The concept of feed in tariffs to stimulate uptake of renewable energy is
certainly catching on with increasing numbers of countries launching
announced a net feed in tariff scheme where owners of small
scale wind, solar, hydro and combined heat and power systems will be paid AUD$
0.36 per kilowatt on surplus electricity generated and exported to the Ireland's
main grid up to 3,000kWh exported annually, then AUD$ 0.19 per kilowatt hour
Even though a net feed
in tariff is considered a poor cousin to a gross model, whereby all
electricity generated is eligible for payment, and the rate is far below some
other countries, the Irish scheme is expected to be popular given other
government assistance available.
Ireland's net feed in tariff program is also limited to the first 4,000
micro-generation installations countrywide over the next three years, but if the
recent examples of programs in Spain,
Canada are anything to go by; those slots could be filled well before the
program's official end as governments consistently underestimate demand.
Germany was the first country to introduce a feed in tariff for grid
connect solar power back in 1991. After the program was enhanced in 2000
with higher premiums paid and a switch to a gross model, between 2000 and 2005
the quantity of electricity fed into the grid more than doubled; with a
seven-fold increase in installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity . The current
German program is considered "best practice" for the successful
implementation of feed in tariff programs.