Feed-in Tariffs: Best Way to a Sustainable Solar Future


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Feed-in Tariffs: Best Way to a Sustainable Solar Future

SEMI PV Group Recommends New Policies and Best Practices for Solar Feed-in Tariffs

San Jose, California – December 8, 2009 – SEMI PV Group has announced the release of a White Paper on solar feed-in tariffs, intended to promote widespread awareness and understanding of public policy best practices in support of solar energy. Developed in response to SEMI Board of Directors direction and under the guidance of PV Advisory Boards from around the world, the White Paper outlines the PV Group’s summary of public policy principles in support of PV power adoption and key best practices for feed-in tariff policy design and implementation.

The PV Group supports the development of feed-in tariffs around the world as the most effective means to ensure sustained growth for the PV industry. The continued spread of national feed-in tariffs that are stable, transparent, and substantial will fuel the rapid PV market growth and support new investment in the emerging solar economy. Feed-in tariffs are also versatile in that they can be successfully integrated with existing polices such as rebates, renewable portfolio standards, tradeable renewable energy credits, net metering, and tax credits.

The public policy principles that the PV Group hopes to advance with the White Paper include stable and predictable policies to encourage private investment; transparent and streamlined policies to promote fair and honest outcomes; and open and accessible policies to enable distributed energy production. Best practices encouraged by the White Paper include support for technology differentiation, generation cost-based rates, fair purchase and interconnection requirements, use of fixed-price and long-term payments, and the use of predictable incentive declines.

“There is now broad consensus among both the renewable energy policy-making and the financial communities that feed-in tariffs are one of the most powerful solar energy policy tools available,” said Dan Martin, PV Group executive vice president. “Today, over forty different feed-in tariff policies are in effect around world, with no two alike. This White Paper was produced to catalogue and evaluate feed-in tariff design practices and recommend a set of best practices against which future policy development can be benchmarked.”

Today, nearly 80% of the world’s solar demand arises from FIT-supported policy environments. Feed-in tariffs have become preferred policy instruments because they are performance-based (pay for actual MW), do not require taxpayer subsidies (cost assigned to energy users), and do not conflict with other renewable energy policies. The ability of feed-in tariffs to attract low-cost capital from a broad range of different investor types has become even more important in the wake of the financial crisis.

In support of the paper’s conclusions and recommendations, the White Paper includes over fifty academic and other references, and a comprehensive table summarizing feed-in tariff rates and other information from twenty-nine global regions. Copies of the White Paper can be downloaded from: http://www.pvgroup.org/NewsArchive/ctr_033406

About SEMI PV Group:

The PV Group is a SEMI special interest group that serves the photovoltaic supply chain. Participating companies provide manufacturing equipment, materials, cells, modules, sub-systems, and components to the solar energy industry worldwide. The PV Group mission is to advance industry growth, support continuous efficiency improvements and promote sustainable business practices through international standards development, events, public policy advocacy, EHS support, market intelligence, and other services. For more information, visit: www.pvgroup.org

Association Contact:

Deborah Geiger/SEMI PV Group

Ph: 408.943.7988

E-mail: dgeiger@semi.org