic difference between the two approaches is that feed in tariffs specify a guaranteed price for renewable energy and are usually long-term, fixed rates that are not pegged to the retail price of energy. RPSs use a target or quota for renewable that is legislated and determined by policy regulations, often based on a system of tradable renewable credits and bidding processes for companies, with the value of the credits determined by a wide range of factors. Mendonca describes FITs this way: "they place a legal obligation on utilities to purchase electricity from renewable energy installations. The tariff rate is guaranteed, and in the best examples, for a long period -- say 20 years. The tariff rate is scientifically determined for each technology, to ensure profitable operation of the installation."

I think the FITs argument makes sense, and shows how committed a government can be to providing energy to its people while doing as little damage to the environment as possible. I recommend reading Mendonca's article in full.

[Source: REA]

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