Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hawaii Would Be 1st in USA To Enact Feed-In Tariff

Germany’s great success in developing renewable energy projects is attributed to its “feed-in tariff” (FIT) in a Star-Bulletin commentary today by the executive director of Blue Planet Foundation.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission is now pondering the nation’s first FIT, and enactment would let Hawaii “stake a claim as a global leader in developing strategies to integrate renewable energy into power grids,” writes Jeff Mikulina.

The commentary details advantages Hawaii’s FIT could deliver while addressing the so-called “green premium” ratepayers might have to pay:

"Germany established more aggressive FITs in 2000, with some of the tariffs paying clean energy providers four times or more than the going rate of electricity. What did this cost German ratepayers? Not much, it turns out. Analysis shows the average ratepayer paid an extra penny per kilowatt-hour — or about 3 percent of their household electricity costs. That's not bad, considering the 5- to 10-cent increase per kilowatt-hour in Hawaii during last summer's oil price spike."

That oil price spike reached $147/barrel. Hawaii simply can't handle prices anywhere near that level, let alone above it.  Oil's cost is passed on to consumers in virtually every product we buy and deliver, including air fares for incoming tourists. FITs and other well-conceived policies are essential for this isolated community to transition to a non-fossil fuel economy and in the process show others how it’s done.

No comments: