Reminder: BEST Society meeting tonight, 6pm @ Energy Park - World House.
From Refocus Weekly:
Renewables could save billions for consumers in Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Florida, US, February 15, 2006 (Refocus Weekly) The state of
Florida could produce US$420 million in tradable renewable energy credits by
2014, by increasing the use of renewables and energy efficiency, both of
which are eligible for new federal tax credits.
The energy savings could be 25 trillion kWh and consumer savings of $450
million, concludes a study by the Florida Solar Energy Center. Fuel imports
from outside the state would drop by $1.2 billion, while 126,000 new jobs
would be added and 1,700 MW of new generation capacity would be avoided.
The predictions were presented to the energy committee of the state Senate
by FSEC director James Fenton The research institute of the University of
Central Florida is the largest state-supported energy research centre in the
U.S., with research into solar thermal and solar PV, as well as distributed
generation systems, energy-efficient buildings, alternative transportation,
hydrogen, fuel cells and other energy areas.
Current projections for electricity indicate that utilities will need to
generate 75 billion kWh more in 2014 than they produced in 2004, an increase
of 32%, but Fenton says future power consumption could be dramatically
reduced within the residential sector, which is responsible for 51% of the
total, by "aggressively pursuing residential building energy efficiency
improvements and aggressively increasing its use of proven renewable energy
Three homes were modeled to determine the energy savings from
market-available energy efficiency and renewable energy technology, and
"significant electrical energy savings in Florida homes are both possible
and practical," it concludes. Solar water heaters could be added to 24,000
new homes per year and another 62,000 a year to existing homes, and another
9,300 solar PV systems (2 kW) per year.
Over ten years, the renewable energy improvements alone would save consumers
$1,052 million, as well as $681 million in new plant avoidance, $526 million
in fuel, and $421 million in TRECs, for a total of $2,681 million and 15 Mt
of carbon emissions. Energy efficiency would add another $3,152 million and
Under the federal energy legislation approved last year, homeowners can
receive a 30% tax credit for a solar thermal and 30% for a solar PV system.
The rebate incentive would cost $163 million a year for the state, with
total costs of $192 million per year. "While this may appear to be a large
expenditure, it should be remembered that the electrical savings are quite
large at more than 4,580 GWh per year and more than $450 million in consumer
savings each year," and the leveraging by federal tax credits which would
add another $188 million to the total value of the program.
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Ph.D. Student - Interdisciplinary Ecology
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University of Florida
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