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Feed-In Tariff 101


A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the implementation of a feed-in tariff has helped Germany become one of the world leaders in renewable energy.  The video below, which I found on the website of the Institute For Local Self-Reliance, is a great addition to that post.  Using simple animations, the creators of the video not only explain what a feed-in tariff is, they also describe why a feed-in tariff is an effective way of increasing the amount of renewable energy produced in a province, state or country.

Take a look.

(Note that in the video they use the term “Renewable Energy Payments” rather than feed-in tariff.)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 2013/02/15 8:19 am

    J. The BBC radio programme “Costing the Earth” did a whole episode called “Berlin’s Big Gamble” that covered Germany’s big push really well. You can get the podcast here:

    • 2013/02/15 4:54 pm

      Thank you very much. I’ll take a look this week end.
      It’s funny how they titled the episode “Berlin’s Big Gamble”. I would argue that Germany is doing what every nation on the planet is doing. The gamble isn’t in pushing renewables. The gamble is in not getting the transition done, continuing our reliance on fossil fuels and seeing what happens to our climate after wards.

      • 2013/02/15 9:52 pm

        I agree with you that pushing renewables is very much the low risk option. That said, I think we need to keep a close eye on how the German example pans out from here.

        The decision to phase out nuclear has certainly made the shift to a post-carbon world that much more difficult. I think after ‘two steps forward’ we are likely seeing a ‘one step backward’ as CO2 emissions increase for a time to replace the lost nuclear (and we need to be very careful that we don’t see hidden emissions through energy imports from abroad).

        So likely we will see climate skeptic shrills telling us how the German model is bust when the emissions kick up for a time. If Germany can pass through the nuclear phase out and then push CO2 emissions down to new record lows, that would be an example for the whole world to follow.

      • 2013/02/15 10:08 pm

        I completely agree. I’ve been reading people comment about how “The German Experiment” was a bust because of the move away from nuclear. But, they’re targets haven’t changed: 80% renewable energy by 2050. Plus, they are investing in both a modern energy grid and energy storage.
        I’d wager that they will end up making us all look bad!

  2. 2013/02/25 6:57 pm

    Hey there,
    In Germany, we currently have a lot of discussions around the feed in tariff – triggered by rising electricity prices, the fear of black outs, the public outcry due to the new energy grid, the lack of storage capacities, the decreasing gas prices, etc. etc. etc. Our environment minister intends to change – or let’s better say to mess around with – the EEG but I feel nothing much is going to happen until our federal election in September.
    And today our environment ministry announced that our GHG emissions have increased by 1.6% in 2012. 😦
    I am still struggling with all the details… I wished I would have paid more attention in economics classes… hopefully, your links will help me wrap my head around it.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • 2013/02/26 6:41 am

      Glad to have helped!
      Many people have used Germany’s increased reliance on coal to attack both the aggressive transition to renewables and the decision to eliminate the use of nuclear power. However, I believe that the increase in GHG emissions is only a temporary blip. Germany’s goal of attaining 80% renewable energy by 2050 still stands despite the increase in fossil fuel use. In fact, some believe that the goal could be reached by 2030.
      It’s all part of the plan!

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