A decade ago Germanys uptake of solar energy was on par with Australia. But thanks to an innovative financial incentive, Germany has surged ahead. So much so, its renewable energy is now a mainstream industry and a leading employer in that country.
A key driver of renewables in Germany has been the introduction of an electricity feed-in tariff. The scheme views households and businesses producing renewable energy as mini-power stations and pays them for the power they generate.
Here in Australia, Victoria and South Australia have recently introduced versions of the tariff, and one is about to launch in the ACT. New South Wales is yet to try the scheme, but the State Opposition has vowed to implement one if it’s elected in 2011.
Markus Lambert is a German now working for local renewable energy firm Energy Matters. In this podcast he explains the effect the feed-in tariff has had in Germany.
Useful link: The Energy Matters website explains the difference between a net feed-in tariff and a gross feed-in tariff. And what each of the state governments in Australia are offering. The renewables industry is pushing for a gross feed-in tariff.