Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Future of Solar Power: Rooftops

Reuters: Rooftops key to Florida green energy goal

A new initiative by the fourth most-populous U.S. state to get its utilities to generate 20 percent of their power from sun, wind and other renewable resources will mean wiring rooftops rather than building huge solar or wind farms.

Utilities say large solar power plants would simply not be cost effective.

"The cloud cover in Florida limits the amount of power that can be produced," said Mayco Villafana, a spokesman for Florida Power & Light, the state's largest electricity company.

But Florida has plenty of sunshine to power rooftop solar panels and renewable energy advocates are urging the state to help residents create thousands of mini power plants in their homes.

Gov. Charlie Crist announced this week that he wants utilities to generate one-fifth of their electricity from renewables to combat global warming -- joining several other states that have adopted measures to reduce greenhouse gases in the absence of action by the federal government.