Posts Tagged ‘A Policymaker’s Guide to Feed-In-Tariff Policy Design’

5 April

Sunisthefuture Team Goes To State Capitol To Meet Senator Geraldine Thompson


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Being a resident of the beautiful Sunshine State of Florida,  I would love to see greater spread of solar installations (for the sake of cleaner, healthier, less war-proned planet earth and creation of local jobs) and be able to build a solar farm for future generations in Florida some day.  These are some of the main motive forces (in addition to memory of my father) behind my embarking on the journey of Sun Is The Future. I personally feel strong and urgent enough about the issues of energy-pollution-climate change that I have taken sabbatical from teaching university/college math to devote my time into educating general public about solar energy.  Along this route of sharing and discovery, I’ve come to realize that the most important driving forces behind solar installations any/every where on planet earth are policy and economics. For this reason, I’ve traveled (with my technical supporter and hubby Michael Nunamaker) to our state capitol, Tallahassee, on April 4, 2013, to see our Senator Geraldine F. Thompson, who proposed the renewable energy bill, SB 0498. We would have loved to travel to Tallahassee to meet with other solar advocates in March, but my March/Spring allergy delayed this trip. This is the first time in my life EVER that I have personally scheduled for an appointment with a State Senator concerning any legislation! Naturally, during the drive toward Tallahassee, I tried to mentally prepare myself with a short introductory speech, below:


Greetings, Senator Thompson,

Thank you for agreeing to meet with us on April 4, 2013,  at the Senate Office Building to discuss the SB 0498. My name is Susan Sun Nunamaker, next to me is my technical support and husband Michael Nunamaker. We are here representing . I started in 2011 as an educational site, advocating solar energy;then recruited Michael in 2012 for technical support. As the site has reached viewers/readers from 160 different countries across the globe, we’ve imbued ourselves in learning, researching, and comparatively analyzing renewable energy policies from different countries. So, we’d like to offer our input for any of your current or future renewable or solar energy bills.

During our research, we’ve come across a very informative document  produced by NREL, A Policymaker’s Guide to Feed-In-Tariff Policy Design at :
(Toby D. Couture is no longer with NREL but is reachable via , but I believe Karlynn Cory Claire Kreycik and Emily Williams are still at NREL)

Since we are strong proponents for solar energy, we’re very pleased to find that you are introducing the renewable energy bill, SB 0498.

Regarding SB 0498, its strength lies in the fact that it is clean and simple. However, it would be even stronger if:

  1. The  contract duration will be of 20-year term rather than 10-year term.
  2. The feed-in rate will not be fixed but subject to periodic re-evaluation by the Public Utility Commission depending on grid penetration and cost of solar (e.g.Germany now reassesses its feed-in rate on a monthly basis, much more frequently than in the earlier years). This type of periodic reassessments would help to avoid problems that occurred in Spain or Czechoslovakia, where the market became over-heated, resulting from overly generous feed-in rate that was not  reassessed frequently enough.

We hope you will be taking an interest in some issues in future bills, separately:

  1. Setting Solar/Renewable Energy Goal for the state of Florida, given that state of Florida is one of the 13 states that still does not have any Renewable Portfolio Standards or Goals
  2. Streamline the permitting process of solar PV and solar thermal so to reduce the cost and amount of time in completing the process. Residents at Broward County of Florida are now able to get a solar energy system permit online in just half an hour;please refer to Jefferery Halsey, Broward County of Florida’s Director of Pollution Prevention, Remediation, and Air Quality Division during the video clip below, at our Feb. 22, 2013 post of Sun Is The Future: Streamlining the permitting process would help to reduce costs for government and therefore be welcomed by both Democrats and Republicans.
  3. It seems feasible to introduce regulation to require solar thermal (solar hot water heating systems) when/where it is already a foregone conclusion that this would be an economically feasible approach in building design. Perhaps it is time to start the discussion in considering implementing this as part of the building code.

Senator Thompson, we here at Sun Is The Future of would be happy to assist with any future research or gathering of information and material concerning solar energy or effective renewable energy policy for the state of Florida.


sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker & Michael Nunamaker


This is the first time for us to visit Tallahassee;it is a beautiful city and state capitol, full of the Southern charm, with swaying Spanish moss adhering to majestically aged trees.

State Capitol of Florida, at Tallahassee, 2013, photographed by Susan Sun Nunamaker

With the help of Legislative Aides Roosevelt Holmes III

Legislative Aide Roosevelt Holme III, photographed by Susan Sun Nunamaker

and Dan Rogers,

Legislative Aide Dan Rogers, photographed by Susan Sun Nunamaker

we not only managed to present our findings to Senator Geraldine Thompson, but learned a great deal about the legislative process.  Even though it is  a very slow process that is often more reactionary rather than precautionary,  we are provided with many more contact names and information that will hopefully help to reach our cause of seeing more effective renewable/solar energy policies implemented in our beautiful Sunshine State of Florida. Hopefully, more effective solar/renewable energy policy’s implementation will occur soon enough for the officer standing next to the Great Seal of The State of Florida, right below (yes, we found out that he wants to build a solar home/house in the near future too! ).

Senator Geraldine Thompson (L), Susan Sun Nunamaker (middle), Michael Nunamaker (R), photographed by Roosevelt Holmes III

Officer standing next to The Great Seal of The State of Florida wants to build a solar home/house too ! Photographed by Susan Sun Nunamaker










~have a bright and sunny day~

written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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21 March

Japan Overtaking Germany and USA in 2013


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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In the coming two weeks, I’d like to share with you  what other parts of the USA and/or world have done or are planning to do in the process of optimizing their solar and/or renewable energy potentials. For starter, I want to share a recent press release concerning Japanese PV market and Japan’s FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) from IHS-IMS Research, below:

Japan to Install More than 5 Gigawatts of PV Systems in 2013 – Overtaking Germany and the US

The Japanese photovoltaic (PV) market is set to grow by 120 percent in 2013 and install more than 5 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity, according to a new report,  “The PV Market in Japan,” from IMS Research, now part of IHS Inc. (NYSE:IHS). Benefiting from the world’s most attractive PV incentive policy, Japan’s solar market is currently booming, with installations expected to exceed 1 GW in the first quarter alone, causing it to become the second largest market in 2013.

Overly Generous Incentives Spurs a Booming Market

Japan’s PV market currently benefits from a feed-in tariff (FIT) paying up to ¥42 per kilowatt hour, even though this is likely to be reduced by approximately 10 percent beginning April 1.

“At ¥42 Japan’s FIT is by far the most attractive globally—overly generous perhaps, which could lead to overheating of the market,” explained Ash Sharma, senior director of solar research at IHS.

“And while a 10 percent reduction in tariffs is widely expected by industry players, this will have little effect on both internal rates of return and market demand. Furthermore, many systems that have already applied for the higher FIT are able to benefit from this rate of ¥42 even if they are installed after April 1,

The report reveals that installations are estimated at over 1 GW in the first quarter of 2013—the final quarter of Japan’s fiscal year—and forecast to exceed 5 GW for the whole of 2013. This would see Japan leapfrog ahead of Germany, Italy, and the U.S. to become the world’s second largest PV market.

A Lifeline for Japanese Manufacturers

IHS research found that domestic PV installations are proving to be a lifeline for struggling Japanese companies that are able to sell both modules and inverters at high margins, despite their competitiveness at an international level falling behind their overseas peers. Providers of residential ‘system kits,’ EPCs and project developers are also seemingly enjoying the high margins that come with a generous FIT and its resulting high system prices.

“Residential system prices in Japan are roughly double than those installed in Germany. The ability to sell modules and inverters at significant premium compared to the rest of the world, coupled with high demand and growth, provides a much-needed profit stream for Japanese suppliers,” commented Frank Xie, report co-author and IHS senior analyst for PV and solar research.

Although Japan has been reportedly attempting to attract foreign PV companies to its shores in order to help accelerate supply—and hence, installations—the report found that it remains a tough market for non-Japanese companies in which to compete.

“While many Chinese and even U.S. module suppliers are now serving the Japanese market, they remain the minority and have largely needed to resort to OEM agreements and partnerships with Japanese manufacturers, despite being highly regarded brands in the rest of the world. Simply put, Japanese customers want to buy Japanese modules. Non-Japanese inverter companies have found it even harder to serve this market as tough regulations from the certification board—JET—and even more stringent requirements from utilities have meant that substantial product redesigns are required before they are able to target this market effectively. As a result, the market is currently suffering from a bottleneck in inverter supply,” observed Sharma.

Mega Demand for ‘Mega Solar’ – But for How Long?

Projects more than 2 megawatts in size—or ‘mega solar’—in Japan are a major driving force behind the country’s triple-digit growth rate, but this is expected to be short-lived, according to the report, and the projects will face a decline after 2013.

“These so-called ‘mega-solar’ projects are being deployed at a rapid rate, and we expect they will account for approximately 25 percent of total demand in 2013,” Xie noted. “Government policy is in clear support of these projects while the country grapples with severe energy shortages following its shunning of nuclear power. However, this is likely to be short-lived and decline after 2014 once the current pipeline of approved projects  is completed, largely because of a shortage of land in the country.”

Sharma concluded: “Another segment of the market that gets fewer headlines, but should not be neglected, is commercial rooftops. Systems in the range of 10-50 kilowatts are in very high demand in Japan due to high incentives, high electricity prices, power shortages for commercial properties and relatively simple regulations for installations of this size.”


For more information, please contact:

Jonathan Cassell

Senior Manager, Editorial
Direct: + 1 408 654 1714
Mobile: + 408 921 3754


IHS Media Relations
+1 303 305 8021


Ash Sharma
Sr. Director, Solar Research
+44 1933 402255


Please stay tuned in for more on news involving FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) in the coming week.

If you’d like to find out more about how FIT is implemented in other parts of the world, please go to .

If you’d like to find out about the current petition campaign for FIT in USA, please go to .

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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