Bioenergy, Solar

Florida Energy Bill to Diversify Fuel Supply with Renewables

Governor Jeb Bush signed into law a four-year, $100-million plan that will reduce Florida’s dependence on imported oil, promote energy conservation and efficiency, spur economic growth and increase Florida’s investment in cleaner, alternative energy sources such as solar, hydrogen and biofuels.

Joined by a state and community leaders, the Governor signed Senate Bill 888 in Tampa at the launch of Florida’s newest ethanol production facility. “Reducing barriers and diversifying the state’s fuel supply will ensure greater energy and economic security for Florida,” said Governor Bush. “Grant programs and targeted investments for emerging technologies will speed up the development of viable, cleaner alternative energy sources and create opportunities for new industries, services and jobs.” Spearheaded by Governor Bush, the Florida Renewable Energy Technologies and Energy Efficiency Act takes the first step toward a diverse, reliable and secure energy future by reducing regulatory barriers to expedite electric generation capacity and providing rebates, grants and tax incentives to drive the development of alternative fuel technologies. The legislation also creates the Florida Energy Commission, a nine-member panel to be appointed by the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House. The commission will advise the Legislature on state energy policy based on the guiding principles of reliability, efficiency, affordability and diversity. “Senate Bill 888 is built upon four principles: reliability, efficiency, affordability and diversity of energy sources,” said Senator Lee Constantine. “It creates the Florida Energy Commission and gives them the authority to develop recommendations for legislation, alternative fuel incentives, and long-term energy policy. It gives us the ability to change the chart on energy use from dependency on natural gas and oil to more opportunities for alternative, renewable and recyclable fuel sources. It gives Florida an exponential lead over all other states when it comes to energy policy.”