Clean Power

Published on May 17th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer


French Policy Expert to Advise California on Feed-in Tariff Design

May 17th, 2010 by  

Until this year, California homeowners have usually arranged to have their solar installations slightly undersized, because it didn’t pay to get stuck with excess “roll-over” kilowatt hours at the true-up period at the end of each year. But that will change in six months.

If voters are not tricked by Big Oil into repealing California’s AB32 climate bill; starting in 2011,  Californians will be paid for excess renewable power they make at the end of each year – or they can choose to roll-over extra kilowatt hours and use them later.


As part of meeting the renewable energy requirements to reduce greenhouse gases, the CPUC is scheduled to decide by January 2011 what exact amount will be paid – per kilowatt hour – to individual homeowners and businesses that produce an annual excess of solar or wind power for the grid.

To help policy makers with fine-tuning this decision – to a Goldilocks-like just-right fairness to both sides – Bernard Chabot, the French expert in Feed-in Tariff policy design is offering an advanced Feed-In Tariff workshop in San Francisco  on July 13th. Investors and other interested parties are welcome, and it is free.

Drawing lessons from both the successes and failures in Europe’s Feed-in Tariffs; the free workshop will cover the economic theory behind tariff setting and the formulas necessary to calculate tariffs that pay for the cost of generation plus a reasonable profit.

It will help participants learn how calculate the tariffs needed to cover the “cost of generation plus a reasonable profit” that is a hallmark of successful feed-in tariff programs. This is simply the full cost after a project has been put into operation. It is not some “future cost” found in media hype. It is the real cost of projects actually completed and in operation.

  • Installed cost,
  • Annual reoccurring costs,
  • Cost of debt, and
  • And the rate of return required on equity invested.

However traditional energy interests are putting some very serious money into duping California voters into nixing AB32 in November, in order to perpetuate dependence on fossil energy instead. They have somehow acquired enough signatures to be ballot-worthy, with funding from out-of-state conservative front groups.

If the oil-funded attempt at voter fraud using a “Jobs Initiative” lure succeeds, we California voters will repeal our climate and renewable energy bill, which would mean that this Feed-in Tariff – what amounts to Al Gore’s idea of an “electranet” – would die. Also other deaths likely.

Related stories:

Germany Runs Out of Solar Panels due to Generous Feed-in Tariff

Al Gore Electranet Begins in California

SMUD Offers Unusual Feed-in Tariff

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.

  • Hai there!

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    Check it out, we’ve learnt a lot from your blog! 🙂


  • paul gipe

    sharon, if you want to be added to my list directly, please post me a message. it would be good to make contact.

    btw. i have a few items on my web site about new zealand.


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