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Hello Walt,
Thought you might like this correspondence. These folks here in 
Gainesville understand the politics quite well- good reading.
Thanks for the visit the other day. I'm impressed with your operation 
and business attitude- there is no surprise to your apparent success.
Regards,
Doug

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Davies <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent:         Sat, 7 Jan 2006 14:27:39 -0500
Subject: Re: [SAC] Union of Concerned Scientists gives Florida a "D" 
for renewable energy

    This is a posting sent to the Sustainable Alachua County, Inc. 
discussion list. 
  SAC members may post up to 2 messages each day relating to the topic 
of sustainability. 
   _____________________________________ 
 
  I agree 100% that Florida's commitment to solar is woefully short of 
the mark. There is so much more that can be done in the "Sunshine State 
" for this renewable fuel. The fact as stated in the cut and paste 
below that Florida is second only to Hawaii in the solar radiation 
available or "sun hours" makes this fact sadly ironic as well. Solar 
hot water heating was utilized in Miami back in the late 1800's. It's 
not as if the viability of the water heating technology hasn't had a 
proven history in Florida. 
 
  The technology in solar hot water and pool heating has improved 
tremendously in the past twenty years. These two systems are so much 
more efficient then they were years ago and the costs of both are well 
within the reach of the common homeowner. Photovoltaic systems or 
"P.V." modules have slowly gained in power and lessened in cost and 
though they are of course the most expensive investment in solar 
technology, they are worth it in the long run. By the way, it takes 2.2 
to 4.1 years for a PV module to produce as much energy as was consumed 
to make it (S.E.I. statistic). Not a bad deal considering that the 
modules are good for twenty years and more. 
 
  Last Saturday (Dec. 31st, 2005), Tom Lane had an excellent editorial 
in the Gainesville Sun on what is available currently to homeowners and 
homebuilders alike. Tom is the CEO of ECS-Solar Energy Systems here in 
G'ville. The new federal energy bill has given a small boost to the 
solar industry which should be utilized by the good people of Florida. 
Unfortunately, no money was set aside to tell people what these solar 
benefits are. The solar industry has it's best tux on, and no one has 
been told where the party is. 
 
  ECS is doing it's best to get the word out locally, but it only has so 
many resources. One source that can be utilized is the ECS website; 
www.ecs-solar.com. All benefits concerning solar that are in the new 
bill are on the site. By the way, I don't do sales there so don't try 
to hook me up with that one (tried it, didn't like it). This post is 
for the general situation only and what is available in the new bill 
for solar. Can I help it if one of the top solar energy companies in 
the country is right here in Gainesville? Sales no, loyalty yes. 
 
  It's great to see people like Ed Brown doing his much needed part. Ed 
has a class coming up at SFCC called "Using Solar Energy". I highly 
recommend to everyone reading this to attend his class in February. I 
also have a one-shot deal there called" Energy Options for N. Florida". 
Ken Fonorow has a class this winter called"Building a Green Home". Ken 
is one of the most highly respected and awarded champions of green 
homes in the country. His class definitely needs to go on the "must 
attend list". 
 
  Come one, come all! When we know what the heck is going on (I'm always 
learning something new about solar), we know better how to improve the 
situation for ourselves and the environment. I'd also like to thank 
Karen for the original posting, every bit helps. Solar is a source of 
energy that can truly help us now and in the future in a sustainable 
way. I hope everyone had a great one and I'm sure that I can speak for 
Ken and Ed in saying the three of us hope to see you at SFCC soon! 
 Scott Davies 
 352/339-0320 
 
 >From: Karen Orr <[log in to unmask]> 
  >Reply-To: "Sustainable Alachua County, Inc." 
<[log in to unmask]> 
 >To: [log in to unmask] 
  >Subject: [SAC] Union of Concerned Scientists gives Florida a "D" for 
>renewable energy promotion 
 >Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2006 08:21:01 -0500 
 > 
  >This is a posting sent to the Sustainable Alachua County, Inc. 
discussion >list. 
  >SAC members may post up to 2 messages each day relating to the topic 
of >sustainability. 
 > _____________________________________ 
 > 
 > 
 > 
 >Solar-power push heats up 
 > 
  >Proponents will tell leaders that the Sunshine State has done little 
to >promote solar-energy use. 
 > 
 > 
 >Robert PeRez 
 >Sun-Sentinel Staff Writer 
 >Posted December 14 2005 
 > 
 > 
 > 
  >Today's rising electric utility costs combined with the promise of 
cheap >and reliable power during hurricane season have more and more 
Floridians >looking to the sun for help. 
 > 
  >But a dearth of qualified installers, long waits for pricey 
solar-electric >systems and a lack of financial incentives have made 
the Sunshine State lag >way behind when it comes to converting solar 
rays into electricity. 
 > 
 > 
 > 
  >As state leaders gather today in Tallahassee to discuss the state's 
energy >future, the message from solar-power proponents will be clear: 
Florida >isn't doing enough to take advantage of its sunny nature. 
 > 
  >Other states, such as California, Nevada, Washington and New Jersey, 
have >positioned themselves as leaders by providing incentives and 
adopting >policies that promote renewable-energy sources. And that has 
put Florida in >catch-up mode. 
 > 
  >Indeed, a report card on renewable energy by the Union of Concerned 
 >Scientists gave Florida a "D" because it lacks a comprehensive 
approach to >promoting renewable-energy technologies such as wind 
turbines, >hydro-electric, solar and others. 
 > 
  >Florida, second only to Hawaii in the average number of "sun hours" 
per >day, relies on non-renewable fossil fuels and nuclear power to 
generate 97 >percent of its electricity, according to a January 2004 
report by the >Florida Solar Energy Center. 
 > 
  >That same report, produced for the state Department of Environmental 
 >Protection, recommended providing incentives for renewable-energy 
uses. 
 > 
 >But no such incentives have been adopted. 
 > 
  >"Florida's state government has done virtually nothing to promote 
solar >energy," said Craig Williams, executive director of the Central 
Florida >Renewable Energy Society. 
 > 
  >Williams thinks incentives are needed because solar-electric systems, 
known >as photovoltaic, tend to be expensive. An average home system 
can cost >$40,000. 
 > 
  >Solar systems that heat water, known as photothermal, can be bought 
and >installed for about $3,000. 
 > 
  >The lack of incentives partially explains why pricier photovoltaic 
systems >are scarce in the Florida marketplace. 
 > 
  >All-in-one kits can take a month to be delivered, and the wait for 
some >larger solar panels is as long as nine months. 
 > 
  >Another reason is that manufacturers are shipping to where demand is 
>greatest. 
 > 
  >California incentives can cover half the cost of photovoltaic 
systems. 
 > 
 >In New Jersey, incentives can cover 60 percent of the costs. 
 > 
  >Starting in January, a federal tax credit will knock off 30 percent 
of the >cost of a solar-electric or solar-thermal system up to $2,000. 
 > 
  >"California is sucking down all the panels," Williams said. "In the 
long >term, it's a good thing because it will encourage manufacturers 
to build >more plants, but for now we're suffering under a shortage." 
 > 
  >And it's not just the product that's in short supply. Finding 
qualified >installers is almost as hard. 
 > 
  >Dave and Judy Zarling were so sold on solar power that they took down 
their >$40,000 solar-electric system, swathed it in bubble wrap and 
carted it from >Simi Valley, Calif., to Deltona. 
 > 
 > 
 > 
  >But it then took them six months to find someone who could install it 
on >their Florida home. 
 > 
  >Ironically, some of the best cutting-edge research on solar power is 
 >happening in Central Florida and has been for 30 years at the Florida 
Solar >Energy Center in Cocoa. 
 > 
 > 
 > 
  >The center, operated through the University of Central Florida, was 
created >at the height of the 1970s energy crunch to look at 
alternative and >renewable energy resources. 
 > 
  >Center director Jim Fenton, who is on a panel at today's energy 
summit, >said his center staff is constantly looking at ways to show 
the advantages >of solar power. 
 > 
  >Based on initial costs and the average life of components, solar 
hot-water >systems already are cheaper in the long run than paying to 
heat water with >electricity that flows into most homes, he said. 
 > 
  >The same can't be said for solar electric, Fenton conceded, at least 
not >yet. 
 > 
  >But rising fuel prices, population growth and growing energy demands 
around >the globe could force local utilities to raise prices, making 
solar >electric more viable as an alternative, he said. 
 > 
  >While major incentive programs are not on the horizon in Florida, 
 >low-interest loan programs combined with federal tax credits could 
make >solar hot-water systems quite affordable and help take the sting 
out of the >cost of solar-electric systems, Fenton said. 
 > 
  >"I'm hoping we can do this [loan program] in Florida. With the 
hurricanes >this year and last and our reliance on importing fuels, we 
have to do >something." 
 > 
  >Robert Perez can be reached at [log in to unmask] or 
407-322-1298. 
 > 
 > 
 > ___________________________________________ 
 > 
  >Notice: this and all other messages posted to the SAC list serve must 
be >consistant 
 >with the rules established for this list. These rules are listed at 
 >http://www.SustainAC.org/listserve.htm . 
  > Disclaimer: The information and opinion >expressed in this message 
are not 
  >necessarily those of Sustainable Alachua County or the University of 
>Florida. 
  >Sustainable Alachua County and the Univerisity of Florida make no 
>represenatations 
 >or warranties regarding the content of this message. 
 
  >This is a posting sent to the Sustainable Alachua County, Inc. 
discussion >list. 
  >SAC members may post up to 2 messages each day relating to the topic 
of >sustainability. 
 > _____________________________________ 
 > 
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 > ___________________________________________ 
 > 
  >Notice: this and all other messages posted to the SAC list serve must 
be >consistant 
 >with the rules established for this list. These rules are listed at 
 >http://www.SustainAC.org/listserve.htm . 
 > 
  >Disclaimer: The information and opinion expressed in this message are 
not 
  >necessarily those of Sustainable Alachua County or the University of 
>Florida. 
  >Sustainable Alachua County and the Univerisity of Florida make no 
>represenatations 
 >or warranties regarding the content of this message. 
 
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  Notice: this and all other messages posted to the SAC list serve must 
be consistant 
 with the rules established for this list. These rules are listed at 
 http://www.SustainAC.org/listserve.htm . 
    Disclaimer: The information and opinion expressed in this message 
are not 
  necessarily those of Sustainable Alachua County or the University of 
Florida. 
  Sustainable Alachua County and the Univerisity of Florida make no 
represenatations 
 or warranties regarding the content of this message.