Unlikely Allies Fight for Solar Energy in Florida

Workers install solar panels on a rooftop on February 20, 2015 at a home in Palmetto Bay, Florida

Workers install solar panels on a rooftop on February 20, 2015 at a home in Palmetto Bay, Florida

(By Kerry Sheridan at Physorg)

Florida is widely known as the Sunshine State but when it comes to harnessing solar power, lots of customers find it just doesn’t pay because electricity is already cheap and there is little incentive to make the change from fossil fuels.

Anger over the situation has whipped up an unusual coalition of hardline conservatives, evangelical Christians and liberal environmentalists who want to break down what they describe as a “monopoly” held by big power companies.

Those involved include the Sierra Club, the Christian Coalition, the Libertarian Party, the Evangelical Environment Network, Greenpeace USA and Physicians for Social Responsibility.
The problem, they say, is that Florida is one of only five states that explicitly prohibits anyone other than the big utilities from selling power. Individuals with solar panels can’t sell the extra power they produce and solar companies are barred from selling any power that they generate—unless they sell it back to the utility company.

“We are basically outlawing commerce when it involves solar,” said Tory Perfetti, chairman of Floridians for Solar Choice and Florida director of Conservatives for Energy Freedom.
“That’s what this is ballot initiative is for,” he said during a recent drive to collect petition signatures in St. Petersburg.
Read More at Physorg



Categories: Economic Indicators, Solar

Tags: , , , ,