This level of debate about the best way to promote renewable energy expansion may be a bit wonky and beyond the current level of political discourse in the US but it's actually really important.
Over at Renewable Energy World Paul Gipe highlights a new report from the German Renewable Energy Agency showing that feed-in tariffs (used in Germany and a number of other European countries, but largely shunned in the US) have not only enabled greater growth in wind power than quota systems (used in the US, where they exist at all), but done so at a lower cost to electricity consumers.
Under a feed-in tariff system owners of renewable energy systems are paid an above-market rate for the power they produce, which is fed into the grid, with the costs being shared across all consumers of electricity.
The study contrasts the UK, which uses a quota system for wind power, pays 20% more for wind power than Germany ($0.13/kWh in the UK versus $0.11/kWh in Germany)—even though the UK has more available wind power resource.
Read more: Renewable Energy World