Sunshine State: Not So Much

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL -- June 14, 2012 --

Welcome to the Sunshine State, but don’t let the name fool you. There is a lot of sun, but when it comes to solar power, the state is lagging.

A new report shows the US solar industry grew by 85 percent during the first quarter of 2012. New Jersey is leading production with Florida down the list at number 14. Kim Ross with Rethink Energy Florida says the ranking is unacceptable.

“There’s really no better place to have solar than here in the State of Florida. The reason we don’t have it is because our current politicians are hooked in the old paradigm,” said Ross.

Supporters of alternative forms of energy say the state was headed in the right direction five years ago when if offered massive rebates to people who installed solar panels on their homes. The program was so popular the state couldn’t afford to pay the rebates so the program had to be nixed.

Now Florida has a new energy policy. The director of the state Office of Energy says Florida is exploring its alterative energy options and solar is just part of the equation.

“We’re not going to pick solar has the number one technology to solve our problems. It’s going to part of an overall diverse sort of menu of options that we want to give Floridians,” said Patrick Sheehan, the director of the state energy office.

Most of the states above Florida on the solar list have a renewable energy standard, but Florida lawmakers have balked at the idea… leaving the state with nothing to shoot for.

The Florida Commissioner of Agriculture oversees the Office of Energy. He’ll hold an energy summit in Orlando this August where solar energy is expected to be a hot topic.


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  • by government dont help they take kinda like the mafia they help you get ahead and then take over. Location: ga on Jun 15, 2012 at 09:07 PM
    have you ever googled the story on dission saws how this man built a company from nothing. as i rember his name was sam dission he use to own one the plantations in the area. he built a hand saw called dission saws maby the first hand saw. he built the company from nothing to over 700 employees and became rich without government help.
  • by Do a little math on Jun 15, 2012 at 03:44 PM
    For a system with storage costing approx $35,000 you have to get a loan and finance it - for 20 years at 4% interest it is a $212/month payment. Your city power bill will then either be negative (they pay you) or up to $75/month to account for heating/ac costs on very hot/cold months that overload the solar system. Solar cells loose approx 1% efficency per year. So after 20 years your system is paid for and you have another 10 years of free electricity. Compare that to a typical $300 monthly city power bill with nothing to show for it. Solar is cheaper in the long run. The key is getting enough people interested - with volume the price will come down like everything else (think about cell phone prices 15 years ago compared with today.)
    • reply
      by Theoretically on Jun 17, 2012 at 04:12 AM in reply to Do a little math
      Of course, that is all theoretical since nobody has actually done any of it. That is the difference between Science and Reality. Science says we can, but reality has a habit of throwing a money wrench in the works. Liberals will believe anything you tell them, Conservatives want result to determine the reality.
    • reply
      by Jess on Jun 17, 2012 at 06:51 PM in reply to Do a little math
      The problem is the systems don't last 20 years. Lastly, the power company doesn't write you a check if there is a negative balance. The best you can hope for is your meter to run backwards. Back to the main point. The cells don't last forever and the storage batteries even less. You will be lucky if the system is paid for by the time you have to replace the cells.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 17, 2012 at 09:16 PM in reply to Jess
        @Jess. From what I read they do last 20 years or longer. Just not at the same level that they were when they were made. Like 80% of original ability at 20 years. And electric companies do write people checks, it depends on the state law and other issues. You still have to pay maintenance fees on the line and services that you would have to overcome first. Now batteries are the major weak spot of solar. Best not to bother with them and tie up to the powerline.
  • by Tea Party Republican on Jun 15, 2012 at 01:45 PM
    We don't need solar. That's a conspiracy by leftist environmentalists, communists, socialists and Obama to stop using oil and drive up the cost of gasoline.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 15, 2012 at 03:38 PM in reply to Tea Party Republican
      Funny troll. But in case others actually believe this by the much loved deregualted supply and demand of the republican party it would actually lower the price of oil. Less people demanding it would increase the supply and lower the price of gas.
      • reply
        by you would think so but wrong. on Jun 15, 2012 at 08:51 PM in reply to
        if we used athird of the oil we use today the price would be 20 times higher than it is now it cost alot to get oil out the grown and to your gas tank.they could not afford to keep the supply at $4 a gallon.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jun 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM in reply to you would think so but wrong.
          I see what you at thinking but if they did that then it would force more people to consider electric cars and more if gas went that high. The main reason gas prices are dropping is due to surplus from people but using gas. More likely with less gas being used they would just cap wells like they did 15 years ago because gas prices were low.
    • reply
      by tax man on Jun 15, 2012 at 08:54 PM in reply to Tea Party Republican
      we need solar because it is clean energy. i would like to say free energy but can not. it will be taxed to where it is to high for all. BUT WHAT YOU SAID WAS TOLD TO ME BY THE HEAD OF A OIL COMPANY CEO IN HOUSTON.
  • by Gulf Lover on Jun 15, 2012 at 10:34 AM
    What about hurricanes? Anyone thought of that
    • reply
      by Larry on Jun 15, 2012 at 01:46 PM in reply to Gulf Lover
      Yes I have. Hurricanes will shut down oil platforms and refineries then drive up the cost of gasoline. Solar can be stored in batteries. Hurricanes don't last more than a week. Thanks for bringing that up.
      • reply
        by Larry your a moron on Jun 15, 2012 at 04:58 PM in reply to Larry
        The panels will be scattered all over and take 6 months to rebuild, thanks for thinking it out so clearly.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jun 16, 2012 at 11:34 AM in reply to Larry your a moron
          Hurricanes only have a small swath of area they destroy. If they are powerful enough to take out the solar panels then you have much more to worry about. And some systems you can remove the panels and bring them in if you are really worried about that. If not house insurance should cover a good percent of replacement and solar dealers do have replacement plans too.
    • reply
      by terry on Jun 15, 2012 at 08:52 PM in reply to Gulf Lover
      i love them.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 15, 2012 at 06:26 AM
    The real reason is because all government subsidies and assistance has been stolen by obama and his cronnies for the re-election campaign. Look around folks we have a thieve in the White House, stealing Amnerica's future.
  • by Scott Location: Tally on Jun 15, 2012 at 06:02 AM
    I would love to put solar on my house, problem is it is NOT cost effective at this time. I can't afford to do it plain and simple. Solar has been marked up so high that the average person/family cannot afford it. Congratulations to those that can, I can't.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 15, 2012 at 09:56 AM in reply to Scott
      It can be cost effective. It is the initial cost and time for return on your money that is the biggest hurdle.
    • reply
      by maby one day. on Jun 15, 2012 at 10:13 AM in reply to Scott
      true it cost 50 thousand to do it right. i was reading where the china government is pouring a ton of money into research on making cheap solar pannels. this mab the break thrugh for them to take over the world. WHAT A JOKE OUR GOVERNMENT IS.but if every home in america was self efficient the greedy tax man would figure out a way to tax it so it would be useless just like the gas tax.
    • reply
      by Glenn on Jun 15, 2012 at 01:49 PM in reply to Scott
      Scott, with the trillions spent on a bogus war and the trillions lost from the Wall Street Free-For-All, our nation could have invested in solar via tax credits and grants for families. We'd then be more energy efficient rather than have had "invested" our money down Iraq's toilet, (along w/ the first 7 years wasted in Afghanistan).
      • reply
        by Anon on Jun 15, 2012 at 02:46 PM in reply to Glenn
        I guess the money we've spent under Obama for these wars the last three and on half years doesn't count then?
        • reply
          by Glenn on Jun 15, 2012 at 04:58 PM in reply to Anon
          A little tough and more expensive to clean up after mismanaged wars of choice. If Repubs had their way we'd be entrenched with troops in Libya, Syria, and Iran. Romney, Rubio, McCain...they're all talking tough and beating the war drums. Easy to get in but expensive and hard to get out. The heck w/ the Middle East. Invest in alternative energy and domestic oil. The money we've spent on wars we could have built alternative energy infrastructure which is good for national security. Bye Bye 19th century energy.
      • reply
        by GARY on Jun 15, 2012 at 08:57 PM in reply to Glenn
        TRUE AND IT WAS ALL A WASTE.
  • by Griff Location: Tally on Jun 15, 2012 at 05:42 AM
    It is b/c it cost WAY to MUCH! If I could afford it I would get it. Solar may be great but not affordable for us middle class folks. I refuse to take loan out to get it.
    • reply
      by nOLES on Jun 16, 2012 at 08:52 AM in reply to Griff
      Middle class! I'd love to be in the middle class. I'M working and the other can't for med reasons. We go from payck to payck. Just try to put some a side. HAHAHA.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 15, 2012 at 05:15 AM
    The reason we don't have it is because the manufacturers of solar panels and solar dealers have not made it cost effective to own and install. For them to cry government subsidy and rebates to consumers is BS. They need to get off their high profit attitudes and provide a product that will pay for itself in a reasonable length of time and I will sign on. I would love to do a solar roof over if I could buy it for 20 to 25 grand and finance it for 10 years.
  • by solar is great on Jun 15, 2012 at 03:33 AM
    The politicians balk at solar but are supporting a new nuclear power plant to be built in the woods near Crystal River. Yes, solar supporters, you can't get your rebate for installing solar panels, but Progress Energy will be supplying electricity all over the place, and at a tidy profit, while making very toxic radioactive waste that will be stored here in our beautiful state because there is no other place to put something that will be very dangerous for thousands of years. It all stinks, from the governor's office on down. Welcome to our nightmare.
    • reply
      by Solar is Great, Your a Moron too on Jun 15, 2012 at 05:10 PM in reply to solar is great
      Your brain obviously spend a month on vacation in Chernobyl, Ukrain. It is now liquid and you need to be quiet about that which you lack intelletual capacity to fully understand. It would take 11,000 acres of land to produce the energy that two nuclear reactors can produce using only 1280 acres of land. Your an idiot.
      • reply
        by not solar is great. BUT IT REALLY IS YOU IDIOT. on Jun 15, 2012 at 09:01 PM in reply to Solar is Great, Your a Moron too
        so we have 11.000 acres dont we.and it is alot safer than neclear. now who is the idiot.
        • reply
          by Your are on Jun 17, 2012 at 04:16 AM in reply to not solar is great. BUT IT REALLY IS YOU IDIOT.
          Find me 11,000 acres in Florida that you won't have any trouble getting the local residence to go along with turning into an eyesore. BTW, how many people died from Nuclear accidents in Florida last year?
        • reply
          by CC on Jun 17, 2012 at 08:46 AM in reply to not solar is great. BUT IT REALLY IS YOU IDIOT.
          @Your are. Now I don't agree with getting rid of nuclear but as for the acres. 11k of acres equals around 480mil square feet. The average roof is 40 by 60 for 2400 sq ft. I would take only 200k of houses to have solar panels on them to equal two nuclear plants. And assume you can install each for house for $35k. That would be 7 bil. Those two nuclear plants will be 14 bil plus 3 bil for waste and disposal.
  • by what? on Jun 15, 2012 at 01:12 AM
    The typical politician speaking in the article - they limit or discourage your options wile they speak in language that says they are doing you a favor.
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