What could be better to celebrate the beginning of Spring than the Province of Ontario's March 21 announcement that it would be implementing feed-in tariffs -- otherwise known as standard offer contracts -- that guarantee connection to the grid and payments to electricity producers, including homeowners with small PV systems, for twenty years. Projects are capped at 10 MW (approximately sufficient to supply 10,000 homes), and contracts are available to anyone, including homeowners, businesses and commercial energy producers.
Feed-in tariffs are largely credited for the boom in renewable energy in places like Germany and Spain, but have not been implemented in the U.S. except for a small pilot project in California. In Germany, feed-in tariffs have led to the development of 110,000 solar PV systems, 2,000 biomass plants, 6,000 small hydro plants, 16,500 wind turbines, and 45,000 jobs in the wind industry.
Meanwhile, it's still chilly in New York.