UC Berkeley Study Shows Benefits Of FIT

University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) has announced the results of a study examining the economic benefits of a comprehensive feed-in tariff (FIT). The analysis shows that enacting a robust FIT in California to achieve the state's 33% by 2020 renewable portfolio standard (RPS) would create more than $2 billion in additional tax revenue and would stimulate tens of billions of dollars in new investment.

Furthermore, the adoption of a comprehensive FIT will cost-effectively fulfill California's 33% by 2020 goal on schedule, according to the study.

Headed by Distinguished Professor of Energy Dan Kammen of UC Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group, the analysis examined the economic benefits of a FIT in California. The Berkeley study specifically examined a FIT that would be available to solar projects up to 20 MW in size.

Kammen and his colleague Max Wei studied the impact of such a FIT on employment, tax revenue and investment compared to current RPS scenarios being modeled by California regulatory agencies.

The study's key findings include that three times the number of jobs will be created if a FIT is enacted to complement the RPS. This translates into roughly 280,000 more jobs over the next decade, or an average of 28,000 jobs per year, with more jobs created in the early years, because wholesale distributed generation projects can come online quickly.

Another key finding includes over $2 billion in additional tax revenue for the state. Further, the study found that a comprehensive FIT would stimulate up to $50 billion in new private investment in the state with the potential for those renewable energy projects to be eligible for another $15 billion in federal tax benefits.

‘This study will open many policy-makers' minds to the unparalleled benefits of FITs and their ability to unleash the wholesale distributed generation market segment,’ says Craig Lewis, executive director of the FIT Coalition, which expressed support for the results of the study.

Details on the study's methodology and the full report are available here.

SOURCE: FIT Coalition

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