Will A Feed-In Tariff Be Part of
Oregon’s Ten-Year Energy Plan?
In late 2011 and early 2012, a Task Force appointed by Governor Kitzhaber convened to develop recommendations for a Ten-Year Energy Plan for Oregon. Five Design Teams on: Energy Efficiency and Demand Management; Resource Mix; Siting Issues; Transportation; and Governance were asked to provide recommendations on coordinated actions and initiatives that the State of Oregon could take in order to (1) reduce our dependence on carbon-intensive fuels and foreign oil, (2) develop home-grown renewable energy resources, (3) mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, (4) improve energy efficiency and create rewarding local jobs, and (5) boost Oregon’s economy through investment and innovation.
The Governor has now received the task force recommendations and is preparing a draft document slated to be released for public comment on March 26th. The release will be followed by a six-week comment period. Written comments will be accepted for three weeks, and then a three-week "road show" will bring the conversation to community centers, meeting halls, and conference rooms across the state. Stakeholder comments will be taken into consideration, and a completed Ten Year Energy Action Plan released by June/July of 2012, in time for state legislators to prepare legislation for the 2013 session in Salem.
Feed-in Tariffs are mentioned in the charge given to the Resource Mix Team to answer this question: “ With the uncertainty of Oregon's current incentives for development of generation facilities, what should the next generation of incentives look like to help achieve the desired resource mix? How do incentive programs align with mandates, such as the RPS? What role does a feed-in-tariff play?" See Incentives for Achieving Resource Mix here.
Both the evidence and the overwhelming weight of academic studies demonstrate Feed-in Tariffs to be the most effective policies to rapidly “develop home-grown renewable energy resources”. Thus, the creation of a Ten Year Energy Action Plan for Oregon provides a unique opportunity for clean energy advocates to insist that FITs be included as a key policy tool for shaping our state’s clean energy future.
What could very well make the difference is input from Oregonians around the state calling for an equitable energy plan that opens up the clean energy marketplace to thousands of new producers, and makes it simple for local entrepreneurs to produce, sell and invest in local clean energy profitably, without lots of red tape.
While utility companies, trade associations, energy non-profits, and energy professionals are viewed as traditional energy stakeholders, Oregon's citizens are the single largest stakeholder. Oregonians will pay the bills for clean energy (whether as taxpayers or utility ratepayers), and it is Oregonians who stand to gain or lose the most from an energy plan that will be in effect for at least the next decade. OREP encourages all Oregonians to be involved in this public process, as we will all experience its economic, environmental, and social consequences.
Register: Supporters of an Oregon feed-in tariff, local clean energy production and of living wage green energy jobs will want to have input to the Ten Year Energy Plan. Stay informed by signing up to receive updates at the 10-Year Energy Plan website.
And stay tuned to OREP, as we will alert all our members when the time is right for your input.The OREP Team