A recent report published by a key EU committee found that feed-in tariffs for renewable energy were better than a renewable energy quota system (which is what’s common in the US). Feed-in tariffs have driven rapid growth in solar power in all of the solar-leading countries of the world — Germany, Italy, Australia, the Czech Republic, and others. Last I checked, feed-in tariffs were responsible for nearly 90% of world solar power capacity.
The results of the study were apparently a big disappointment or frustration to the EU’s Energy Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, and German politician Herbert Reul, both of whom have been pushing for Germany to switch its feed-in tariff system over the the quota system (also known as a Renewable Energy Standard or Renewable Portfolio Standard in the US).
The report, “Renewable energy challenges and opportunities in the European domestic market,” came to several important findings, PV Magazine notes:
- The feed-in tariff system results in cheaper electricity than the quota model.
- Renewable energy is important/good for the economy.
- Support for renewables is not an aid scheme that distorts markets.
The results of the study should shut down a push for a Europe-wide renewable energy quota system. However, an EU Parliament vote on the report has not yet occurred — that is projected to come on April 15.