Toronto, ON, March 26, 2012
Atlantic Wind & Solar Inc. (OTC:AWSL),Atlantic Wind & Solar Inc. (OTC:AWSL) is pleased with the recent announcement by the OPA. While there was a drop in tariff Atlantic feels this is more than offset by the reduction in panel prices over the last few years and the fact that the updated program affirms the government’s commitment to renewal energy. The industry again has a solid tariff backed by a strong government with a plan for the future.
In terms of the rates, the biggest drop in tariff was in the micro-fit. The micro-fit seemed intended as a way to allow any and all interested homeowners and small building owners to get involved in personal power production. It seemed design to allow anyone with an interest to play a role. The cost to the government of these “high” tariffs, for the amount of power that would be produced under micro-fit, would be minuscule in the grand scheme of things and was described by one industry analysis as equivalent to “a rounding error” in the budget. The value in terms of public involvement and participation could have been very high. But ultimately the focus fell upon the actual tariff rate rather than the true cost of the micro-fit program overall and the potential social value of broad participation and interest in the production of consumer electricity.
CEO Gilles Trahan described the micro-fit portion of the program as a case of “a good policy with bad optics.” He went on to say that it was a shame that the 80.2 cent/kWh and 71.3 cent/kWh tariff rates seemed to draw the conversation away from the program and a whole and into a very narrow conversation about only these two numbers. “The problem with the micro-fit is that it generated a micro-discussion that detracted from the benefits of the big picture.”
The OPA FIT program was unquestionably successful in building a renewable energy industry in Ontario and in bringing costs down dramatically in a short period of time. Had the micro-fit portion of the program been saved as a “phase two” type addition, to start once prices had dropped, and to begin at the rate similar to now, i.e. big commercial rates plus 10% to 15%, the program itself would not have had to endure the negative attention from micro-fit discussion of the last two years.
That said the program lives on. There are many new procedures and rules designed to address problems and complaints from the first round but all in all the program remains unchanged. And the new lower rates have been adjusted to fit the new lower cost structure for which we have the old rates to thank.
The program remains viable and is stronger for having survived the criticism of the past and the scrutiny of the review.
SOURCE Atlantic Wind & Solar Inc.
Disclaimer: Shareholders and investors are strongly cautioned against placing undue reliance on information set forth in these communications in making any investment decisions concerning our securities. The matters set forth in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially. These risks are detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports filed with the OTCMarkets.com including the company's Annual Report, Quarterly Reports and other periodic filings. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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