Florida’s Difficult Path To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The population of the state of Florida is approximately 21.99 million people[1]. In April 2020, state utilities used natural gas (79.1%), nuclear (11.3%), renewable energy (5.0%), and coal (4.6%) to generate electricity[2].  Solar and biomass are the primary sources of renewable energy in Florida.

Florida’s reliance on inexpensive natural gas and renewable energy keeps the state’s electricity prices below the national average. In April 2020, Florida’s average cost of residential electricity was 11.71 ¢ per kWh, compared to the national average of 13.28 ¢ per kWh.

Florida does not have a renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS), but it does have state and local incentives, tax credits, and loan programs for certain renewable energy technologies. The state has also adopted net metering and interconnection rules for customer-sited solar photovoltaic panels.

Florida utilities have been actively developing new renewable energy projects, including:

  • 9 MW Solar Park – On January 19, 2019, Duke Energy commenced operation of the Hamilton Solar Power Solar Power Plant, which is located approximately 80 miles east of the state capital, Tallahassee, Florida.
  •  22 MW Battery Storage – Duke Energy is scheduled to complete construction on three lithium-based battery storage systems, which will be located in Gilchrist County, Gulf County and Hamilton County, Florida by year end, 2020.
  • 298 MW Solar Parks – Florida Lighting and Power is scheduled to complete construction on four solar parks, which will be located in Okeechobee County, Palm Beach County, Suwanee County and Manatee Country, Florida by year end, 2020.

Florida legislators have recently enacted electric vehicle initiatives that will benefit the environment and promote economic growth. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has recently approved $8.5 million for new, fast electric charging stations along major state highways. This and other initiatives are intended to encourage drivers to move from vehicles that burn fossil fuels to electric vehicles.

Florida is the third most populated state, following California and Texas. The state has no significant renewable energy resources outside of solar and biomass. Florida is making a concerted effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the available renewable energy resources.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

[1] Worldpopulationreview.com

[2] U.S. Energy Information Agency, www.eia.gov

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