Advocacy Groups Team to Advance Clean Energy Market, Green Jobs in Florida

The Florida Solar Coalition today announced its support of the newly formed Renewable Energy Alliance (REAL)'s core principles which are critical for achieving Governor Crist's commitment to 20% renewable energy in the State by 2020.

Solar Industry Supports Florida Renewable Energy Alliance's Core Principles for an Effective Renewable Portfolio Standard in Florida

November 25, 2008 - The Florida Solar Coalition today announced its support of the newly formed Renewable Energy Alliance (REAL)'s core principles which are critical for achieving Governor Charlie Crist's commitment to 20 percent renewable energy in the State by 2020. The Governor's proposed Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is designed to build a robust new energy market, drive local economic development and expand the state's climate change efforts. The Florida Solar Coalition will work with REAL to ensure an effective, fair and sustainable RPS program in the State.

The Florida Solar Coalition is comprised of Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA), The Vote Solar Initiative and The Solar Alliance.

"With plentiful sun and a strong nascent solar community, Florida is poised for unprecedented solar growth. The guiding principles outlined by REAL are the blueprints for advancing a robust, stable renewable energy market," said Carrie Hitt, President of the Solar Alliance. "We're committed to working with the Florida Public Service Commission, the state legislature, utility companies, REAL and other stakeholders to build a vibrant renewable energy industry in the Sunshine State."

"Investing in renewable energy today will deliver huge dividends to all Floridians for years to come. By equipping more homes and businesses with solar water heating systems and solar electric systems, Florida can create thousands of green jobs, reduce power bills, ensure reliable energy supply, and put money back in the pockets of working families," said Bruce Kershner, Executive Director of FlaSEIA.

Added Vote Solar's Deputy Director Gwen Rose, "With the economic and environmental cost of traditional energy sources continuing to skyrocket, it's become increasingly clear that renewable energy investment is smart energy investment. With this RPS program, we have an immediate opportunity to ensure that the Florida's homes, businesses and communities have reliable, predictably-priced clean energy for decades to come."

REAL's five core principles for driving renewable energy market growth in Florida include:

(1) Set meaningful targets and a timeline, mirroring the Governor's proposal of 20 percent by 2020, which are expected to secure renewable energy technology investment and job creation in Florida in a diverse mix of distributed renewable energy, as defined in Florida statute (in HB 7135), by technology, size and ownership.

(2) Promote a cost protection mechanism that encourages rapid development of renewable energy and recognizes the benefit of diversity that renewable energy resources can play in insulating ratepayers from the risk of volatile conventional fuel rate increases.

(3) Promote fair competition between utility self-built renewable projects and third-party renewable projects including but not limited to offering long-term standard offer contracts for renewable resources.

(4) Promote an enforcement mechanism for compliance and ensures non-compliance is more expensive than compliance.

(5) Remove interconnection barriers and give renewable energy resources priority to the transmission grid.

About the Florida Solar Coalition's Member Organizations:

The Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA) is a nonprofit professional association of companies involved in Florida's solar energy industry. Members include manufacturers, distributors, contractors, retailers and consultants who provide solar water heating, pool heating and solar electric systems. Research Centers and Utilities also are members.

The Vote Solar Initiative is a nonprofit organization with members throughout Florida and the U.S that aims to fight global warming, promote energy independence and drive economic development by bringing solar energy into the mainstream.

The Solar Alliance is a state-focused alliance of global solar equipment manufacturing, PV system integrators, and financiers dedicated to accelerating the promise of photovoltaic (PV) energy in the United States. Members include American Solar Electric, Applied Materials, Borrego Solar, BP Solar, Conergy, Dow-Corning, Evergreen Solar, First Solar, Iberdrola Renewables, Kyocera Solar, Oerlikon Solar, Mitsubishi Electric, MMA Renewable Ventures, REC Solar, Sanyo Energy, Schott Solar, Sharp Solar, SolarCity, Solaria, Solar Power Partners, SolarWorld, SPG Solar, SunEdison, SunPower, Suntech, Tioga Energy, Trinity Solar, Uni-Solar, and Xantrex.

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