How sadly ironic that the utilities in Florida continue to ignore their state’s namesake.
According to a recent Tampa Bay Times article, Duke Energy, a major utility in the Sunshine State, is happy with status quo of dirty energy.
More than 100 people showed up in protest in front of Duke Energy’s Florida headquarters with 5,500 signed petitions. The petitioners call for a move away from dirty coal and for more expansion of renewable energy sources like solar power.
Another recent protest, this one at the University of Florida, called for the college to generate 100 percent of its power from clean, renewable sources.
Both of these protests fall on mostly deaf ears as the powers that be in Florida continue to supress clean energy like solar. A recent example of this type of action came from Republican Rich Workman of Melbourne, Florida. As Chairman of the House Finance and Tax Committee, he blocked a bill that would have given tax breaks to businesses that install solar panels.
The story seems to be fairly obvious here. Power, control, and greed are helping to keep dirty sources of energy in place. We have viable alternatives. We have options.
What we need are decisions based on common sense, not common cents. When will the powers that be realize that money does not matter in a world that no one can live in?
As far as the Sunshine State is concerned, it lags well behind in solar power adoption compared to many of its neighbors. Solar power has the potential to supply much of Florida’s energy. Utility scale solar is economically viable. Cost effective energy storage technologies are being devoloped as well. Solar power can’t and should not be ignored any longer.
The good news is that homeowners have much more power to affect change. While they may not be able to dissuade a large utility from using coal, homeowners can do their part by generating their own clean energy by installing solar panels on their roofs. Florida laws might not be as friendly towards residential solar compared to other states, but it can definitely still make economic sense for those Floridian’s considering a switch to solar.
It may take awhile, but Florida will eventually catch up with the solar revolution currently happening in many of the states in America. The revolution will continue. After all, a clean liveable environment is the only one that can be economically prosperous over the long term.