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About Danny Parker

Danny Parker Danny is principal research scientist at the Florida Solar Energy Center where he has worked for the last thirty years. His research for the U.S. Department of Energy has concentrated on advanced residential efficiency technologies and establishing the feasibility of Zero Energy homes (ZEH) — reducing the energy use in homes to the point where solar electric power can meet most annual needs. The opinions expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Florida Solar Energy Center, the University of Central Florida or the U.S. Department of Energy.



Author Archives: Danny Parker

What About Florida? Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, & Regulatory Backwardness In The Sunshine State — Part 10

March 4th, 2018 | by Danny Parker

I’ll close the series by offering two small informational gifts to my patient readers. One is my thoughts on how the Florida Public Service Commission might provide the right signals to help us to make better progress in the Sunshine State. After all, the utilities are simply doing what they can to maximize their profits within the rules of being a regulated monopoly. The rules are the problem


What About Florida? Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, & Regulatory Backwardness In The Sunshine State — Part 9

February 14th, 2018 | by Danny Parker

The big positive news early 2018 is that FPL is moving quickly ahead with plans to install a lot of utility solar. The reason is not due to altruistic aspirations by the utility or a desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but rather because this very low-cost mid-day electricity generation will allow FPL to alter its mid-summer resource dispatch order so that the least efficient natural gas steam plants can be seldom used and the cost of generation will be lower. And that means higher profits, both from the investments in the solar plants, but also from reducing the costs of overall electricity production


What About Florida? Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, & Regulatory Backwardness In The Sunshine State — Part 7: Using Efficiency, Solar, & Storage To Hunt The “Duck Curve”

January 29th, 2018 | by Danny Parker

For several years now, there have been increasing complaints from utilities about the resulting load shape from owners with solar systems. This is the so called “duck curve” which has gotten a lot of attention from utility alarmists. In some sense, it has been a way of claiming that rooftop solar is a profound problem for utilities. We will show here that this problem can be (and will be) solved


What About Florida? Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, & Regulatory Backwardness In The Sunshine State (Part 6: Who Will Own The Sun?)

January 7th, 2018 | by Danny Parker

Against complaints of their dismantling efficiency programs, a laudable accomplishment for Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) is their recent plans to greatly increase renewable energy generation. It is true that utility scale solar remains lower cost than rooftop solar for generation when both investments are unsubsidized. Also, it can be seen in the latest third party evaluation of the cost effectiveness of various generation resources that utility scale solar is now cost competitive with natural gas combined cycle generation even though solar will have to be part of a diversified collection of resources to meet 24 hour needs, according to this Lazard analysis


What About Florida? Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, & Regulatory Backwardness In The Sunshine State (Part 5: Utility Planning Amid Falling Electric Demand)

December 29th, 2017 | by Danny Parker

For traditional investor-owned utilities (IOUs) in Florida, corporate policy remains keyed on maximizing electricity sales and effectively justifying construction of new generation resources that are a high source of profit for stockholders. As regulated monopolies, IOUs are guaranteed a profit by the public service commission (PSC) both for selling electricity and associated transmission lines, but particularly for building power plants. And Florida with its fast-growing population and thus expanding residential sector with high levels of cooling electricity use has guaranteed the need for new power plants. As such, the state has been a gold mine for its IOUs in the state — the average household spends nearly $2000 annually for electricity. With millions of accounts, this is a multi-billion-dollar revenue stream


What About Florida? Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, & Regulatory Backwardness In The Sunshine State (Part 3)

December 11th, 2017 | by Danny Parker

The Florida Solar Energy Center is Florida’s independent energy research institute and part of the University of Central Florida. We are a state energy research laboratory and I’d argue that our efforts have been unparalleled in experimentation and measurement of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies applied to housing in Florida. Homes are key to the energy picture in Florida since more than half of the total state electricity consumption is used in the residential sector: 118,453 GWh in 8,786,683 households in


What About Florida? Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, & Regulatory Backwardness In The Sunshine State (Part 2)

December 5th, 2017 | by Danny Parker

Florida has been famously known as the Sunshine State — an old nickname that was officially adopted in 1970 by the state legislature. I have been researching the energy use of U.S. homes and how to reduce it for my entire career — nearly 40 years. Most of that time I’ve spent as a researcher at the Florida Solar Energy Center, which is the state’s dedicated energy research institute and part of the University of Central Florida


What About Florida? Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, & Regulatory Backwardness In The Sunshine State (Part 1)

November 27th, 2017 | by Danny Parker

Florida is known for hurricanes1. As a teenage kid growing up in Miami, we never knew anything about the glory of snow days up North, but we did have Hurricane Days. They usually came in the worst month of Florida’s weather — September. That month, after all, came at the end of a long and hot Florida summer known to be famously muggy and wet. Late August and September are also the rainiest periods in the Liquid Sunshine State, and even worse, school started back before Labor Day



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