The most common question about solar energy deserves the right answer...
If you’ve ever asked yourself --
“Why isn’t there more solar energy used in Florida?”
you’re not alone!
In the 35 years I’ve worked in the solar industry here in Florida, that’s the most common question I hear.
The question is often followed with some version of: “I guess it’s just still too expensive.”
It’s a good question, but the right answer requires you to dig a little deeper. So, instead of just agreeing and letting you off the hook, I’m inclined to reply: “YOU know why.”
Then, I wait and let you think a little while I nod my head and look directly at you with narrowed eyes and a slight smile. When I see you start to fog up, I continue, “It’s because the utilities and the politicians don’t want you to use solar energy.”
Oh, you say. It’s pretty obvious and no one ever disagrees.
Within the last couple months, though, we're fortunate enough to have some help from the top, and I'm excited!
You know in your heart we should be using the beautiful gift the sun gives freely to all. It defies logic and common sense that Florida ignores its natural beauty.
The frustration is always audible. Solar energy is so obviously good and right.
Here are a couple organizations trying to help the people get their fair share of solar energy:
Florida is the Sunshine State, after all, right?!
Is Florida "FIT" for Solar?
Like many, you may feel that solar energy remains a distant dream, and that it's:
- too expensive to afford, or
- too hard to implement.
Feed In Tariffs (FIT) could change all of that...
FIT could bring the use of solar energy to life for MILLIONS of people in the US.
What is FIT?
FIT (Feed In Tariff) is an incentive structure to encourage the adoption of renewable energy through government legislation. Basically, the government offers home and business owners payments for electricity they feed into the electric grid.
Germany developed a FIT program in 1999 and because of that they are now the #1 photovoltaic country in the world… with 50% of the world’s photovoltaic market!
The good news?
FIT incentives are now starting to gain momentum in North America.
Gainesville, Florida was the 1st city in U.S. to implement FIT policies.
In their program, the Gainesville utility pays home owners $.32/kWh for energy that is fed into the grid, read about it here.
And everyone is watching to see what can be learned from them.
And Ontario’s new Green Energy Act pays a whopping .80/kWh! That's amazing! Learn more by reading this News Release.
The Florida Alliance of Renewable Energy (FARE) is a grassroots organization leading the way in Florida in support of FIT incentives… although, in Florida, FIT is called RED (Renewable Energy Dividends).
Both the State of Florida and the U.S. Congress are debating the benefits of FIT programs. If you want to learn more or help spread the word, go to the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy.
FIT programs will help solar energy become a dream come true for millions of people in the U.S!
I used to say solar energy was not good for moving things.
It was good for heating water or making electricity, but not for transportation.
But with this new Electric Hybrid Vehicle... and after checking out www.calcars.org to learn about electric vehicles (EVs), I’ve done a complete 180!
If you want to learn more, I highly recommend you check out:
Who Killed the Electric Car?
After 30 years of being in the solar industry, I was so wrong about what I thought solar energy could do.
So, if I could have a wrong perception about solar energy after 30 years, I guess I can understand that YOU too could have a misconception about solar energy.
I think there’s a lot of people that don’t fully understand solar energy:
- How it works...
- What it can, and can’t do…
- When it could be applicable…
- Affordable… and
- A host of other questions.
But there’s a huge belief that solar energy is a good thing… a VERY good thing, in fact.
Can you believe that my dad, Ward Jr., started installing solar pool heaters here in Southwest Florida over 35 years ago?
Here I am with my dad, and grandpa, in 1978 celebrating the Grand Opening of our new store in Cape Coral - at the very location we're at today! ;)
Back in the day, it wasn't about 'going green' and 'renewable energy' - the gas crisis of the 70's made solar pool heating much more attractive.
I was fortunate enough to be invited by my dad to participate in this wonderful new technology!
Solar pool heating has always been the most economically viable form of solar energy. It's always made economic sense.
Today, 35 years later, we've expanded our products to include more than just solar pool heat - we also offer:
- Solar Electric Power (or as we call it, photovoltaic (PV) power)
What's interesting is how the use of solar energy plays a big role in our goals today relating to 'going green' and committing to a sustainable future...
Who knew this is where I'd be today!
I'm really excited that we're taking our business to a new level using the power of the Internet to help people just like you create your energy independence.
I'm extremely proud to introduce our new online initiatives:
- This very blog, GoSolarEnergyforLife
- Our Web Site, www.FafcoSolar.com
- Our LinkedIn Business Page, www.linkedin.com/companies/fafco-solar
I want to thank Charly, and his team at Internet Services Group of Florida, LLC, for helping create & deploy our online connection to you!
It's really important to me that you let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, as well.
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