solar and wind feed-in tariffs
Wind and solar farms, can have severe impacts on wildlife and their habitats when they are built as huge corporate owned farms. Solar panels on the roof of a home or business does not hurt any being. Wind turbines installed on roofs much the same as the roof vent type does not hurt any being (see wind-belts). Net-metering and Feed-in tariffs are wonderful ways many countries and 11 of the states within the United States are successfully providing energy. So why aren’t feed-in tariffs and their success embraced wholeheartedly within the US, especially the southern states where the Sun is so abundant?
A feed-in tariff, offers small-scale producers of solar energy long-term contracts (usually at above-market rates) for the electricity they sell. Net-metering allows anyone, whose solar or wind system is producing more electricity than they need, to sell the excess back to the utility in turn reducing or eliminating their electric bill. But once their bill falls to zero, the homeowner gets no more money from the system, although some grids will give credit.
Using Florida as an example: The Governor of Florida and Florida Power and Light (FPL) are trying to pass legislation that is being marketed to the voters of Florida as forward thinking and green. Large utility companies would control the renewable energy industry in Florida. Smaller businesses would still have to pay exorbitant utility rates. This would cause them to bring their business to feed-in tariff (FTI) states where they can have their own solar, wind and/or biofuels for their business.
There exists a trend in which consumers are looking for USA made products that are made in a low carbon impact way. Florida and it’s constant sunshine should be the forerunner of this trend. Instead Florida’s Governor and Florida’s privately run FPL are interested in increasing the surcharge on their customers’ bills. Who benefits from this? Compared with neighboring states, Florida’s industrial utility rates already are 52 percent higher and residential rates are 20 percent higher.
Florida could do both utility owned and privately owned alternative energies. FPL can put algae ponds around its current Coal fired power plants. The algae is used to make biofuel and feeds on the CO2. Algae needs massive amounts of CO2 to grow, coal fired power plants are thought to be evil in part because of their massive amount of CO2 emissions. Talk about a win win!!
Meantime, manufacturing and big box stores and private homes and associations of homes can have their own solar panels (if they so choose). Small solar wind and biofuel companies will flock to Florida for the substantial need and abundance of resource.
PS: “Conservation: addition by subtraction
Even though this doesn’t technically generate electricity or transfer energy, we have to mention this; one dollar worth of energy conservation can save three to five dollars in energy generation equipment costs; if you can use what you have more efficiently, there’s no reason to spend more to make more. While designing for efficiency is the best way to achieve high levels of energy conservation, there are lots of retrofits in insulation and efficiency upgrades that can help cut back on demand.” Colin Dunn
Back in the days of the Renaissance the lords of the land (the folks in the castles) owned the land and the mill. Serfs (the folks in the huts) paid the Lords for leasing the land to grow grain, they then took the grain to the mill and paid the Lords to have their grains milled. This same concept is all I can think of that keeps states from allowing homeowners to provide their own energy and get credit for excess energy. The governor of Florida Rick Scott seems to want to be Lord and we the beholden serfs.