Few policies make renewable energy production easier than CLEAN (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now) Programs, also known as feed-in tariffs. The basic premise is to require utilities to buy renewable energy from individuals or businesses on long-term, fixed price contracts at prices sufficient to encourage them to invest. The most robust policies span multiple technologies (wind, solar, biogas) and set prices differently based on project sizes. The simplest ones may offer just a single price for one technology, e.g. solar.
Worldwide, CLEAN programs are responsible for 90% of the world’s installed solar power and two-thirds of the wind power. In 2012, 17 programs were active across 14 states.
ILSR CLEAN Program Resources
- 2012 report providing an overview of CLEAN programs in the United States: U.S. CLEAN Programs: Where Are We Now? What Have We Learned?
- A 2012 presentation summarizing the U.S. CLEAN Programs report
- An international comparison of feed-in tariff prices: Who Has the Most Cost-Effective Feed-in Tariff?
- A brief on the proper pricing for solar feed-in tariffs: Pricing CLEAN Contracts for Solar PV in the U.S.
- A January 2011 report on Ontario’s CLEAN program: Maximizing Jobs From Clean Energy: Ontario’s ‘Buy Local’ Policy
- Hot tip: How to sell a CLEAN Contract program to policy makers
- A 2009 landmark report on this policy in the U.S.: Feed-in Tariffs in America: Driving the Economy with Renewable Energy Policy that Works
- Our full archive of CLEAN Program / Feed-in Tariff material
- (below) The individual program rules that we’ve cataloged
In 2009, the Canadian province of Ontario dramatically revised its standard offer renewable energy program into a full-fledged feed-in tariff(FIT). The program provides a guaranteed grid connection, cost-based prices for renewable energy producers, and a long-term power purchase contract. Paul Gipe awarded the program an ‘A-’ in his recent analysis of North American FIT policies and we find the bonuses for domestic content and local ownership to be innovative twists on a successful policy tool. Continue reading
Gainesville Regional Utilities, the municipal utility serving the Florida city of Gainesville, launched its solar photovoltaic (PV) feed-in tariff program in early 2009. The city’s program set a cap of 4 MW of solar PV through 2016 and the program is fully subscribed. Customers will still have the option of installing solar with the utility’s rebate and net metering the electricity. Continue reading
In May 2009, Vermont adopted a standard offer program that serves as a small feed-in tariff. Although the program scored only a ‘D’ in feed-in tariff expert Paul Gipe’s recent analysis of North American feed-in tariff policies, it does contain many of the key components of a feed-in tariff policy. Continue reading
The state of Oregon established a production incentive for renewable energy systems in 2009 and the state’s Public Utility Commission finalized rules in 2010 that will allow for up to 25 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to be installed by 2014. Although proponents of the legislation had hoped to develop a robust feed-in tariff in Oregon, the actual program has only small elements of a feed-in tariff. Continue reading
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) will buy excess solar-powered electricity produced by their customers at the retail rate. In 1993, the SMUD PV Pioneer program established a partnership with customers willing to assist in the early adoption of photovoltaic(PV) technology. Continue reading