Solar is the New Model

Many wish to go head to head in a fight to change how energy is produced. The demand for it is continuing to grow as technology becomes more and more integrated into daily existence. Much of the contention centers on the environmental damage caused by use of fossil fuels to create the electricity we need. People have grown accustomed to the pollution inherent to power generation as a necessary by product. In contrast a niche of dedicated innovators have been adopting an alternative that is growing into something that is pushing aside the status quo. They have chosen not to fight the standard model, but to adopt a new model making the old one obsolete.

The standard model to create electricity is to mine coal and/or natural gas, light it on fire to heat water, that in turn creates steam, which spins a turbine to produce electricity, that is then transmitted miles around to homes and businesses. This is the centralized power system that has been in place for the last 134 years. It has periodic rises in rates and has been essentially a steam driven pump for the entire time.

The new model is to place panels of silicon crystals on your roof, crystals that use the photoelectric effect from sunlight hitting them causing electrons to flow creating electricity and transmitting it directly to an inverter that turns it into usable alternating current (AC) for devices in your home or business. This is the decentralized system that gives control and power to the owner since the 70’s, when it began to popularize. Becoming on par monetarily with utility power and less than the utility for most.

Florida is really in quite a prized position in its progression towards the new model. It has some of the lowest energy pricing in the country. This is advantageous, to have the pricing similar, since head to head it just makes sense to use the clean option. Being near equivalent between the old model and the new model allows solar to truly stand on its own  technological advancement without continuous subsidies. The legislatures in other cities and states have provided incentives to guide their residents to adopt solar, while Florida has developed a robust grassroots approach. The legislature has not been completely hands off, it has brought about a net-metering law, where excess power is purchased by the utilities, and it has exempted sales and property taxes associated with improving a residence with solar. Coming up on August 30, 2016 there is amendment 4, which will extend this tax protection to commercial adopters when it passes. This approach has developed a strong base of support that is knowledgeable and motivated to expand, solar powering the change.

Around the world, particularly in Germany, Australia, and India, the new model has had tremendous growth, driving down installation and material costs as well as improving the environment through avoiding fossil fuels. Southwest Florida is being lead in this trend with the its own grassroots solar initiative which has set out to install 10,000 arrays in the region. It is up to us to support the new model to bring environmental responsibility into energy production. It will not come about through fighting, but by continuous adoption of the new model.

To become a solar home or business one just needs to speak with a solar professional who will do a free assessment of power use and site potential. Most locations will find that a solar array is roughly equal to our LESS than their current utility expense giving them the ability to turn an expense into an investment. An investment that increases property value and produces no further pollution.  Take control of your power, avoid fracking, and protect our environment.

Go forth and spread sunshine,
Clifford Mitchem
Independent Energy Advisor
Clean Renewable Energy Worldwide

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