This is a website on the progress of the Feed-in Tariff in Hawaii operated by Chris Mentzel of Clean Energy Maui LLC.
Newsflash 10-13-10: PUC has approved FIT for Hawaii ! Soon detailed information on this website.
a Feed-In Tariff since December 7, 1990. To find out the extent of
changes that this law has brought about, Chris Mentzel did a 9-month
study and published the report Successes of the German FITwhich can be downloaded here.
(700 kB PDF file) This report received funding assistance from the
World Future Council. Slides from a recent presentation are available here. (2.5 MB PDF file) Hawaii:
Currently the PUC (Public Utility Commission) of Hawaii has an open
docket on the Feed-in Tariff. The last PUC decision on the FIT was
issued on 9-25-09. In it initial decisions are laid out, such as an
initial cap in the first 2 years of 5% of each island's peak generation.
It is expected that the Feed-in Tariff in Hawaii will be active by
August/September 2010. Feel free to connect with Chris Mentzel through the mailform for more information.
is the law that made
Germany's renewable energy industry the world's biggest. Germany now has
300,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector, only topped by the
automotive sector. 38 other countries have a FIT law. It powerful
law, often misunderstood. This website explains the law and what it
would mean for Hawaii, if it was implemented here.
FIT to Hawaii, we can create the
"Hawaii Miracle", with a massive influx of investments and jobs and
clean energy and move quickly away from our dependency on oil.
means "feed-in tariff", but a better name would be "renewable energy
payments". By allowing anyone to become an electricity producer and
feeding it into the grid at a profitable rate, FIT encourages massive
developments of renewable energy.
How the Feed-in-Tariff works It allows energy entrepreneurs to sell
electricity at profitable prices to the local electric company. The Feed-in-Tariff is built on core American values: Democracy - Open up the monopolistic electricity generation market to everybody, mainly middle-class power producers. Entrepreneurialism - Build a new industrial sector by enabling entrepreneurs to obtain capital to install new generation. Free Market - Create a lively market for the renewable energy industry that succeeds in powering innovation and reducing prices.
(who owns Maui Electric) is a private company regulated by the
government through the Public Utilities Commission, the PUC. Governor
Linda Lingle asked the PUC to implement a FIT in Hawaii. This process
was originally planned to conclude in July 2009 but is still underway,
due to the complexity of the task.
If the PUC would implement a
full FIT law as in Germany, we will see massive amounts of investment in
renewable energy. However, Hawaiian Electric is voicing serious concern
about the ability of the existing grids to absorb much renewable
Watch a 5-minute video by the World Future Council
Energy policy defines energy future In
a highly controlled market, such as utilities, the outcome is more
shaped shaped by policies than by business decisions, inventions, common
sense or political will.
Follow the leader Germany
has become the leader in both wind and solar solutions. In 2010 every
second panel manufactured was installed in Germany. A total of 3,800 MW
of solar PV was installed during 2009, compared to 435 MW in the USA. Germany
has 83 million inhabitants, versus 303 million in the United States.
Maui has double the sunshine and double the wind energy compared to the
German average. At the present time, 38 countries have a FIT law,
proving that it can work everywhere even in China and Mauritius.
However, because the law's impact is not easily understood, many other
countries tried other policies which do not work.
Wind and sun are cheaper than oil In
Hawaii we bring in oil from the Middle East, refine it and burn it for
electricity. But wind and sun are right here in abundant quantities and
this is one place where the oil that gets burned costs more than the
financing costs for renewable energies. Hawaii is giving $8 billion to
oil producers and could be self-sufficient with a $16 billion investment
in renewable power sources. This year Hawaii uses all it's income from US tourists to pay for oil.
Hawaii needs massive change Every
year the price of oil goes up. The world has neglected renewable energy
for 30 years and the rate payers are paying the price. We read now
about the possibility of massive wind farms on all islands as well as
huge solar projects, OTEC and seawater cooling. All these renewable
projects add up to 1,000 MWp, which is only 20% of our electricity. And
less if we factor in the coming shift to electric cars. We need five
times that much, and not in 20 years. That is massive change and it will
create a massive inflow of capital, thousands of jobs, energy security
and the admiration of the world. Slowing down that change will only cost
us more for electricity, send our dollars into the middle east and we
will lose the opportunity for an easy transition that we have now.
KWh, not KW Solar
and wind installations are dependent on the flow of natural energies. A
sunny area in Hawaii has an average of 5.3 hours of full sun energy. A
excellent wind area like Maui's Kaheawa has good wind 49% of the time.
That means that a 100 MW solar facility has up to 22 MW average
productivity and a 100 MW wind farm has up to 49 MW average
productivity. A 100 MW oil burning generator has 100 MW average
productivity. So if we talk of replacing Hawaii's 1,600 MW oil burning
generators with wind and solar, we must be talking about 3,000 - 5,000
MW of wind and sun. It's better to look at the kWh produced than the KW
peak power installed.
The FIT law benefits everyone Germany's
groundbreaking law is not a subsidy. No tax dollars are used to bring
in renewable energy. Every citizen pays about 1 dollar a month extra
which has created an industry that will soon surpass car manufacturing
as the number one industry. The electric companies enjoy very healthy
profits. In Hawaii there will not even be a $1 cost to rate payers,
since we have more than double the sun that cloudy Germany has. In the
adaptation to Hawaii, the FIT will encourage the electric utilities to
add renewables and pay them a fair price to balance out their
fluctuating energies. Both of these incentives are not in place now,
which explains the slow pace of wind and solar integration.
The unique chance Hawaii has right now Tens
of billions of dollars are available at this moment to pay for Hawaii's
new energy infrastructure. Within a few years we could go from
expensive oil dependency to a vibrant new energy economy. All this
investment can be freed up with the right energy policy. Hawaii is the
only state in the union that has the sunshine and the high energy costs
to make the FIT law work right away. With the coming recession and
international competition for solar resources, supplies in money, solar
panels and wind turbines may dry up in the next years. If we act now, we
have a golden opportunity.
Are there real problems? Building
in Hawaii, even if it is renewable energy that benefits everyone, has
to be in accordance with the beauty and nature of the island. We have to
be inventive and forward thinking in our way to embed solar farms and
windmills in a way that adds to our daily lives. Bringing massive
amounts of variable energy from changing winds and sun into the grid
presents challenges to grid stability. But instead of using this as an
argument to keep renewables away, let's treat it as what it is - an
exciting engineering challenge. Here in Hawaii we can find solutions
that will benefit the entire world and we can make money by exporting
Let's recap Sun
and wind are cheaper in Hawaii than our current oil based system. Their
costs also don't go up and the money gets invested here, creating jobs.
We will be more secure than with our 2 week oil supply and fight global
warming. The investors are waiting at the door and will shoulder the
risk. By implementing FIT in the right way, we will open the door for