Tag Archives: Feed-in Tariff

Solar up 50% over last year in Germany

July in Germany wasn’t a fluke: solar PV electricity production in Germany is up 50% over last year. Maybe we hould consider a Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) in Georgia like that in Germany. Unlike the Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) charge on Georgia Power bills for nuclear power people won’t get for years, if ever, FIT charges only apply after solar power is flowing.

Bloomberg Businessweek via AP 5 November 2012, German solar power production up 50 pct on year,

The German utilities’ industry association BDEW said Monday the solar power output rose to 25,000 gigawatt hours in the January to September period, from 16,500 gigawatt hours a year earlier.

It says solar power’s share in the country’s electricity production rose to 6.1 percent from 4.1 percent. Wind power gained slightly to 8.6 percent from 8.0 percent. Biomass plants accounted for almost 6 percent.

It says all renewable energies combined accounted for about 26 percent of electricity production over the first nine months.

Germany decided last year to phase out nuclear power by 2022 and replace it with renewable energies.

If you’re tired of Georgia Power and its parent Southern Company pouring your customer and tax dollars down that nuclear pit near the Savannah River, or if you’d just rather have solar or wind power, you can send in your CWIP charge as a separate check, with a note on it. Even if you’re not a Georgia Power customer, you can contact them or Southern Company (or the GA PSC or the legislature) about this.


Germany Added 543 MW of Solar Power Capacity in July

While we in Georgia were still pouring money down that nuclear pit near the Savannah River, Germany has been getting on with real renewable energy. We could have deployed almost that much solar power with just the cost overruns so far at Plant Vogtle.

Nicholas Brown wrote for Clean Technica 8 September 2012, Germany Added 543 MW of Solar Power Capacity in July,

According to Matt McDermott of Treehugger: “[In] the first half of 2012 Germany has installed just over 4.37 gigawatts of grid-tied solar power. Remarkably just about 1.8 GW of that happened in June alone (perhaps even more remarkable, this isn’t even a record amount for one month in Germany).”

The amount of solar power capacity added in June was much more than July’s, but July’s was still impressive. July’s addition brings Germany’s total installed capacity for the first half of 2012 to 4,900 MW (4.9 GW).

This impressive solar installation rate had a lot to do with Germany’s famous Feed-in Tariffs (FIT), but it also had a lot to do with Moore’s Law, illustrated by that graph of cost per kilowatt rapidly going down.

543 MW? That’s more than the 330 MW of solar the $913 million cost overrun at Plant Vogtle in the first half of 2012 could have bought. 1800 MW in June and 543 MW in July? That’s 2343 MW, which is more than the entire rated 2200 MW output of Plant Vogtle 3 and 4 put together, if they ever get built. Sure, the sun doesn’t shine all the time, but in the years until the nukes ever get built (if ever), how much solar could we deploy at the rate of one Vogtle unit equivalent a month?

Hey, maybe we should cancel Plant Vogtle and deploy solar instead! Maybe Georgia Power and Southern Company will realize their big bet has already gone bad. Or maybe we should elect some Public Service Commissioners and legislators who will get them to realize it.



Solar feed-in tariff in Georgia?

To make up for lost time in getting Georgia in the lead in solar power for jobs, energy independence, and profit, how about we elect legislators who will implement a feed-in tariff? If we can afford massive subsidies to Georgia Power and Southern Company for electricity nobody will get for years from their nuke boondoggle, we can afford a feed-in tariff that costs nobody until solar (and wind) power is actually generated.

According to last month’s Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2012,

Support for renewable power generation remains the most popular policy option with at least 65 countries and 27 states now having feed-in-tariffs (FITs).

Fred wrote for ReVision Energy 10 August 2010, NREL: Feed in Tariffs Drive Competition, Costs Down for Renewables, While Increasing Growth,

“The arguments in favor of a FIT policy are primarily economic in nature. These include the ability to … stimulate significant and quantifiable growth of local industry and job creation … [and] only cost money if projects actually operate”

Get that last part? “…only cost money if projects actually operate” unlike Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle nuke boondoggle, which is costing Georgia Power customers right now on their bills, even though they won’t get any electricity from those nukes for years, if ever, plus they’re on the hook for cost overruns, too, already $400 million and climbing.

Look at that map: the big blank space in the southeast is mostly Southern Company’s “Competitive Generation Opportunities”, minus Florida. Translation: where Southern Company holds us back from leading the world in solar energy.

Dear Thomas A. Fanning, CEO of Southern Company, and Paul Bowers, CEO of Georgia Power: how about turn that ship around and get in the lead of the convoy?

Well, they may not listen, but we the voters have an opportunity right now to elect Georgia legislators and Public Service Commissioners who will put a lid on the power utility smoke and let the sun shine on Georgia!


U.S. has plenty of solar energy everywhere —Jennifer DeCesaro of DoE

Jennifer DeCesaro of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) said she liked showing a map of U.S. insolation outside the U.S. southwest because then she could point out that Spain has not as good resources and a larger solar market, while Germany, the world leader in deployed solar, has solar resources like the state of Alaska. So the U.S. has plenty of solar energy everywhere.

She made a few other comparisons between U.S. and Germany. U.S.: 30% investment tax credit. Germany: National Feed-in Tariff.

She talked about SunShot: the Apollo mission of our time. It aims to reduce solar costs by 75% by the end of the decade, making solar cost-competitive with fossil fuels without subsidy.

Actual panels cost about the same in U.S. and Germany, but the rest Continue reading