America has long questioned whether or not customers would be interested in renewable energy as a source of energy. This question has found its answer as all around the nation as utility companies and consumers rework the grid to add in more renewable energy sources. Florida is famously known as the “Sunshine State”, so the installation of solar panels in Orlando should be an obviously effective and reliable source of alternative energy. Orlando’s utility provider, Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) has sold out a total of 400kW of renewable energy in an alarming six days. Solar, wind, and all forms of renewable energy are clearly emerging as a logical next step for energy creation. This progression looks as if it won’t be slowing down any time soon considering many of the obvious benefits I will discuss below.
Clean energy comes with a host of financial and environmental benefits that informed consumers today readily appreciate. We would benefit financially as people and as a nation by reducing our reliance on rapidly depleting fossil fuels that we do not control. This would free us from any sort of price hikes that foreign oil producing nations might implement. This new industry would also create new jobs and spur investment from global players. Already clean energy has risen to creating about $260Billion globally and an estimated 2.3 million jobs.
Some studies show that wind power alone could provide a total of 9% of global electricity by 2030. While that may not seem huge, consider that it’s providing almost 10% of the entire worlds energy needs. One country with a true penchant for pursing clean energy has been Brazil. In Brazil hydroelectric dams provide the country with a shocking 83% of its total electricity needs. If the above numbers shock you then you would not be alone. Most people would be shocked to learn that even geothermal energy could provide up to 15x the worlds required energy production. Yet one must remember that the renewable energy approach is a multi-faceted affair in which society must leverage all the available options to the best effect.
As I wrote about earlier, OUC’s solar energy program has been welcomed with consumers wallets open and ready to purchase. Already their 400kW of renewable and clean energy has sold out and another 300kW of applications have resulted in more construction and investment in central Florida. Almost no one in the Sunshine State expected this new source of energy to sell out so quickly, including some of the managers at OUC itself. One such example is Jennifer Szaro who reportedly exclaimed “We never dreamed it would sell out in six days”.
One of the features in OUC’s solar roll out that has been so well received is its price. While 1-3 cents/kWh is slightly above the normal rate, that price will also be locked in for 25 years as the cost of traditional energy increases. This is a big win for the residents of Orlando. Hopefully Florida as a whole adopts renewable energy programs like this since Florida’s environment is one of its main attractions.
Byline: Eduardo Dieguez is a professional blogger for BobheinMillerSolar.com. He is a 1st generation American born Cuban that is currently in pursuit of his AA Degree at Valencia.