Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Solar Energy, part two

Politics - Darkening solar energy ambitions

Although approved by the senate, a Florida bill giving tax breaks to businesses who install solar panels is not likely to come before voters. Roof top solar is viewed as a threat to the electrical utilities. If the vote came to the average Floridian, the vote would be 90 per cent for solar initiatives. Rallies are planned to protest. Business men have already voted with their feet and taken solar technology to warmer receptions and out of the sunshine state.

Over three million dollars has already been spent on campaign contributions in this election cycle so far by the utilities. What does this mean to the environmentally conscious home owner? Well, ask Robin Speronis. She has been charged with living off the grid, illegal under the International Property and Maintenance Code. After a year and a half keeping house with a camp stove, rain water and solar energy, she has to hook back up to the big utilities grid.

In contrast, two young students living in London, Ontario became somewhat of a "cause célèbre" when they spent the summer under similar conditions. I am sure they did not make it over the interminable Ontario winter, but they got local TV and newspaper coverage for their experiment.

Let us hope that Florida politicians don't take this issue as seriously as in close by Texas. Swat teams were sent in to intimidate the Garden of Eden Community, holding members at gunpoint and putting them in handcuffs. Apparently there were no laws against off grid life, and no drugs or guns were found. At the end of the day, they enforced a few city code violations and assorted traffic violations. Not exactly good use of manpower or tax payer funds!

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