In Sunshine State, Big Energy Blocks Solar Power | Florida Center for Investigative Reporting
With little support in Tallahassee, a coalition of conservative and liberal groups hopes to make Florida friendlier to rooftop solar energy with a 2016 ballot initiative. Before that happens, though, Florida’s four largest power companies may see their influence grow. There’s proposed legislation circulating in Tallahassee now that would stop homeowners from selling extra energy created from solar back to utility companies, perhaps the biggest blow yet to Florida’s fledgling solar industry.
Shareholders of Florida electric companies aren’t having their investments maximized by officers and directors. They’re being deprived of dividends and potential profits, while being exposed to unnecessary risks.
Millions of dollars that could go in investors pockets are instead being wasted on lobbying AGAINST the cheapest, cleanest, least hazardous-to-workers source of power – business and residential solar roofs – which also offer the benefit of no line loss in transmission … those that have solar roofs essentially transmit their power next door, not across miles and miles of lines, losing power, inch by inch.
Electric companies claims regarding the expense of net metering are ludicrous; a single mechanical device per solar roof costs next to nothing. Procuring, expending, and waste disposal of filthy fossil and/or nuclear material is a ridiculously expensive method of power production … and taxpayers will never stop paying for the 500 mountains that have been blown to bits for coal leaving insecure sludge pools where green valleys once were, the aquifers that have been polluted with fracking waste that will soon deprive us drinking water, the spent nuclear waste for which there is no safe storage method, etc.
Leaving companies vulnerable to suits for environmental cleanups risks potential future profits, which corporations claim to regard as the Holy Grail when secret international trade negotiations are underway … like right now. The biggest risk that electric companies are taking right now is that those with solar roofs and wind generators will simply use battery backup and deprive them of their cheapest power source; such batteries are now more efficient and less expensive, the return on investment for on-site, off grid power generation is getting cheaper all the time.
Those that have 401k accounts and may be unwittingly investing in electric companies (or other company’s) counterproductive lobbying expenditures can better ensure their investments by signing petitions for the Shareholder Protection Act, like this one.
The Guardian Media Group just divested from fossil fuels as part of their climate change campaign. Please sign on here, and join their efforts to get the Welcome Trust and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to divest and hopefully become as active as The Guardian … this is our planet, not the Koch brothers ash tray, and having heavy hitters go after Florida Governor Rick Scott’s gag order on Department of Environmental Protection employees as well as his deference to dirty fossil fuel purveyors will work far faster than Floridians’ efforts. Thank you.