How Do "Feed In Tariffs" For Solar Power Work

Submitted by Charles Frost on Thu, 02/11/2010 - 20:37.
Here is a video on how Feed In Tariffs Work:


...and here is an article from USA Today on the new UK Feed In Tariff Program:

Feb 02, 2010

Go green, earn green: U.K. pays people for wind, solar power (from USA Today)

The United Kingdom is setting out to lead the world in home energy-efficiency, and on Monday, it unveiled a key incentive: paying homeowners who produce low-carbon power such as solar or wind.

Beginning in April, consumers will be paid for the electricity they generate, even if they use it themselves. The amount will depend on the technology used.
A homeowner could earn up to 900 pounds ($1,433) each year for a typical 2.5 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system and save an additional 140 pounds ($223 ) on their annual electricity bill, according to an announcement by the U.K.'s Department of Energy and Climate Change.
In April 2011, the U.K. says it will be the first country to begin paying people who install low-carbon heating technologies such as ground source or geothermal heat pumps, biomass boilers and air source heat pumps.
These efforts aim to help consumers achieve the country's ground-breaking requirement that all new homes, beginning in 2016, emit zero carbon, which means they have to produce enough power to offset any they use.
The U.S. government does not pay people to produce low-carbon power or use low-carbon heating, but it does offer 30% tax credits for the installation of such systems. Local and state incentives also exist.
U.K. Energy Secretary Ed Miliband said he expects one in 10 homes could be producing their own electricity by the end of the decade. In the announcement, he explained the cash incentives:
The guarantee of getting an income on top of saving on energy bills will be an incentive to householders and communities wanting to make the move to low carbon living.
The feed-in tariff will change the way householders and communities think about their future energy needs, making the payback for investment far shorter than in the past.
It will also change the outlook for a range of industries, in particular those in the business of producing and installing small scale low carbon technology."
The United Kingdom currently gets about 5.5% of electricity and less than 1% of its heat from renewable sources but wants to increase both those amounts to meet its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Readers: Should the U.S. government try these cash incentives?
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