Danny Parker, after 30 years working at the Florida Solar Energy Center studying energy efficiency and solar energy, has written a thorough exploration of solar power in Florida for CleanTechnica. It goes deep into the policies and problems of solar power in Florida, which are driven by utilities with one core objective — making money.
In the 93-page report, Parker examines the matter of solar energy resources and hurricanes in the Sunshine State, and then takes a look at rooftop solar power potential, electricity costs, and average energy usage of Florida homeowners.
He also explores how major utilities in Florida have approached solar power, stifled small-scale rooftop solar, and controlled the regulators and policymakers who are supposed to watch over things and advance our society for the best interests of all.
Danny also dives deeply into the energy use breakdown of a typical Florida home, and how that can look much better if you use more efficient technologies.
And then Danny explains how Florida also include various anti-efficiency policies and programs, and how that puts more chips into utilities’ hands. “The unspoken Florida utility complaint regarding (Total Resource Cost) was that its screening would greatly increase the number of evaluated efficiency programs that would be found to be cost effective for Florida utilities to implement. And those efficiency programs could cut both kWh sales and revenue to the utilities as well as undercut justification for new generation facilities that are the key element to utility profits. Typically, when built and approved, power plants are assured a rate of return on investment for the IOU of about 11% whether or not the power is needed.”
Danny also gets into the weeds on utility planning, electricity demand decline, utility-friendly regulators, renewable energy performance standards (RPS), and the future of energy. Fun stuff!
“Has FPL or the other IOUs in Florida obtained all the cost-effective energy efficiency available in the state? No, not by a long shot. (They’ve developed all the cost-effective efficiency for themselves and non-participants).”
Particularly notable for this time of year, Danny also dives into the topic of holiday lighting, which is at the same time fun, funny, fascinating, and terrifying. Well, sort of. It is definitely interesting, though.
Dozens of additional pages, however, further explore the two fundamental matters of the report: how Florida utilities stifle home solar power and energy efficiency, and how home solar power and energy efficiency can help both your pocketbook and our shared climate.
If you’d like to read the full report, What About Florida? Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy & Regulatory Backwardness In The Sunshine State, and support CleanTechnica‘s work and mission in the process, go ahead and click that link and enjoy the reading! Major thanks to Dany Parker for being a hardcore tech and research champ.