Solar Panels

JEA's Downtown Jacksonville headquarters
Bill


Ahead of hearings that will set energy efficiency standards for Florida’s utilities over the next decade, environmentalists and consumer advocates are raising questions about utility companies’ proposed goals, which are considerably less ambitious than in years past. 

Amendment 1 on Florida’s November ballot has garnered emotional debate on both sides. To discuss the issue by phone Wednesday, Screven Watson, board member of Consumers for Smart Solar, supports the amendment and Stephen Smith from the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy opposes it. We also spoke with Richard Naylor, external relations manager; Robin Tanya Watson, executive director; and recent graduate Asia Howard about the Year Up Jacksonville program. Host Melissa Ross also spoke with physical therapist Laura Bunso Bittencourt about the use of physical therapy instead of medication to ease pain and Rev. William Francis about getting more local faith leaders to use their positions to help the high number of African Americans in Jacksonville who are HIV positive.  

   

solar panels
U.S. Navy / Flickr

TALLAHASSEE — A group seeking to put existing solar-energy regulations into the state Constitution expects to spend "millions" in the coming months to promote the utility-backed amendment.

The group, known as "Consumers for Smart Solar," held a news conference Tuesday and announced a campaign slogan, "Yes on 1 for the Sun," but provided few other details of the upcoming campaign.

solar panel
Oregon Department of Transportation via Flickr

Solar panel users in Jacksonville are fighting a JEA plan to reduce the amount the utility pays them for their excess power, under a practice called net metering.

Consumers say cutting incentives would make installing solar panels less affordable.


solar panels on roof
Marufish via Flickr

A coalition trying to expand who can provide solar energy in Florida formally shifted its focus Monday toward trying to pass a ballot initiative in 2018.

Members of the group "Floridians for Solar Choice," which had fallen behind in qualifying for the November 2016 ballot and remains in the midst of a contract dispute with a petition-gathering firm, announced the change during a news conference at the Florida Press Center in Tallahassee.

Troy Cryder / NASA

We speak with Hazel Henderson, founder and president of the Ethical Markets Media, an St. Johns County based independent media company focusing on sustainability news. Henderson is also an evolutionary economist, author and consultant on sustainable development. She joins us to discuss Florida and climate change, as well as her organization's Green Transition Scoreboard, which tracks private investment in green technologies.

FSCJ President Cynthia Bioteau
FSCJ

Florida State College at Jacksonville is marking its 50th anniversary this year, as well as the first year of the school's new president, Dr. Cynthia Bioteau. We speak with Bioteau about what's in store for FSCJ, and get her reaction to President Barack Obama's recent call for two years of free community college for American students.

Floridians for Solar Choice

An unlikely coalition of Tea Party groups, environmentalists, Libertarians, business leaders and more is working to ramp up solar power in Florida. The group Floridians for Solar Choice is trying to put an initiative on the 2016 ballot to allow people to generate their own solar power, and then sell it directly to other consumers. We speak with Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, about their efforts.

Troy Cryder / NASA

We’re called the Sunshine State, but does Florida do enough to harness solar energy?

Going Green: 2040 Talks At UNF Promote Solar Energy Investing

Nov 27, 2013
U.S. Green Building Council

The North Florida chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council is hosting its 2040 Talks Thursday, Dec. 5, at the University of North Florida's University Center.

The event will explore how the First Coast can become a green, sustainable region by the year 2040.

Hazel Henderson, author and founder of Ethical Markets Media, said the transition away from last century's fossil-fuel based economy is shifting very rapidly toward solar energy.

Neptune Beach City Buildings Go Green

Apr 10, 2013
City of Neptune Beach

Hardly anyone looks forward to opening up their electric bill at the end of the month, but city leaders in Neptune Beach were pleasantly surprised with a recent statement.

The charge was just $6.15.

Thanks to a grant from the U.S Department of Energy, the city was able to install solar panels on its government buildings, cutting down on the amount of electricity needed to power the facilities. The project was finished last November, and Neptune Beach mayor Harriet Pruitt says she's pleased that it's been successful.