Thursday, January 10, 2013

Distributed Energy


Here's a link to a new report from on their recent tour of Germany. This country has transitioned to 25% of their electricity produced by renewable energy, mainly owned by local farmers and residents. A quote from the report: 

"Germany’s feed-in tariff (FIT) has helped to make the country a world leader in renewable energy. Since its establishment in 2000 as part of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), renewable energy in Germany has grown from just 6 percent to 25 percent of their total energy consumption in 2012. But this is not just a statistic, the results of the policy can be seen all across the country as solar panels line barns and village homes and wind turbines dot the horizon. What is equally remarkable is that the energy transition, contrary to the expectations of its critics, has not necessitated significant transmission upgrades or negatively affected the reliability of power. In fact, Germany had just 15 minutes of unplanned power interruptions in 2011. " 

It also appears that their strong distributed - locally owned energy program has not increased rate payer bills significantly, and costs much less than utility transmission costs.  In fact, long term price projections point towards Germans paying less for electricity than we do, while enjoying tremendous opportunities for economic development. 
Check out the report here.


  1. "Feed in tariffs" is some mighty bad lingo. Can't we find a better term?

  2. How about "buy back rate?" I heard a salesman use that term in Spencer this week. Or here's my own cool acronym: PRICE. We need a PRICE for our home made electricity: Published Rate for Iowa's Clean Electricity. Or Profitable Rate for Iowa's Clean Electricity.

    You know everyone loves an acronym.

    1. Sounds pretty good. I think "feed in tariff" is the translation of the German name of their energy policy. Folks have been trying to wordsmith the phrase for a long time. "Clean Contracts" from California group , the Clean Coalition. Vermont has a "Standard Offer Program". Some shorten it to "FiTs", "PRICE" sounds about as good as any of them. We can tell legislators we need a "PRICE" in Iowa!