If only Los Angeles could bottle the kind of energy seen during Lakers Day Parades, such as the one on Monday, June 21st, there would be little need for discussions about rate hikes and energy consumption. Until that day arrives, the Los Angeles Business Council has been consulting with local stakeholders and helping Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilwoman Jan Perry and others to come up with a Feed-in Tariff plan for Solar energy. This is how it is proposed to work in benefit to Los Angeles the city and its citizens.
- Ratepayer cost-savings: Future solar installation costs will continue to fall at the same time that fossil fuel costs will rise. Our study finds that ratepayers will save money over the long-term because a solar program will begin to produce energy more cheaply than the utility’s other potential sources of power within five years.
- Regulatory climate: California law, AB 32, will require all utilities to meet 20 percent of their power needs with renewable sources by the end of the year, a mandate that will soon increase to 33 percent. A FiT program could be an important component in helping utilities to meet renewable energy goals.
Photo courtesy LA Times Blogs
- A magnet for clean-tech manufacturing: A FiT program would signal a long-term political commitment to greening Los Angeles and could be used as an incentive to attract clean-tech firms and manufacturers to our region and keep them here. Germany—which is home to the world’s largest solar market despite its relatively marginal sunlight— has used a nationwide FiT program to help generate more than 100,000 jobs and build a robust green economy.
- Job creation: A FiT program would create more than 11,000 high-wage private sector jobs to install, maintain, repair, assemble and manufacture solar panels inside the Los Angeles basin.
What Is A Solar Feed-in Tariff Program?
A solar Feed-in Tariff program allows businesses, public and non-profit organizations, and residents to install solar panels on their roofs and parking lots and sell the power generated back to the local utility. Participants receive a payment back from the utility for each Kilowatt-hour fed back into the power grid. FiT programs can generate a cost-effective source of renewable energy, create local jobs, and bring in revenue for businesses and ratepayers. Successful FiT programs have been put in place around the world. LABC has singled out programs in Germany and Gainesville, Florida as particularly effective models that Los Angeles should look to emulate.
Contact the Los Angeles Business Council for more information on the Solar FiT program. This month LABC has been building a broad coalition in support of bringing an ambitious 600 Megawatt Solar Feed-in Tariff (FiT) program to Los Angeles using the guidelines we have developed in partnership with the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.