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ISES Calls for Feed-in Tariffs Worldwide

October 16, 2009

By Paul Gipe

The International Solar Energy Society <http://www.ises.org> (ISES) has called for the use of feed-in tariffs worldwide at its world congress in Johannesburg, South Africa. This is the strongest endorsement yet from ISES of the policy that has sparked renewable energy development in Europe.

The resolution also calls for the world to reach 100 percent renewable energy by mid-century.

ISES also singled out the host country, South Africa, as an example for praise. South Africa has embarked on developing a full system of feed-in tariffs to help solve the country's electricity shortages and to send a signal to the nations meeting in Copenhagen that the developing world is willing to do its part.

The move by ISES, one of the world's oldest renewable energy organizations, follows recent announcements by China, India, Taiwan, and Japan that they will all soon introduce feed-in tariffs.

Below is the ISES resolution in full. REFIT is the acronym for Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff. The Green Energy Act refers to the law passed by the Ontario provincial parliament in 2009 that, among many provisions, empowered the Minister of Energy to implement a comprehensive system of feed-in tariffs.
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ISES Solar World Congress 2009
Johannesburg, South Africa, 11-14 October 2009
Resolution

The ISES Solar World Congress 2009 hosted by the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa, attended by participants from all over the world resolves as follows:

The global target of 100 % renewable energies is both attainable and necessary by the middle of the current century. This is motivated on grounds of ecological, economic and social sustainability.

The unacceptable backlog in energy supply in the third world countries can only be covered cost effectively and in time by the use of renewable energies. Especially the industrialised countries have to increase their efforts in transitioning to renewable energies.

The world's governments are called upon to implement without further delay policies that have been proven internationally to be the most effective and efficient in the rapid transition to a renewable energy world, giving priority to renewable energy and refraining from any kind of caps that may slow down renewable energy deployment.

As a guiding principle, local and rural communities and people should be actively involved and benefit directly from renewable energies. Governments should especially encourage and support community power projects and distributed generation as well as investment in renewable energy manufacturing facilities in order to foster the local creation of jobs.

The Congress applauds the first steps taken by the South African Government in introducing the renewable energy feed-in tariff. The Congress requests government to urgently address concerns expressed by the public and by potential investors about aspects of REFIT policy. These include transparency, certainty, removal of contradictions between legislation and regulations governing the REFIT and providing a roadmap with clear commitments and timelines to its implementation.

The introduction of a Green Energy Act is strongly recommended as crucial to providing an overarching and comprehensive framework for renewable energy uptake so that in the near future the necessary steps will be taken to attract local as well as international investors.

The Congress strongly recommends the world's governments to establish an obligation to use renewable energy for water heating as well as space heating and cooling in residential, industrial, commercial and public sector buildings.

On the international level, the introduction of a global feed-in tariff system is recommended as a primary instrument to foster international technology transfer and finance scaling up of renewables, especially in the third world. Such a global feed-in tariff has the unique potential of overcoming the blockage in the current climate change negotiations.

For offgrid and non-electrical systems, further intelligent financing mechanisms such as large-scaled microcredit and soft loan programmes should be applied. All aspects of capacity building for renewable energy, including resource assessment, have to be given priority in education as well as in research and development. This is ineluctable in order to create awareness and knowledge of the true and full potential and vast variety of renewable energies as well as the true threats of fossil and nuclear energies.

The Congress welcomes and endorses the strong support and the cooperation of all the renewable energy technologies through the International Renewable Energy Alliance.

The Congress is delighted by the recent establishment of the International Renewable Energy Agency Irena and urges all renewable energy proponents worldwide as well as the world's governments to give full support to the establishment process in order to make sure that IRENA can realise its leadership role on our way to a renewable energy world.

Johannesburg, 14 October 2009

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This feed-in tariff news update is partially supported by the Jan David Blittersdorf Foundation in cooperation with the Institute for Local Self Reliance. The views expressed are those of Paul Gipe and are not necessarily those of the sponsors.

Paul Gipe

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