It is also one of the states most vulnerable to climate change. Already in 2016, the EPA published a report pointing out that the Florida peninsula had warmed more than one degree (F) during the last century, the sea was rising about one inch every decade (accelerating perhaps to 1-4 feet in the next century), and heavy rainstorms were becoming more severe. It predicted that rising temperatures were likely to increase storm damages, harm coral reefs, increase the frequency of unpleasantly hot days, and reduce the risk of freezing to Florida’s agriculture. And it observed, that along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of Florida, the land surface was also sinking, a result of sea level rise and increased precipitation, submerging wetlands and dry land, erodes beaches, and exacerbates both coastal and inland flooding.
Florida has large biomass and solar resources, and insignificant oil and natural gas reserves, but its energy grid is primarily powered by imported fossil fuels through interstate pipelines. It consumes the fourth-most energy in the country, but due to its large population, its per-capita energy consumption ranks amongst the lowest five states. After Texas, Florida is the second-largest electricity producing state, with 70% of production powered by natural gas, 12% from coal and nuclear each, and renewables accounting for another 3% as of 2018. Florida has not implemented a renewable energy standard, unlike 34 other U.S. states and territories, and is currently using a combination of state and local incentives, tax credits, and loan programs for certain renewable energy technologies. Net metering and interconnection rules are in place for investor-owned utilities and customer-cited generation facilities that qualify.
Florida energy policy has typically favored utility companies, which have fought to prevent the direct sale of electricity from solar companies to their customers, as is permitted in 29 other states and territories. A lawsuit launched by young people in the state is calling for stronger action to decarbonize the energy system to preserve the rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness of newer generations.
SOURCE: JOHN ENGLANDER