NAF GREEN GROWTH EVENT…. In the new issue of the Washington Monthly, editor Mariah Blake takes a close look at the solar-power boom underway in Gainesville, Florida, where an innovative “feed-in tariff” program offers a promising answer for the whole country.
The New America Foundation will host a discussion on Mariah’s piece and the policy debate this Friday at their D.C. offices, from 12:15-1:45 p.m. A live webcast will be available for people who cannot attend the event, and will be online here.
Here’s information from the invitation:
President Barack Obama has touted a robust green energy sector as our best chance of jump-starting the economy, putting Americans back to work, and securing our nation’s standing in a post-carbon world. Yet the renewable energy industry has been among the hardest hit by the current downturn.
How can America revive this vital sector, transforming it into an engine of economic growth? The Washington Monthly has found a promising answer in an unlikely place: Gainesville, Florida, which is in the midst of a solar-power boom, thanks to a bold incentive known as a feed-in tariff. Under this policy, the local power company is required to buy renewable energy from all producers, no matter how small, at above-market rates. This means anyone with a cluster of solar cells on their roof can sell the power they produce at a profit.
While Gainesville is the first to take the leap, other U.S. cities and at least eleven U.S. states are moving toward adopting the policy. There is also a bill for a nationwide feed-in tariff before Congress. The surge of interest stems from the dramatic results the policy has delivered in other countries, most notably Germany, where it has given rise to the world’s most vibrant green energy sector. In America, however, an aging electrical grid and fractured utility market could make feed-in tariffs problematic.
Please join us Friday, April 10, for a provocative discussion on the potential benefits and pitfalls of this policy — and what it could mean for green growth in America.
Speaking at the event will be Mariah; James Bradbury, Senior Legislative Aid for Climate and Energy for Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.); Toby Couture, Energy and Financial Markets Analyst for the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory; David Owens, Executive Vice President at the Edison Electric Institute; and Ed Regan, Assistant General Manager for Strategic Planning at Gainesville Regional Utilities.