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Institute for Local Self-Reliance: New Study Proposes Powerful New Strategy to Expand Renewable Energy and Boost Local Economies

January 17, 2008
10:49 AM

CONTACT: Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Brooke Gullikson

New Study Proposes Powerful New Strategy to Expand Renewable Energy and Boost Local Economies

MINNEAPOLLIS, MINNESOTA - January 17 - Several European countries and the Canadian province of Ontario have recently adopted feed-in tariffs, a mandated, long-term premium price for renewable energy paid by the local utility company to renewable energy producers. A new study by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) shows how feed-in tariffs enable citizens to participate in turbocharging Minnesota’s renewable electricity standard, and reduce costs.

“A feed-in tariff is a tool to let everyday people join the renewable energy revolution. Unlike complicated tax credits or corporate equity partnerships, it’s a straight payment from the utility to my backyard wind farm,” says study author John Farrell. “Not only can communities produce renewable power in their backyards, they can produce real economic development in the backyard, as well.”

Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariffs (REFITs) level the playing field by scaling renewable prices by the project size and the available resource (e.g. wind speed). The adjustable price supports small-scale projects while growing renewables on a large scale. Feed-in tariffs also lend muscle to a state’s renewable electricity mandate.

“Evidence in European countries shows that feed-in tariffs encourage more renewable energy production for a lower cost than a mandate alone. That’s because, unlike the targets in a renewable mandate, a feed-in tariff is a financially transparent tool for getting projects built.”

The full report, Minnesota Feed-In Tariff Could Lower Cost, Boost Renewables and Expand Local Ownership, can be viewed online at For more information, or to arrange an interview with John Farrell, please contact Brooke Gullikson.

Since 1974, ILSR has worked with citizen groups, governments and private businesses in developing practices that extract the maximum value from local resources.


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