Solar Victory and Evolution

On August 30 we had a tremendous victory for the supporters of Amendment 4! It passed by a wide margin, only needing 60%, but receiving 73%! This a welcomed outcome for the renewable energy community of Florida, particularly those in the solar industry. This means that there will be a 20 year exemption of sales tax and property tax for solar arrays installed on residential and commercial buildings. There is no better time to go solar than now! The momentum is high and it is at the forefront of our minds. This victory is the big step toward making solar energy power the Sunshine State. To go solar, what it takes is just an assessment of the location and 12 months of utility bills to finds out how solar will perform for you and end the environmental pollution from burning fossil fuels daily. For the Eco-Voice.org  readers and supporters this is particularly important to you because for every assessment and new system there will be a reward provided to further support this magazine.

Beyond this victory our focus must now evolve to voting down Amendment 1, which comes up in November. This amendment seeks to open a Pandora’s box of fees by the utility companies, who created and back it. This type of measure could quickly throw cold water on the renewable future of Florida as a similar measure did in Nevada. The evolution of solar support must be more overwhelming than before for the simple fact of turnout. There was only 17.52% of eligible voters that came to the polls at the primary and a much larger turnout is expected since this is a presidential voting year. Turnout for presidential elections in 2012 was 71.2%, roughly meaning we will need a monumental effort and to lead by example. Two of the main candidates have fracking and coal special interests supporting them, leaving the only candidates with solar friendliness in their platform being Jill Stein, who wants expanded renewables by 2030 and Gary Johnson, who intends to remove subsidies to fossil fuels and provide market freedom for renewables. Find out about registering other and when early ballots can be done by going here. Energy is a major issue in this election so everyone voting is thinking about it and we need to ask them to think clean renewable energy as well as adopt it for their home.

Expansion of solar must come from the people reaching out to one another to affect the needed change in the power generation of Florida. Taking control of your power is the most effective statement available to curtail the movement of fracking in the everglades, in the gulf, and along the coasts. The Southwest Water Management District recently lowered the water quality standards giving credence to unannounced fracking wells coming down the pipe. This is along with increased rates of 24% from FPL (LCEC will surely follow suit). Distributed power locks in a renewable future providing the best chance to stave off the fossil fuel addiction that the state and country have been running on. When people walk down the streets of Florida neighborhoods and see solar panels because people like you decided to take control of their power, when people see businesses install solar on their roofs because they are environmentally responsible they will know a cleaner future is coming and can breathe easier.

Our victory on Amendment 4 has opened the gates for solar and renewables in Florida through your diligent grassroots support. They will stay open through evolving those efforts to saying NO to Amendment 1 in November. Turning your support into adopting solar at home and at your business will ensure its protection for at least the next 20 years. Through our initiative we will bring about the viral adoption of solar, reward those who help its expansion, and bring a brighter future to our paradise.

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

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