Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,
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This weekend, some of our friends have been sending me clip of a Rachel Maddow’s piece on “Where The Sun Don’t Shine”, commenting on Florida state legislators’ measures. Below (italics) is part of the transcript of Rachel Maddow’s piece on “Where The Sun Don’t Shine” that I would like to address:
Florida, is, technically speaking, the Sunshine State. That is their official state nickname and they do not mean it as a metaphor. They meant it as a founding principle, a main attraction of what Florida is. The Florida Department of Citrus has a new branded Avengers Character called Captain Citrus. Captain Citrus runs on Solar Power. The circle on his hands are solar pods. Maybe it’s my solar pods but you’re going down. Florida is so much the Sunshine State that the whole ad campaign for the city of Ft. Lauderdale is called “Find Your Sunny” and you can find Ft. Lauderdale at sunny.org Explore your sunny side in Sunshine State. So now naturally because it’s Florida that Florida has declared war on the Sun, even if it still wants to be known as the Sunshine State. This past week, very quietly, just before Thanksgiving, Florida, incredibly, decided to try to kill solar power in the state of Florida, they voted to kill entirely the solar rebate program in the state for installing solar panels. At the same time they told the state power companies that they can basically stop their efforts to conserve energy. Maddow then proceeded to show the decrease in Florida’s goal for energy conservation, below (between 2009 and 2014)
and they killed the program for solar power in the Sunshine State.
Power companies, the utilities, make money by selling power. The more power you use, the more power they can sell you, and therefore the more money they make. If you make the power yourself from the Sun, the solar panels on your roof, or if you/they/any one uses less power, then they (utility companies) will sell less power and make less money. So, right now, at the request of the utility companies, right before Thanksgiving, very quietly, Florida just decided to stop conserving energy as a state policy. They’re no longer going to try to even do that…and they’ve decided to completely unplug from the sun in the Sunshine State. It’s amazing….I don’t know what Captain Citrus is going to do, but I think Captain Citrus is not going to be happy about this…when this quiet news will be coming out…..
Essentially there are two issues that are being addressed:
I. Cutting the Solar Rebate program: In reality, the Florida Solar Rebate program had not been funded for quite a few years already. Having an empty promise in solar rebate program hurts the solar policy or solar installations more than not having it at all (for many Floridians have chosen to wait to install solar in the future, when the solar rebate program will be funded, instead of installing now). So having it (empty or not-funded solar rebate program) off the books actually is a service for the Floridians. What we do need is better solar/renewable energy policy and goal, as I’ve been trying to gather interest (supplemented with petition and interviews of various energy experts) in: http://www.sunisthefuture.net/2014/09/24/let-the-sunshine-in-the-sunshine-state/
II.Cutting the Energy Efficiency goal: As Ms. Maddow succinctly puts it, “power companies make money by selling power”, and therefore is not naturally incentivized to ask its customers to conserve energy use. Expecting the power companies to voluntarily offer energy efficiency program is like asking some one else to do what I think is ethically correct while asking that some one else to pay for it and I am not. If energy efficiency program is to be carried out, it should not be involving the power companies . We would also need to be prepared for rate hikes as what’s been happening in all of the states that have been very successful with their energy efficiency programs (i.e. CA, MA, RI, VT, OR, http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_5_6_a)
Finally, I think the most efficient route is what’s being implemented in India, using carbon tax to fund clean, renewable energy (more details will be found in our next post). Right now, India has doubled its coal tax to 100 rupees per ton and will use the money generated for projects that would boost the country’s (India’s) solar power capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2020. So, if Floridians do not want to spend more on energy efficiency or solar rebate programs, then simply tax the carbon producers and use the yield to fund clean energy such as Solar and Wind or energy efficiency program. Then we may rightfully maintain our nickname as the SunShine State without having to tighten our belts. I think Captain Citrus will then approve.
~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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Tags: 1.6 billion sq ft rooftop space, Captain Citrus, Duke Energy, energy efficiency, Florida, FLorida Power & Light Company, goal, India, MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, solar rebate, SOlar-FIT For Sunshine State petition, Sun Is The Future, sunisthefuture, sunisthefuture.net, sunny.org, susan sun nunamaker, Tampa Electric, Where The Sun Don't Shine