Project Economics

Americans Making Power Act Proposes National Net Metering

July 8, 2010 - 12:33pm -- Anonymous

July 2010, Washington, D.C. - Rep. Jay Inslee (WA) has introduced the Americans Making Power Act, or AMP Act, which would establish a national standard for net metering. The legislation would allow Americans to feed back into the grid excess renewable power they generate through their homes, small businesses and even places of worship. This legislation would also improve reliability of the nation's electric grid by encouraging a more diffuse means of energy production.

Advanced Renewable Tariffs for Wisconsin Analysis and Case Study

"Advanced Renewable Tariffs for Wisconsin: Analysis and Case Study" was prepared by the University of Wisconsin Madison Energy Analysis & Policy Certificate Capstone Project.

ART is a policy which aims to encourage customer-sited development of renewable energy. An ART is unique because a regular customer becomes the producer (who we will refer to as a Renewable Power Producer (RPP)), and the electric utility becomes the customer. This is different than net metering and a RPS; net metering is essentially running the kWh meter backwards-thus, the value for a kWh of renewable electricity is equal to the retail rate-while a RPS establishes a quantity obligation.

There are many ways to establish energy payments for an ART. The various methods are primarily based on:

  1. Generation cost, which provides a payment based on the cost of the technology
  2. Avoided cost, which sets the payment based on displacing fossil fuel-based generation
  3. Premium rates, which establish energy payment at a specified level above the retail rate for electricity

This analysis uses a generation cost approach-generation cost is the most common form and is consistent with the Governor‘s Task Force on Global Warming-to determine energy payments for each renewable technology.

Analysis of Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariffs in the U.S.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published a report analyzing the impacts that state level feed-in tariff policies can have on the renewable energy industry across the country. The report uses data and reports from around the world to highlight the various benefits that a feed-in tariff type of policy can have on renewable energy development.

A feed-in tariff is an energy policy that provides for a guarantee of payment to renewable energy developers for the energy that is produced. This type of policy can be thought of as an advanced form of a production-based incentive because payments are made for the actual electricity produced and not for how much capacity is installed. The most common feed-in tariff payment is based on the actual levelized cost of renewable energy generation. This method of payment provides a price adequate to ensure a reasonable rate of return on for investors. 

The authors of the report delve into the various advantages of feed-in tariff policies and the number of challenges to implementing feed-in tariff policies in the U.S. The report also provides a review of the current state-level and utility-level feed-in tariff policies that are currently in place across the county and compares them with the successful models found in Europe. These states include Gainesville, Florida; various Wisconsin utilities; California; Vermont (report was written prior to passage of the state-wide feed-in tariff so this analysis focuses on the two utility-specific programs); Washington; and Oregon. The authors wrap up the report with a discussion of best practices for feed-in tariff policy design and implementation, followed by an analysis on how to use a feed-in tariff policy to achieve state renewable energy goals.

The authors highlight one of the most important elements of a feed-in tariff policy - that it allows for more participants in renewable energy project development. In their analysis the authors state that there are significant impacts of a feed-in tariff on developing community ownership, but it will depend on how the program is structured and payments determined. 

You can read the full report here (PDF).

Annual Report on U.S. Wind Power Installation, Cost, and Performance Trends: 2007: Webcast is now available online

During this Webcast on 7/9/08 Ryan Wiser of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory summarized key findings from the U.S. Department of Energy's recently released "Annual Report on U.S. Wind Power Installation, Cost, and Performance Trends: 2007. In following the contents of the report itself, the presentation provided a comprehensive overview of trends in the U.S. wind power market, with a particular focus on 2007.

The presentation summarized the latest information on a variety of topics, including: wind project installation trends; wind industry developments; evolution of wind power sales prices; comparing the price of wind with wholesale market prices; installed wind project costs; wind turbine prices; wind project performance; O&M cost trends; and integration, transmission, and policy developments.

You can view the slides here (.pdf file)

3RD ANNUAL RENEWABLE ENERGY FINANCE & INVESTMENT SUMMIT

2008

3RD ANNUAL RENEWABLE ENERGY FINANCE & INVESTMENT SUMMIT
Exploring Key Deals & Developments in the Renewable Fuel & Renewable Power Markets

Plus! New sessions on: Utility-Scale Thermal, Geothermal, Tidal Wave Energy Projects, Biomass Gasification, Hybrid Plug-in Electric Vehicles, Opportunities in Coal, M&A Activity, Algae as the Next Biofuel...and much more!

May 19th - 21st, 2008
FireSky Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, AZ

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Harvesting Clean Energy 8

2008

The Harvesting Clean Energy Conference is the Northwest’s premiere gathering for agriculture and energy interests working to advance new opportunities for agriculture producers and rural communities in clean energy production. Clean energy offers real solutions – financial and practical – for our farmers, ranchers, rural utilities and towns, tribes, and regional economy.

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Wind Energy Institute

2008

February 19-20; Austin Convention Center; Austin, TX

Join energy attorneys, developers, renewable energy experts, county officials, landowners, and regulators at the 2008 Wind Energy Institute. A nationally-recognized faculty—drawn from attorneys, developers, engineers, and key Texas policymakers—will provide you with the latest technological, business, and legal information regarding wind development. Topics include: power markets and nodal pricing; Certified Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ); siting, environmental, and leasing issues; and more.

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