Sunshine State lags on solar power, doubles down on natural gas
This is a story that has probably been told several times before but it still bears worth repeating. Florida's power utilities have prioritized natural gas over solar. The state does not offer subsidies for solar installation. This means that customers who do not use solar are not required to subsidize costs for those who do. In effect, solar panel installation is penalized by the state. According to the article, investor-owned utilities, who are beholden to their shareholders and profits, are behind Florida's choice of natural gas as a fuel.
From the article:
The state wouldn’t need so much gas if it prioritized energy efficiency to avoid expensive new power plants. But energy conservation costs Florida utilities money because they sell less power. Three years ago, the Public Service Commission cut conservation goals by 90 percent after the utilities argued they were no longer economical. This year, a national energy-efficiency nonprofit, comparing the largest electric utilities on conservation efforts, ranked Florida’s among the worst.
Rooftop solar is another alternative. The state could offset nearly half its electricity needs this way, according to a 2016 federal analysis. But that too would threaten utilities’ profits because they don’t own those panels or the resulting power — their customers do. In 2014, the companies convinced the Public Service Commission to ax the state’s solar rebate program.
No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.