The State of Florida, one of the fastest growing US states in terms of population, is also one of the most vulnerable states when it comes to climate change. Additionally, the state has little native energy supply, making it very dependent on other states and nations to source its energy needs. In order to secure Florida’s future, proactive decisions must be made regarding the state’s energy policy. Having the third highest solar energy potential in the country, it is no question that solar energy has the ability to play an important role in Florida’s energy future.
When it comes to renewable energy policy, Florida significantly lags behind the majority of states. Florida is among the minority of states without a Renewable Portfolio Standard and is one of only six states that prohibit the sale of energy by third-party entities making it difficult to feasibly finance clean energy projects.
The aim of this research is to determine proper policy recommendations for solar PV growth in the state. We begin by looking at Florida’s current and potential grid mix in order to determine the percentage of solar penetration that would be a feasible target for a ten-year time frame. Potential barriers are identified and taken into consideration when developing policy recommendations.
With the looming concerns of sea level rise and energy security, there is an urgent need for a comprehensive renewable energy policy framework in Florida. Such a policy framework will allow the state to diversify its energy mix by tapping into its abundant solar resources. This will in turn reduce reliance on fossil fuels, helping cut down the state’s overall carbon emission levels.
The findings of this research include the determination of a possible achievable solar penetration rate of 20% by 2025, the identification of non-technical barriers to market entry along with guidelines as to what renewable energy policies should be instated based on their success in other states.