Renewable energy in Ontario could get a massive financial boost with newly proposed feed-in tariff rates.
For those unfamiliar with feed-in tariffs, qualifying projects receive an above-market rate for the electricity they produce, fixed for a given time period (say 20 years). All of the electricity produced is sent into the grid. The costs of implementing the incentive program are then spread across all consumers of electricity. In general, the costs increase a customer's utility bill only slightly, while stimulating the development of renewable energy. Of all the ways of promoting renewable energy growth, [feed-in tariffs], though not widely adopted in North America, are found by many analyses to be the most cost-effective incentive program.
The feed-in tariffs will support a wide range of renewable energy options, including biomass, biogas, small-scale hydropower, solar photovoltaics, and wind power. Feed-in tariffs have been wildly successful in Germany at accelerating the adoption of solar and wind power to the point that over 10% of Germany's energy is now produced from renewable sources.