In a state deemed the “Sunshine State”, one has to wonder why Florida’s solar industry isn’t ranked at the top tier. In fact, Florida isn’t even ranked in the top ten solar states in the nation. But why is that?
The answer could lie in Florida’s solar policies. While the Sunshine State is ranked 9th in the U.S. for solar jobs and accessibility to solar energy installations is high, the state falls short on the political end. Two ballot measures are fighting to make it onto the 2016 ballot, which are expected to help shape a more defined future of Florida’s solar industry, but right now, clean energy policies are sparing.
But something is still missing. As of 2015, solar tax credits and exemptions are better in Florida than most other states, but the legislative policy is lacking. The average cost of electricity is higher as well, and yet, there isn’t enough interconnectivity across the state to help streamline a solar industry. Not to mention, there is plenty of opportunity for solar leasing.
Homeowners have long been the driving force behind building a thriving solar industry in Florida. Though clean energies may not be supplied in full by the state’s policies, there are still plenty of opportunities to grow as individual residents of the Sunshine State. Solar energy equipment can be bought and installed throughout Central Florida, and as the technology thrives, it becomes easier to afford the necessary PV panels and easier to feel the benefits of leaving traditional electricity behind.
If there is any questions as to what a state with solar success looks like, just take a look at California, which, according to SEIA, built more solar energy installations in 2014 than the nation built between 1970 and 2011. Florida definitely has room to grow, but it can get to where it needs to be with the right policies and willing homeowners.