Natural Health

Healthy living, herbal remedies and DIY natural beauty.

Add to My MSN

Solar Power: Feed-In Tariffs Invigorate Gainesville

5/8/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: solar, solar energy, solar panels, Florida, renewable energy

As tough economic times hit the renewable energy industry, unsold solar panels are collecting dust in warehouses in many parts of the country. But in Gainesville, Florida, homes, buildings and schools are glittering with brand new panels, installed after the city passed a feed-in tariff law, requiring the power company to buy renewable energy from local producers. Since the law passed in February, Gainesville solar contractors have more work than they can handle. Paradigm Properties, a local real estate company, is installing solar panels on its main building and 50 apartment buildings in Gainesville. Another investor is installing $16 to $20 million worth of 25-kilowatt systems on 80 rented roof spaces around the city. He believes they’ll yield $1.4 million in annual earnings.  

Solar panels
Solar panels are gaining popularity in Gainesville, Florida. Photo By Powerhouse Museum/Courtesy Flickr  

Gainesville is the first U.S. city to institute a feed-in tariff, which encourages entrepreneurial investment in clean energy by guaranteeing a market. Germany implemented feed-in tariffs in 1991, and they’ve been incentive enough for German companies to dominate the green energy market. Several countries have followed suit. 

Feed-in tarrifs are an elegant solution to many issues, and Rep. Jay Inslee of Washington wants to see it work for the rest of the country—not just Gainesville. He’s introduced a bill for a federal feed-in tariff just as they’re beginning to slip into the national conversation. Toby Couture of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory told Washington Monthly that six to eight months ago many of his colleagues had never heard of the tariffs. Now, he says, 'Everyone on my team is asking, 'Why aren't we doing this?''



Related Content

Three Options to Feed New Honeybee Colonies

Choices are available when it comes to feeding a new package of honeybees. Three of the options are ...

Vermont Law Implements Use of Feed-in Tariffs

Vermont passed a bill into law last week that established a feed-in tariff policy. The policy is one...

Toyota Taps Sun Power Too

Toyota installs a large solar panel system on a California facility, proving its green thumb extends...

The Population Problem

Our habitat won’t allow the human population to expand forever. But if the global population stabili...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 










Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.