After an already depressed market in the first quarter of 2012, Florida’s solar electric installations fell to 18th among states in the second quarter of 2012 according to the Solar Energy Industries Association’s quarterly report. After rising to 14th among states in Q1 of this year, Florida regressed below it’s 2011 ranking of 17th among states. This follows a large spike in national solar electric installations with Florida installations remaining stagnant.
To blame, in my opinion, is:
- Continued disruption caused by the FPL rebate program
- The lack of a cohesive policy in the state regarding renewable energy
- Lack of availability of financing and reasonable long-term financing rates for solar energy home improvements
- An incorrect public perception that solar energy is only viable with generous rebates (said another way: the industry does a poor job of marketing)
Fortunately, Florida still has a thriving solar pool heating industry, which is not covered in the rankings. Solar thermal, including solar pool heat and solar domestic water heating, is an important contributor to Florida’s solar industry. Solar Photovoltaics (PV or soalr electric) are mainly addressed in the report. While to report is not encouraging, historically low prices are leading to increased installation of solar electric systems without incentives, but Florida is falling further behind other states with more progressive incentives and policies.