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on Solar Power
Thank you OPB for discussing solar power generation for Oregon. I believe there is room for both large scale solar thermal generation and small scale PV or thin film generation. When talking about small scale PV however, you should consult with either Judy Barnes or Mark Pengily (Oregonians for Renewable Energy Policy - http://www.oregonrenewables.com/) who fought to get a European style financing structure (led by Germany since 2000) for renewable energy put into policy. HB3039 was the result of that effort. It is a pilot program to understand the effect of a Feed-in-Tariff or "FIT" (payment for energy generated from any renewable source). This pilot only covers solar production however.
Here are some facts about this method of funding renewable projects:
- Job creation (300K jobs in Germany in less than a decade with their FIT; 63k in solar alone)
- Mass deployment gets us off fossil fuels and "beyond coal" faster and enables economies of scale.
- Financing is easier since a FIT is a low-risk investment as utilities pay the homeowner enough to cover the financing. Eliminates the need for government tax credits at a time when governments are broke.
- Protects ratepayers from future rate increases tied to finite energy resources like fossil fuels vs. accessing clean energy sources like solar and wind that have NO FUEL COST.
- If Germany can become the world's leader in solar energy in 5 yrs with over half the world's solar production, with the same amount of sun as Juneau, Alaska, for a cost to the average homeowner of $5/month extra, then Oregon can certainly do as well for reasonable costs since in Oregon, including Portland, we get more sun than Germany.
- 63 countries, including Mongolia, now have FIT policies in place
- In Q1 of 2010 German homeowners and businesses installed 717 MW of solar because of their FIT policy that pays everyone to produce and sell energy to their local utility, which is more than the entire US installed in ALL of 2009.
- Sierra Club, state Solar Energy Industry Associations and now the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions have endorsed FITs as a superior policy for deploying renewable energy technologies.
posted 2 years, 9 months ago
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