Each week, Bay Area Solar Solutions LLC takes a look at the world of solar and how it affects Floridians. Below is the week of January 15-21, 2017; click on the red links for the highlighted article exclusive.
A Forbes Contributor answers the question featured on Quora. Paul Mainwood, of McKinsey & Company tackles the idea of installing panels on every roof. Mainwood presents critical components of a forecasted economic impact with graphs and critical questions that pose dilemmas such as energy peaks and storage capacity. Mainwood closes the article with his truest answer for all things solar: market forces and time.
The Florida Takeaway: As a solar enthusiast, of course it would be great to see all of Florida go solar. With policies such as the investment tax credit available, Floridians have the power now more than ever to switch to solar. Issues such as energy peaks and storage capacity can be overcome, as technology and grid maintenance improve. Even with the alternative to roofs, solar farms, solar is still now favors well against fossil fuels.
A new report from the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) showcases solar’s amazing workforce growth in 2016. The DOE places solar’s 2016 growth at a 25% increase. Most of the workforce in solar is comprised of construction and installation, per DOE.
“This report verifies the dynamic role that our energy technologies and infrastructure play in a 21st-century economy…Whether producing natural gas or solar power at increasingly lower prices or reducing our consumption of energy through smart grids and fuel-efficient vehicles, energy innovation is proving itself as the important driver of economic growth in America, producing 14 percent of the new jobs in 2016.”
—David Foster, the DOE’s senior advisor on industrial and economic policy
The Florida Takeaway: According to The Solar Foundation, Florida employed over 6,500 in 2015. Although 2016’s statistics have yet to be reported by The Solar Foundation, rest assured that number is higher than 2015’s. This is great news for Florida solar and the Florida economy, and the numbers should be even better in 2017!
“Thanks to investments from the US Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative, solar energy is more affordable for Americans than ever before,” Odette Mucha writes for Rechargenews.com. Mucha reinforces affordable solar with the concept of community solar. Additionally, Mucha not only describes the option of community solar, but also how the U.S.’s involvement in the program helps solar become more attainable for more residents.
The Florida Takeaway: Community solar is a relatively new active concept, even in Florida. Several organizations such as FLSUN and the League of Women Voters of Florida have developed co-ops in several Florida cities, including Saint Petersburg. Co-ops are a type of community solar, and in most cases, the purchaser of solar receives a discount. With already bankable prices, a discount in community solar is certainly shining bright in Florida!
Jayant Kairam of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) writes how California is setting the pace on clean energy. Kairam examines how California is doing so and how it will continue to do so with topics such as: a case study on economy, what to keep an eye on in California’s future, grid integration, community success, and distributed energy resource optimization.
The Florida Takeaway: California has long been one of the nation’s leaders in solar, renewables, and clean energy. Even with pollution, California has made strides in clean energy over the years, and Florida has an excellent opportunity to learn from them. Although Florida has many different policies, the facts are the “Sunshine State” lags way behind California in solar installations. More solar installations means more clean energy. Let’s do it Florida, let’s learn from California’s challenges as well as their successes!
A new bill introduced could affect solar selling, writes Frank Andorka, of PV Magazine. The Wyoming bill, SF71, “redefines “eligible generating resources” and requires 95-100% production or purchase rates, and includes fines for those who “chose to build their own wind and solar farms, the legislation instructs the public-service commission to fine the utilities $10/MWh of electricity not produced by one of the “eligible” resources,” writes Andorka. Their SF71 bill may penalize those who construct their own solar farms, and their governor, Matt Mead, is strong on fossil fuels.
“Suffice it to say that energy in Wyoming, or anywhere else for that matter, is not an either or proposition…The renewable energy industries are driving massive investment in Wyoming, with the prospect of much more to come, which benefits virtually every resident in the state through tax revenues, jobs and clean, affordable energy.”
—Dan Whitten, Vice President of Communications
The Florida Takeaway: Although Wyoming is a looooooong way from Florida, government bills and policies are all over the United States. Wyoming may not be high on the solar map, but it is worth paying attention to, especially when it comes to utilities. SF71 is one of those sneaky bills that catch many by surprise, not too different from Amendments 1 and 4 on Florida’s recent ballots. Florida voters are becoming more aware with solar by the day as recent elections attest, and will continue to do so going forward!
Need more information on going green and ready to take the next step? We are here for you at Bay Area Solar Solutions LLC, where your solar needs come first!