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View Diary: Wind power set to decline under Obama? (270 comments)

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  •  And it has saved a lot of small farmers. (13+ / 0-)

    I saw a BBC documentary (I think) where they interviewed a German farmer.  He'd inherited his father's pig farm, but for awhile it looked as if he'd be unable to keep it due to the cost pressures of small family farms.  Then the Bundestag passed this bill, and he promptly got a loan to install solar (I believe) collectors on his farm.  With the profits from selling the energy, he's able to keep his farm business profitable enough that he hopes to pass it along to his children.

    Given the dire straits of small family farming (what little of it is left) in the U.S., it'd seem to me that this would be a real boon.

    •  I saw that too... (7+ / 0-)

      I remember that the guaranteed rates he received for power sold to the grid was absolutely key in making the whole scheme work.

      "The cure for bullshit is fieldwork."
      --Robert Bates, Department of Government; Harvard University

      by papicek on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 07:55:36 AM PST

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    •  Problem with German structure (0+ / 0-)

      is that it can enable real gamesmanship.  Someone can produce electricity and sell it into the grid at the guaranteed price for their form of renewable power. They then can buy for their own use coal electricity, banking in the price difference as profit.  

      I support feed-in-tariff for distributed power producers, but believe that that payment should be after one's own use (even if we do this on an hourly basis, which would mean selling solar at high price during day while buying cheaper grid electricity at night).  

      •  Why? (0+ / 0-)

        That would defeat the purpose of the tariffs if they are only for self-use?

      •  Isn't German problem self-correcting? (0+ / 0-)

        If I were a German coal-power producer, and saw that farmer Johann could make money by buying my coal power and producing renewable power, would I not quickly realize I could increase my profits by shutting down my coal plant and investing in renewable production instead?

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 10:45:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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