The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Feed-in Tariffs Do More for Wind at Less Cost to Ratepayers than RPS, Says German Agency

In a recent report, the German Renewable Energy Agency says that across Europe countries using feed-in tariffs develop more wind energy and pay less for it than countries using quota systems.

In North America, the quota model is known variously as Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) or Renewable Energy Standards.

The agency, the Agentur für Erneuerbare Energien, says that RPS-related tendering programs raise the payments for wind energy in Europe to as much as €0.15/kWh ($0.19/kWh) in Italy. In contrast, Germany, which uses a feed-in tariff, pays only €0.089/kWh ($0.11/kWh). Spain, which also uses a feed-in tariff, pays even less.

Germany operates the most wind energy capacity in Europe, 29,000 MW, Spain follows with nearly 22,000 MW.

Italian wind generation has fallen behind electricity generation from solar photovoltaics for the first time in an industrialized country. Italy uses feed-in tariffs to pay for solar energy instead of a trading system in green certificates, one of the hallmarks of a quota system.

Great Britain, which also uses a quota system for large-scale wind energy and has the best wind resources in Europe, pays 20% more for wind energy than Germany: €0.108/kWh ($0.135/kWh). More than half of German wind capacity is now installed in lower wind areas of mid-Germany and yet Germany still pays less than Great Britain for wind energy.

Payments for wind energy normally reflect the costs of wind energy and costs are substantially less where the wind resources are greater. Thus, it is unusual that Britain pays more for wind energy than Germany even though its wind resource is so much better.

Britain's ruling conservative coalition has proposed replacing its quota system, the Renewables Obligation, with Contracts-for-Differences in a bid to move closer toward feed-in tariffs. However, there are few details on what the government would actually pay under its proposal, in part, because of controversy over how much it would cost to pay for nuclear power.

Twenty of the 27 member states in the European Union (EU) use a form of feed-in tariffs and much of the wind, solar, and biogas in the EU has been developed using feed-in tariffs.

The German Renewable Energy Agency also notes that feed-in tariffs are a market mechanism that can be used to implement "renewable energy" policies because they can be tailored to individual technologies.

In theory quota systems only reward the "cheapest" technology and, thus, doesn't "pick winners" as such. In Europe this is wind energy. Though this model is supposed to deliver the lowest-cost electricity to consumers, ironically it delivers the most expensive wind energy in Europe according to the Renewable Energy Agency.

Italy and Great Britain have each developed less than 7,000 MW of wind energy.

In a survey of German industry, says the agency, the overwhelming majority favor technology-specific feed-in tariffs. Only 2% prefer a quota model as used in Poland, Belgium, Great Britain, and Italy.

Lead image: Wind turbine via Shutterstock

RELATED ARTICLES

A biogas plant concept from Weltec Biopower

Europe Versus Renewable Energy?

Tildy Bayar, Contributor Wednesday morning’s 'Regulation and the Marketplace' panel discussion at POWER-GEN Europe in Amsterdam got off to a lively start with a presentation from Randy Mott, president of Polish biogas- and geothermal-base...
Uzbekistan flag and map

Uzbekistan’s Ambitious Wind Power Target Signals New Energy Politics

Linas Jegelevicius, International Correspondent After rolling out its renewable energy strategy through 2019 in April, the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan has set its sights on ambitious goals: Build three 100-MW solar power plants and generate more than 1 trillion ...
Wind turbines

Why It's Time To Get Real About Energy Security

Hannah Smith, Contributor Energy is Europe’s quiet crisis. While the clamour of failing economies, desperate migrants and political clashes grabs the headlines, energy policy is rarely front-page news, but it should be — the statistics are shocking.

Largest Solar Farm in Virginia Just Commissioned by Amazon Web Services

Renewable Energy World Editors Back in 2012, Amazon received a failing grade from Greenpeace regarding its use of renewable energy to power its cloud centers. Skip a couple years and in 2014 Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a goal of achievi...
Paul Gipe has written extensively about renewable energy for both the popular and trade press. He has also lectured widely on wind energy and how to minimize its impact on the environment and the communities of which it is a part. For his efforts,...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in Brazil – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

Brazil is one of the most promising markets for wind energy.  Ranke...

Mastering RETScreen® 4 for Clean Energy Project Analysis

Hands-on modeling class using RETScreen 4. Michael Ross designed this co...

RECAM WEEK

RECAM WEEK will bring together the incredibly successful SPG Central Am...

COMPANY BLOGS

Meteorological Technology International Magazine - SENSORS AND SENS...

Over the past 10 years, these sensing technologies have spread tre...

SunEdison Expands Residential Market Offerings with New PPA, Sales ...

SunEdison has largely focussed on the commercial and utility-scale solar...

Are You Ready for a Natural Disaster?

Guest post by Jenna Clarke  Living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virg...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS