Environment Florida today discussed the findings of Environment Florida Research and Policy Center’s newest report which ranks Florida 6th in the nation for growth in solar energy production since 2010. The project, Renewables on the Rise 2020, documents and compares the growth of five key clean energy technologies in each state over the past decade: solar power, wind power, battery storage, energy efficiency and electric vehicles. Florida has seen a 43.8-fold increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun since 2010.
“A decade ago, a solar panel on every roof or windmills powering towns may have seemed like a wild fantasy, but the growth in Florida and other states like it are proving this clean energy dream is on its way to becoming a reality,” said Jenna Stevens, State Director with Environment Florida.
“The recent gains we’ve seen, especially in solar, electric vehicle sales, and electric vehicle infrastructure should give Floridians the confidence we need to aim even higher and continue picking up the pace,” said Representative Anna Eskamani. “This is a crisis and we must move fast to meet the energy needs of our state in a clean and efficient way that reduces the effects already being felt by climate change.”
“Rooftop solar has the potential to democratize our energy system, put more savings in families’ pockets, and create local jobs that can’t be outsourced,” said Katie Chiles Ottenweller, Southeast Director for Vote Solar. “No wonder Floridians of all political stripes support bedrock policies like net metering that protect our right to go solar.”
Beyond top-ranking growth in solar energy, Florida has also ranked 4th in EV sales and 3rd in EV infrastructure. Innovative policies, combined with technological advances and declining costs have played a key role in driving adoption, according to the report.
“With the second largest electric vehicle market in the country, Florida benefits in multiple ways from clean cars, buses and trucks,” said Susan Glickman, executive director for Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “To continue the growth, we need strong policies so more Floridians can enjoy lower ownership costs and save billions from avoided healthcare costs while reducing the greenhouse gas pollution driving harmful climate impacts.”
In addition to highlighting states that have made the most progress in adopting renewable energy technologies, the study also shows the rapid gains achieved overall nationally. In 2019, the U.S. produced 30 times more solar power and more than triple the amount of wind energy than it did in 2010. In addition to the growth in renewable energy, utility scale battery storage increased 20-fold since 2010, energy consumption per person declined thanks to improvements in energy efficiency, and more than one million electric vehicles were sold in the U.S.
“This project offers a timely reminder that clean energy technologies have risen to the occasion, and are already delivering for millions of Americans and Floridians,” Stevens said. “We are so much closer to the clean, renewable energy future we need than we were ten years ago, and we should keep working to ensure that the next decade brings us even further.”