Reprinted with permission from Re-ENERGIZE BUFFALO for "All things GREEN: Energy, Environment, Economy and Jobs."
A Policy to Repower the Nation with Clean Energy
No policy has helped other countries expand their renewable sources of electricity more than the CLEAN contract, also known as a feed-in tariff or FIT. Transparency, certainty and longevity of the contract forms the basis for its widespread acceptance, and its success in developing wind and solar power in other countries and a few states.
A CLEAN contract makes Clean Local Energy Accessible Now. The policy allows renewable energy project owners to sell their electricity to utilities at a predetermined, fixed price for a long period of time. Clean energy providers are paid a price for their electricity that covers the cost of the generation. It makes clean energy investment a smarter choice for homeowners, utilities, and developers of renewable energy projects.
The CLEAN contract helps overcome upfront cost barriers to investment by making renewable energy projects more easy to finance. The contract offers a standardized process for new projects, minimizing uncertainty for developers and confusion for homeowners. It reduces risk and lowers the costs of getting things built. The CLEAN contract makes it easier to run businesses, build projects, and give consumers what they want.
The Center for American Progress has written a detailed paper that examines the workings and ingredients of CLEAN contracts. The paper also looks at how lawmakers and advocates can successfully move CLEAN contracts forward given how the contracts are affected by federal regulation. Finally, it provides recommendations to ensure that policies benefit ratepayers, workers, investors, and the U.S. economy.
Isn't it time that we get on board and promote renewable energy development on a large scale through CLEAN contracts? Implementation of CLEAN contracts across the U.S. will accelerate clean energy deployment, recharge the economy and create new jobs. A shift from burning fossil fuels to utilizing clean energy sources will curb greenhouse gas emissions, reduce toxic pollution and protect human health.