Florida Votes to Protect Solar PV Industry
Florida’s official nickname is the “Sunshine State.” But unfortunately, it continues to remain on the sidelines of America’s solar energy boom. For despite all of its year-round sunshine, Florida has done very little to harness this tremendous potential. In fact, it has one of the lowest ratings in the nation when it comes to renewable energy incentives.

And as a result, its solar PV industry is a fraction of what it could be.

Then again, it could always be worse.

Last week, we covered a Florida ballot measure that was designed to severely hamper the state’s solar growth. Fossil fuel interests and utility providers were partially responsible for the language of this ballot measure. And not surprisingly, the wording was deliberately misleading – designed to convince Floridians to vote against their own self interests.

To make matters worse, there was a $25 million “misinformation campaign” – complete with commercials, social media, and slickly designed websites.

But we’re happy to announce that Floridians were not fooled.

They voted to strike down this ballot measure.

The Future of Florida’s Solar PV Industry

An unlikely coalition of forces gathered together to defeat this horrendous ballot measure. As you’d expect, you had environmentalists and solar advocates fighting against this piece of legislation. But you also had Tea Party activists and libertarians involved as well. Add to this a host of elected officials, celebrities, and newspapers, and you have the beginnings of a truly grassroots campaign.

And the reason is pretty simple.

Going solar isn’t really a partisan issue.  In fact, Republicans outnumber Democrats when it comes to solar adoption here in California.

Solar isn’t strictly an environmental issue either. There are also numerous financial, health, and social considerations.

Solar even touches on independence and sovereignty – i.e. should citizens have the right to install panels on their own properties?

And that’s why Floridians turned out in record numbers to send a message to utilities and fossil fuel interests.

However, we hope that this is only the beginning. Now that the Sunshine State’s citizens are awake, maybe they’ll fight harder to pass ballot measures that enhance Florida’s solar PV industry.

  • Introduce community choice aggregation
  • Encourage community solar gardens.

Given how much solar potential the Sunshine State has, it would be a shame to not take advantage of all of that free and clean energy.

We also hope that this isolated story sends a message to the rest of the country.

Fossil fuel companies and utilities will likely always resist renewable energy. But by organizing together, we can make our own decisions about how to power our homes, cities, and country.

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