Though known as the Sunshine State, Florida is third in rooftop solar potential but 12th in installed capacity. The state gets less than 1 percent of its electricity generation from solar power.
The Guardian explored the solar situation in Florida, and why households with rooftop PV panels are outliers and not the norm. Homeowners there are not allowed to sell their excess solar power, nor are they allowed to borrow panels from a solar company and buy the cheap power that’s generated. New governmental measures to promote solar might lead to new fees for homeowners.
“I think solar is more of a novelty for folks who might have some disposable income,” said Jim Kallinger, chairman of the Florida Faith & Freedom Coalition. “Yes, we have a lot of sunshine in Florida but we have a lot of cloud cover. In other states, you have the government intervening more, but here we have pushback against that sort of thing.”
Meanwhile, New York has a completely different climate and attitude toward solar than Florida. New York has frigid winters and doesn’t see the sun as much, but installed solar capacity has increased 800 percent over the last five years. Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that by 2030, utilities would be required to generate half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources.