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Time and time again it has been shown that implementing a Feed in Tariff policy is the single most effective way of boosting the Renewable Energy share in a country’s, state’s or region’s energy mix.


First introduced in the USA in 1978 under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA), the Feed in Tariff policy has developed and grown to become an integral part of 59 country’s energy legislation. Energy Ministers and policymakers have learnt a lot from Germany’s Feed in Tariff (introduced in 1990), which brought in the idea of “differentiated tariffs” (different tariffs for different technologies) and “stepped tariffs” (different tariffs for different sizes of the same technology), which take into account the lower costs of economies of scale. Germany also introduced the idea of “degression”, which means that tariffs reduce each year as a way of stimulating installers, manufacturers and other market players into reducing their costs.


The Feed in Tariff is geared up towards reaching grid parity, that magical moment where a Renewable Energy technology becomes price competitive with traditional energy sources such as coal, gas and oil and at which point it becomes a simple economic choice to abandon fossil fuels. For certain countries, this change may only take 2-3 years.


Global Feed in Tariffs was set up in April 2010 with the aim of providing information to anyone globally wanting to find out about the FiT policy. Released today is the basis of a resource which will grow and grow with time into one of the most comprehensive Feed in Tariff resources worldwide. It provides information on each of the 59 country or state-wide Feed in Tariffs in operation today and also looks at those countries which will shortly be added to the list of 59. The resource will be updated daily in order to provide an as accurate and reliable information source as possible.


For more information please visit http://www.globalfeedintariffs.com/

President Obama has approved $1.85bn in loan guarantees for two large scale solar projects as part of the economic stimulus package. Combined these projects are thought to be creating 5000 jobs. Abengoa Solar is to receive $1.45bn in loan Guarantees to help support the development of a new solar farm in Arizona which is expected to power 70,000 homes.

 A further $400 Million in Loan Guarantees will be provided to Abound Solar Manufacturing to develop two new solar manufacturing plants. This is expected to create up to 1500 permanent jobs. It is an interesting move away from the Bush era’s pro oil approach. With the BP crisis in the gulf still in full swing Obama will face far less opposition in pushing these loans through. There will also be much stronger public support for renewable energy generally and drop in support for further off shore drilling programmes.

Obama is looking towards renewable energy as not only an investment in the environment but as a new industry to help rebuild America’s fragile economy. By investing in Solar power production Obama is opening a new income steam to the U.S and is also going to be competing directly with China who currently have huge solar panel production capacity.

 As more countries realise the importance of investing in solar energy and solar panel development we are likely to see increases in efficiency and a decrease in technology costs.

With the huge oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico still fighting for column inches with the FIFA World Cup in most parts of the world, it still remains a highly emotive subject in the country where it is having the most devastating impact. The Gulf states of the US are reeling under the blow to their economy, environment and way of life with an understandable backlash now both in the media and in Washington towards the oil industry and in particular, BP.

With this public maelstrom directed at the hapless BP, a leading energy attorney, Greg Chaffee has stated that the disaster will inevitably lead to more investments in green energy. Chaffee who practices at Morris Manning & Martin and also acts as the chairman of the MMM Green Industry Practice stated that,

“This is more evidence that the Gulf spill disaster has become a wakeup call for a nation that remains firmly addicted to oil.”

With specific reference to BP, Chaffee added,

“Not only should the federal government hold BP accountable for its errors and misjudgments leading up to the disaster, the federal government is now positioned more than ever to be the catalyst for funding research and development on alternative fuels.”

The Obama administration has already given its commitment to leading the way in green technologies with other leading countries such as China giving backing to funding in renewable energy sources. Chaffee however believes that what is really needed is not government legislation but a root change in the culture of the public.

“If we do not mobilize our resources now to concentrate on our energy future, we will be missing a key opportunity to positively re-shape the economic and environmental future of our nation. Weaning ourselves from our addiction to oil does not begin at the White House. It begins at home.

Each decision we make daily – from the cars we drive, to the containers in which we store our food, to how high we set the thermostat has an impact on our demand for oil. It’s that demand which led us to drill a mile beneath the ocean floor in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The 25th EU PVSEC and 5th World Conference on Solar Photovoltaic Energy will take place between the 6-10 September 2010 at the Feria Valencia, Spain. Considered to be one of the leading annual conferences in the field of solar PV energy generation, the 25th EU PVSEC conference will be held in conjunction with the 5th World conference on Photovoltaic energy conversion.

The ground-breaking Valencia conference will also bring together the 36th US IEEE PV specialists conference and the 20th Asia/Pacific PV science & engineering conference in what is expected to be a massive and unique internationally focused forum for solar energy specialists.

Attendees of the Valencia conference will have the opportunity to meet experts fro around the world and discuss potential developments in the field of solar photovoltaic generation. New trends will be discussed with a keen focus on recent innovations in the science of solar PV. The opportunity for networking, exchanging ideas and perspectives and keeping abreast of international PV developments will provide an exciting prospect for anybody involved in this industry.

With subjects of discussion covering Industry, R&D, Policy, Utilities, Architecture and of course, end users, those involved will get a truly global perspective on all the key issues facing the solar PV market now and in to the future. With side events such as Fora, workshops and technical tours, the 5 day event will be sure to provide a wide array activities.

Programme:

  • Plenary lectures focusing on the state-of-the-art and targets of PV
  • Oral and poster presentations of specific research, development and demonstration projects, PV applications, 
    PV markets
  • Exhibition of PV products and services (6-9 Sept.)
  • Fora and workshops on present-day PV issues
  • Scientific tours and a social programme

For more information on the 25th EU PVSEC and 5th World Conference on Solar Photovoltaic Energy please visit: http://www.photovoltaic-conference.com/