The Motley Fool published a short piece today on recent developments in California solar feed-in tariff (FiT)policy.Specifically, it focuses on the apparent tension between the recently passed SB32 (signed by the Governor over the weekend) and the CPUC's soon-to-be issued FiT policy.The article is short but accurately captures the issues and industry positions on the issue.
SB32 was the focus of a fair amount of last-minute lobbying over the past few weeks. The bill purports to create a "european style" FiT for 1.5MW to 3MW projects. However, many in the industry (including Recurrent Energy, Suntech, and First Solar) are concerned that the legislation is simply a repeat of last year's FiT bill and sets the FiT rate too low to stimulate any development.
The other big industry concern has been that SB32 would take years to implement and undermine promising efforts at the CPUC (in proceeding R.08-08-009) to establish a market-based FiT for 1MW to 20MW projects. While industry efforts to postpone SB32 were not successful, many of us were glad to see the signing statement appended to SB32 by the Governor that directs the CPUC to continue its efforts on a market-based plan in addition to SB32 implementation.
As the Motley Fool noted, the CPUC program "could be a powerful program if crafted correctly." I'm keeping my fingers crossed and feeling pretty optimistic that we're on the right track.