Due to relatively low costs of electricity, Florida businesses and homeowners are only recently adopting the use of photovoltaic panels at scale. As solar panels become more effective and affordable, the new installation of solar energy systems has increased throughout the state.
This situation makes Florida the fifth-fastest-growing solar market in the country according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, and that’s with less than two percent of the state’s total electricity being generated from solar!
As the “Sunshine State,” Florida is posed to see continued growth in solar installations.
Florida Solar Policies
Florida’s laws have been evolving to allow for more installations. Currently, according to Florida Statute Section 163.04, “No deed restrictions, covenants, or similar binding agreements running with the land shall prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources from being installed on buildings erected on the lots or parcels covered by the deed restrictions, covenants, or binding agreements.”
Section 163.04 opens homeowners to the benefits of solar, where the sourcing of solar and other renewable energy by utilities has been promoted since the passing of Florida Statute Section 336.92.
Potential Growth of Solar in Florida
Among large scale efforts, Duke Energy Florida and other utilities have developed projects that aim to double Florida’s solar power capacity by 2025. Florida Power & Light has similar plans that would also double the state’s capacity.
Solar fields are also being built on military bases to aid the U.S. Department of Defense in achieving 25 percent renewable energy. Their goal is to accomplish this standard by 2025.
Entire towns are now being built on solar grids too. Babcock Ranch is just one example of this in the state.
Need for Solar Panel Recycling in Florida
Florida’s solar installations annual capacity nearly doubled from 400 MW in 2016 to over 800 MW in 2018. By 2026, many of the legacy solar panel installations will be in a state of degradation and will be ready for the disposal and value recovery aspect of their lifecycle. As new installations are developed and capacity continues to increase, so will the need for responsible end-of-life solutions for this solar equipment.
Unless otherwise noted, all data from SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight