Why no solar power in the Sunshine State?

Last Modified: Mon Feb 15 2016 07:51:42 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time)
  • 16th
    rank in the nation, measured by solar production, inspite of having the 3rd best rooftop solar potential in America. It's dwarfed by solar giants like California. Florida even lags behind Northern states like New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York. "It defies logic," says former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. "It's absolutely absurd."
  • $1,900
    a year on power, the average Florida household spend, 40 percent more than the national average. The Sunshine State is a gold mine for its monopoly investor-owned utilities (IOUs).
  • $1.65 billion
    profits for the Florida Power & Light (FPL), the largest IOU in the state, last year. FPL is the monopoly power provider for 4.8 million customers.
  • 61%
    of Florida's power generation is dependent on natural gas, followed by coal at 23 percent. Solar makes up less than one percent of the state's energy mix. Clearly, the solar industry in Florida has been boxed out by IOUs that reap massive profits from natural gas and coal.
  • $18 million
    in contributions to state politicians and political committees were made by the states 4 largest IOUs since 2004. A preponderance to Republicans, who now control state government. In addition, since 2007, the companies spent at least $12 million on lobbying.
  • 4
    key policies that have spurred a rooftop solar revolution elsewhere in America are absent or actually illegal in Florida.
  • #1
    Unlike the majority of states, even Texas, Florida has no mandate to generate any portion of its electricity from renewable power.
  • #2
    The state's restrictive monopoly utility law forbids anyone but the power companies from buying and selling electricity. Landlords cannot sell power from solar panels to tenants.
  • #3
    Popular solar leasing programs like those offered by SolarCity and Sunrun are outlawed.
  • #4
    Rooftop solar is limited to those who can afford the upfront expense; as a result, fewer than 9,000 Florida homes have panels installed.