Yep, you heard us right. former Governor Charlie Crist headlined a solar-industry rally last week in Tallahassee where he proclaimed that as Governor he would push a requirement that twenty percent of Florida’s electricity come from renewable energy resources. What he didn’t mention in his pro-solar speech was how much his scheme would cost Florida’s families.
Other states that have renewable energy mandates have been rolling them back after seeing energy prices skyrocket. Energy expert James Taylor recently analyzed the situation in Colorado, where renewable energy mandates were implemented in 2004 and expanded in 2007. The result: Colorado’s electric rates have increased at double the national average since 2007 — costing the state’s consumers an extra $4.2 billion, or $2,100 for each of Colorado’s families. Now the Colorado legislature is trying to figure out how they can reduce, rather than increase, their renewable energy consumption.
Renewable energy sources are simply not cost competitive. That’s why currently only 2 percent of Florida’s net electric generation comes from renewable sources, the majority of which is from biomass. Solar energy makes up 0.03 percent or 3/10,000th of net generation in our state. Over the last few years there has been an increase in renewable energy generation, but that is mostly due to large taxpayer-funded subsidies from federal, state and local governments and the establishment of government mandates, like the one Colorado is now trying to undue.
Don’t get us wrong, we don’t oppose solar energy. But unlike Georgia Green Tea representative Debbie Dooley we do oppose government subsidies for solar. We oppose the solar industry’s continued attempts to use government force to grow their industry and secure taxpayer-funded handouts to make their costs appear artificially lower than they really are.
If solar is going to have a role to play in Florida, the government and Charlie Crist need to get out of the way and let the solar industry become market competitive. Florida’s families shouldn’t have to suffer higher electric bills because a politician wants to be considered “green.”