“Don’t call it the incinerator.” That’s what I learned when I toured the Lee County Material Recovery Facility today. Calling it an incinerator is like calling a car a “horse and buggy.” The facility produces energy in a renewable and sustainable way at the Buckingham, FL facility and sells the power to Seminole Electric Cooperative. Taking household waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill, the facility turns the refuse into electricity. It’s a part of recycling and trash disposal that is rarely considered by the public. Also known as waste-to-energy, material recovery facilities are slowly replacing landfills as the economics make the technologyRead More →

In a recent lecture, I discussed the many reasons that people decide to invest in solar energy systems.  The reasons range from practical to financial to ideological to competition. All of the reasons are [arguably] legitimate. This list is by no means comprehensive, but I break it down this way: Go Green – an environmental motivation Reduce Operational Costs – motivated more by future cost savings than initial investment Lock in Price of Energy – motivated by concern about future energy costs Tax Shelter – motivated by incentives that increase tax savings Geopolitics – motivated by concern about ability to obtain energy from foreign (orRead More →

The Solar Energy Industries Association reported last month that Florida ranked 14th in solar energy installations in the first quarter of 2012. That’s an improvements from the ranking of 17 among states for the 2011 calendar year, but it is still appalling that Sunshine State cannot score better for solar electric growth. Florida residents and businesses installed only 2.8 megawatts of solar electric compared to 173.8 megawatts in New Jersey, the leading state in the first quarter. Yes, New Jersey, in the winter, installed 62 times the amount of solar electricity as Florida. The reported numbers are for solar electric (photovoltaic) installations. Keep in mind that FloridaRead More →