Alliance for Democracy

Democratize the Grid program gets started‏

Posted in Democratize the Grid, Feed in Tariff, Feed-in tariffs, Oregonians for Renewable Energy Policy, OREP, Solar by Alliance for Democracy Portland OR on May 30, 2010

Oregon Public Utility Commission on Friday issued their rules for Oregon’s first in the nation Feed-in Tariff program. Alliance for Democracy has called this their program to Democratize the Grid.

Oregonians on Saturday were greeted with an exciting headline on the front page of the Oregonian, Ready for PGE to pay you?

What were they talking about?

For the past year and half, Alliance for Democracy member Judy Barnes has been leading a grassroots effort to get a program of Feed-In Tariffs (Renewable Energy Payments) established in Oregon.  First working with the legislature to get a bill passed to allow Feed-In Tariffs in Oregon (the first for a state in the nation) and then working with the Oregon Public Utility Commission , we now have a program to jump start the development of solar energy projects on our roof tops in the cities where we live instead of large remotely located mega-projects funded with Business Energy Tax Credits, which deplete our state tax revenues.  Those distant energy projects also loss much of the energy produced in transmission and require additional expensive grid capacity.

From the Oregonian article, ” ‘For the first time, we won’t be trying to fund renewable energy for state tax credits, which make renewables compete for the same dollars that fund schools and public safety’, said Judith Barnes, a co-founder of Oregonians for Renewable Energy Policy.  The organization helped shape a bill in the Legislature last year adopting the approach.”

More information on the program are available on their website at

The program put in place by the state PUC is a 5 year pilot program.  t is based on the very successful German model for jump starting the development of solar and renewable energy while creating jobs, jobs, jobs.  In fact in Germany this program has created over $250,000 jobs in less than 10 years.  It also has been the driver for Germany’s success in the renewable energy field with the likes of Solar World, which, in order to supply world demand, now manufactures in Hillsboro.  Because of the increase in solar cell production and advancements in solar cell technology, the cost is coming down with the cost of solar in Germany expect to drop to match the cost of fossil fuel based energy supplies.

Well, much work remains to be done.  Judy, Teddy and Mark, who make up the major part of the team working to achieve this success, will continue to work on the program during what now will be the implementation phase, bringing in the solar installers, educating the public on the benefits, contacting banks and lending institutions so they understand how it works.

You can be part of this on-going effort, Go to their website and click on the Donate button. That takes you to the national Alliance for Democracy website which can accept your tax deductible contribution to our efforts.  National Alliance for Democracy has agreed to be the fiscal sponsor for our project. With your contribution to Oregonians for Renewable Energy Policy (OREP) you can also become a member of the national Alliance for Democracy.

David e. Delk, Alliance for Democracy – Portland Chapter

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