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									Volume 1, Number 1                                                                                                             Summer 2008


FSEC to Lead Alternative Energy Training Program in Florida
                                                                                                                    In This Issue
    A statewide training program for alternative      solar industries will supply the project’s business
energy technologies, called the Alternative Energy    affiliations. The Brevard Workforce Board is also a     • New Solar Policies -
Banner Center, will make alternative energy train-    partner to this program.                                  More “Green” Jobs
ing available to students throughout Florida.                                                                        .............................
                                                                                                                Page .............................2
                                                          Over the next 10 years, Florida utilities will
                                                                                                              • If Children Could Vote
    Workforce Florida, Inc. initiated the training    have to produce 75 billion more kilowatt-hours                 .............................
                                                                                                                Page .............................2
program and awarded a contract to the Uni-            than the current level of energy output to accom-
                                                                                                              • Orlando - “Silicon
versity of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy     modate the future electric energy needs of the            Valley of the Southeast”
Center (FSEC) in February to establish and lead       state, according to recent projections. And last               .............................
                                                                                                                Page .............................5
the training center, along with six other Florida     year, Governor Charlie Crist issued three execu-
                                                                                                              • Brevard Workforce
partners.                                             tive orders on energy usage and climate change,           Development Board
                                                      one of which calls for Florida utilities to produce            .............................
                                                                                                                Page .............................5
    FSEC’s educational partners for this training
                                                      at least 20 percent of their electricity from renew-    • Tallahassee
program – Brevard Community College in Cocoa,
                                                      able resources with a strong focus on solar and           Community College
Westside Tech in Orlando, Tallahassee Commu-                                                                         ............................
                                                                                                                Page ............................6
                                                      wind energy.
nity College in Tallahassee, and Broward Commu-
                                                                                                              • Broward Community
nity College in Ft. Lauderdale – cover the majority       In addition to Florida facing these energy chal-      College
of Florida’s most populated areas. The Florida        lenges, educational programs and curriculum in                 .............................
                                                                                                                Page .............................6
Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA)         alternative energy technology are limited through-      • Westside Tech
and selected members from Florida’s utility and       out Florida and the United States. There are some              .............................
                                                                                                                Page .............................7


                                                                                 FSEC - continued on page 3


                 Community Colleges Have What It Takes
                      To Train Solar Workforce
    A fundamental objective of solar workforce             Community colleges and vocational-technical
development is to improve the quality of so-          institutes are ideally suited to address the rapidly
lar products and systems and, hence, increase         growing need for workforce development in solar,
consumer acceptance. However, in training             renewable energy, building energy efficiency and
individuals to meet growing demand, it is criti-      energy management. For many years, there have
cally important to ensure the marketability of        been a relatively small number of institutions that
their new found skills and talents. In some states,   have addressed these training needs. These insti-
such as California, long-term, progressive policies   tutions include the Florida Solar Energy Center,
have produced a market for solar systems that is      Southwest Technology Development Institute,
sufficiently large and stable enough to support a     North Carolina Solar Center, Solar Energy In-
cadre of “solar specialists.” However, in most of     ternational, Lane Community College, and a few
the country, uncertainties in future state policies   others. However, it has become increasingly ap-
and incentive programs call for a more prudent        parent that training needs to be locally accessible
approach to training: one that emphasizes the         if the solar industry is to mature and adequately
development of “add-on” rather than “specialty”       meet the workforce needs in a rapidly expanding
skills for well-established construction tradesmen    market. Community colleges offer the best op-
and engineering and design professionals.             portunity to meet these workforce needs.

                                                                  Community Colleges - continued on page 3
2
                                                          New Solar Policies Mean More “Green” Jobs
                                                     For a number of reasons, the demand           companies, yet only three photovoltaic
                                                 for solar technologies has been steadily          (PV), or solar electricity, manufactur-
                                                 increasing during the past two years.             ers have a presence in Florida – none of
                                                        Favorable solar policies such as           which include manufacturing facilities.
                                                        the 2006 Florida Legislature’s solar
                                                                                                       However, as new solar energy policies
                    “The Banner Center will             rebate and incentive program have
                                                                                                   take hold in the state, PV systems are be-
                                                        made buying solar systems more
                    provide a much needed               reasonable and affordable for many
                                                                                                   ing installed at record levels. As a result
                    vehicle for the solar energy                                                   of the 2008 Florida Energy Bill, Floridians
                                                        Floridians. Governor Crist’s execu-
                                                                                                   can expect more PV companies eyeing
                    industry to boost its workforce     tive orders on climate change have
                                                                                                   the state for expansion. This bill provides
                    development.”                       also encouraged Floridians to invest
                                                                                                   corporate tax credits for new solar panel
                                                        in solar systems for their homes or
                                                                                                   manufacturers, as well as the creation of a
                                                        commercial buildings.
                                                                                                   renewable portfolio standard and demand
                                                          Consumer demand is not the only          side renewable energy programs. These
                                                     economic factor rising. An increase in the    programs will also stimulate the state’s
                                                     number of applicants for the State Certi-     existing solar thermal industry, with cur-
                                                     fied Solar Contractor License also shows      rent manufacturers expanding their base
                                                     that entrepreneurship in the solar industry   and new companies looking to enter the
                                                     is steadily increasing. The demand for        solar market.
                                                     highly-skilled solar system manufacturers,
                                                                                                       The expansion of manufacturing
                                                     distributors and installers has been driven
                                                                                                   activity will largely depend on continued
                                                     up as well due to the steep increase in
                                                                                                   consumer demand for and satisfaction
                                                     consumer interest in solar technology. For
            Alternative Energy                                                                     with solar energy systems. Quality control
                                                     these reasons, solar policies can also be
         Banner Center Newsletter                                                                  at the point of installation is critical to the
                                                     used as an economic tool to increase high-
                                                                                                   long term operation of any solar product.
    Florida Solar Energy Center                      tech, high-paying jobs in the state.
                                                                                                   Trained technicians are the only tool that
    1679 Clearlake Road, Cocoa, FL 32922
    321-638-1000 • Fax: 321-638-1010                     Favorable solar policies are also an      will ensure this. The Banner Center will
    www.floridaenergycenter.org/go/bannercenter      effective way to diversify Florida’s energy   provide a much needed vehicle for the so-
                                                     portfolio. Historically, Florida’s solar      lar energy industry to boost its workforce
    This newsletter is published twice a year by                                                   development. The outcome will be new,
    the Florida Solar Energy Center – a research
                                                     industry has been focused on solar thermal
    institute of the University of Central Florida   systems, including solar water heating and    sustained employment and a boost to the
    – while under contract with Workforce            solar pool heating. Florida is home to a      local and state economy.
    Florida, Inc.                                    number of solar thermal manufacturing
                 Program Manager
                    David L. Block
                    321-638-1001
                 block@fsec.ucf.edu

            Assistant Program Manager
                                                             If Children Could Vote, Solar Would Win
                   Susan Schleith
                   321-638-1017                           While the Florida Solar Energy Center    FSEC hoping to gain some knowledge
                susan@fsec.ucf.edu                   (FSEC) focuses on the research and devel-     about the research and testing being con-
                  Managing Editor                    opment of energy-efficient and renewable      ducted there. On these visits, students are
                   Sherri Shields                    technologies, passing on those technolo-      briefed on the history of the center and its
                                                     gies to the public, especially to students,   research areas, given a tour of the facility,
                       Editor
                    Sara Tournade                    is just as important. One of the goals of     and participate in hands-on renewable
                                                     FSEC’s education department is to help        energy experiments. They quickly learn
                Contributing Writers
                                                     young people become energy-literate citi-     that the sun’s energy can heat water to its
                    Rick Frazier
                   Colleen Kettles                   zens by developing a basic understanding      boiling point, and that solar electric cells,
                   Jody Newman                       of energy efficiency, energy conservation,    called photovoltaics (PV), can silently
                    Mattie Roig                      solar and other renewable energy tech-        power an electric motor with no green-
                  Hampton Smith
                                                     nologies.                                     house gas emissions. Students and teach-
                    Jerry Ventre
                                                                                                   ers alike get excited about solar power
                 Graphic Designer                       Students from all over the Space
                                                                                                   and want to know where to find their own
                   Shelli Keisling                   Coast, ranging from fourth-graders to high
                                                                                                   solar cells.
                                                     school seniors, and their teachers visit
                                                                                                                Children - continued on back cover
Alternative Energy Banner Center • Summer 2008
                                                                                                                                                                  3
FSEC - continued from cover                      ing on response from industry and partner
                                                 feedback.
educational organizations throughout the             The Banner Center Advisory Council
U.S. that offer courses and workshops            held its first meeting at the Florida Solar
in alternative energy, but this training         Energy Center on Friday, April 25, where
is not routinely available at traditional        more than 30 representatives from the
vocational schools, community colleges or        solar industry, municipal utility companies
universities, nor is it designed for work-       and educational
force deployment.                                institutions dis-
    Addressing these needs and concerns,         cussed training
the Alternative Energy Banner Center will        methods and
offer two core programs in photovoltaic          curriculum for
(solar electricity) and solar thermal (solar     the program.
hot water and pool heating) technologies.        Instructors for the
Both programs will be designed for stu-          alternative energy
dents at any level, regardless of previous       courses started
skill level. The results from the initial pro-   their training at
gram offerings will be analyzed and used         FSEC on May 19,
as feedback to update and finalize the           2008, with courses




                                                                                                                                                 Sherri Shields
curriculum. After the first year, the plan       being offered to
will be expanded and offered throughout          students as early
Florida at other community colleges and          as this summer
technical centers. The initial curriculum        term, depending         Photovoltaics course instructor, Donard Metzger, provides instruction

program for these two areas will utilize ex-     on the institution. on how to test a battery’s load.
isting resources, but will expand depend-



Community Colleges - continued from cover        in roofing and electrical, etc. This type of
                                                 cross training is more easily accomplished
    In investigating target groups most in       by community colleges and vocational
need of training, four groups stand out:         technical institutes than by other educa-
system installers, building code officials,      tional institutions.
system designers, and licensed contrac-
                                                     Other areas in which community
tors. Other job categories that have been
                                                 colleges have programs that match well
identified include sales people and site
                                                 with solar energy workforce develop-
surveyors, engineers, architects and build-
                                                 ment needs include the following:
ing designers, construction cost accoun-
tants, and utility personnel.                      •     Continuing education courses
                                                         for code officials.
     Of all the established educational
                                                   •     Associate in Applied Science
institutions, community college programs
                                                         (AAS) degree courses for
match well with workforce development
                                                         solar technicians and building
needs. For example, many are actively in-
                                                         energy managers.
volved in training the construction trades,
including electricians, plumbers, roofers,         •     Associate in Science (AS)
glazers, carpenters, HVAC specialists,                   degree courses for curriculum
etc. These programs can be enriched                      enrichment in solar system
fairly easily with new courses in solar and              design, building sciences and
alternative energy technologies to provide               energy management. Such
add-on skills that broaden their market-                 courses and associated programs
ability to solar, electrical and plumbing                can be structured to interface
contractors. In addition, many of these                  nicely with Bachelor of Science
institutions have the opportunity to in-                 in Engineering Technology
troduce cross training into their curricu-               (BSET) degree programs.
lum. For example, student or apprentice            •     Applied Technology Diplomas
electricians can be cross trained in roofing             as part of new AS or AAS
and glazing, plumbers can be cross trained

                                                       Community Colleges - continued on page 4
                                                                                                       Alternative Energy Banner Center • Summer 2008
4
                                                 Community Colleges - continued from page 3     still highly qualified electricians and are,
                                                                                                therefore, not as susceptible to fluctuations
                                                        degree programs for solar system        in the solar marketplace as would solar
                                                        design, building sciences and           specialists.
                                                        energy management.
                                                                                                     Two states, Florida and New York, are
                                                   •    Post-secondary Adult Vocation           conducting pilot programs that replicate
                                                        al Certificate programs for solar       in part the NJATC model. Both states
                                                        sales people and site surveyors,        are working with community colleges and
                                                        construction cost accountants,          vocational-technical institutes to as-
                                                        and solar technicians.                  sist faculty in developing new PV system
                                                   •    Introductory courses in solar           installation courses at their institutions.
                                                        energy that are aligned with            Whereas the NJATC program trains union
                                                        entry level certification offered       electricians, the programs in Florida and
                                                        through the North American              New York will not be restricted to union
                                                        Board of Certified Energy Prac          personnel.
                                                        titioners (see www.nabcep.org).
                                                                                                     The Florida program is sponsored by
                                                              One of the best models for        Workforce Florida, Inc., and is adminis-
                                                          training is offered by the Na-        tered by FSEC. The New York program is
                 “Training directors around the           tional Joint Apprenticeship and       sponsored by the New York State Energy
                 country have added PV instal-            Training Committee (NJATC).           Research and Development Authority
                 lation training to their offerings       NJATC is jointly sponsored by         (NYSERDA) under contract with the
                 and approximately ten thou-              the International Brotherhood of      Interstate Renewable Energy Coun-
                                                          Electrical Workers (IBEW) and         cil (IREC). Approximately 35 faculty
                 sand electricians develop these          the National Electrical Con-          members from community colleges and
                 add-on skills every year. ”              tractors Association (NECA).          vocational-technical institutes in both
                                                          NJATC has over 300 training           states will not only be given the cur-
                                                          centers in the U.S. and develops      riculum developed by NJATC, but will
                                               curriculum packages that are available           also be instructed in how best to use it.
                                               to several thousand trainers nationwide.         In particular, faculty will be exposed to
                                               Consequently, training is offered locally to     the nationally recognized and NABCEP-
                                               tens of thousands of apprentices, journey-       approved task analysis for PV installers,
                                               men electricians and electrical contrac-         and they will be encouraged to develop
                                               tors. Most recently, NJATC, in partner-          their courses to align with these national
                                               ship with American Technical Publishers,         training standards. Once the new courses
                                               developed an extremely comprehensive             are well-established, faculty will be encour-
                                               curriculum package photovoltaic (PV)             aged to consider applying for course and/
                                               system installation. The curriculum              or program accreditation by the Institute
                                               includes a new textbook by Jim Dunlop            for Sustainable Power (ISP). ISP is an
                                               (formerly of FSEC) entitled Photovoltaic         international accrediting body that not
                                               Systems and an accompanying CD-ROM;              only accredits alternative energy training
                                               a Photovoltaic Systems Resource Guide            programs, but also certifies instructors.
                                               containing PowerPoint presentations for
                                               all fifteen chapters of the text, including          Once these two pilot programs have
                                               descriptive notes for all slides; an instruc-    been implemented, evaluated and im-
                                               tor’s guide, instructional outlines and a list   proved, the U.S. Department of Energy is
                                               of competency skills for each chapter; test      interested in offering similar programs na-
                                               development software; video clips of solar       tionwide, but first in states with the fastest
                                               installations and other demonstrations;          growing solar markets. The local training,
                                               solar radiation data and sun path charts;        comprehensive curriculum and materials,
                                               and a variety of other useful forms and          emphasis on “add-on” skills, and quality
                                               information. Training directors around           measures provided through these programs
                                               the country have added PV installation           will contribute significantly to meeting the
                                               training to their offerings and approxi-         workforce development needs of the solar
                                               mately ten thousand electricians develop         industry.
                                               these add-on skills every year. They are




Alternative Energy Banner Center • Summer 2008
                                                                                                                                            5
                 Orlando Using Solar to Become
                 “Silicon Valley of the Southeast”

    In April, the City of Orlando, along        sessions will provide insight to integrating
with Orange County Government and               solar technologies within key sectors, such
Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC),             as multi-family housing, new residential
was selected as one of 12 Solar American        buildings and public build-
Cities by the U.S. Department of Energy         ings. Also included in the
(DOE). The city received a $200,000             city’s energy plan is the de-
grant for two years to increase the use of      velopment and implemen-              “...city leaders aim to develop
solar technology and renewable energy in        tation of solar education            a strategic energy plan with
Orlando.                                        programs that target groups          a strong focus on sustainable
                                                that are integral to the             urban growth policies.”
    With OUC serving as program man-
                                                successful development of a
ager of the project and Orange County
                                                sustainable solar technology
Government as an alliance partner, city
                                                base in Metro Orlando.
leaders aim to develop a strategic energy
plan with a strong focus on sustainable             At the end of this project, a master
urban growth policies. These policies will      solar plan will be developed to lay the
pave the way toward achieving the city’s        foundation for a viable solar market and
goal of installing 15 megawatts of solar        provide a model of sustainability for other
power by 2015 and transforming Metro            communities throughout the entire state
Orlando into the “Silicon Valley of the         of Florida.
Southeast.”
                                                    In addition to funding, the DOE will
    This strategic energy plan will include     provide technical assistance to help inte-
a Web-based solar resource mapping tool         grate solar technologies into energy plan-
and analysis to identify the region’s solar     ning, zoning and facilities; streamline local
opportunities, as well as a series of collab-   regulations and practices that affect solar
orative sessions with key community lead-       adoption by residents and businesses; pres-
ers. These sessions will contribute to the      ent solar financing options; and promote
development of a list of solar policies and     solar technology among residents and
priorities to assist Metro Orlando in meet-     local businesses through assistance with
ing its aggressive solar installation goals.    the expansion of outreach and curriculum
Featuring subject matter experts, these         development efforts.




     Along Florida’s Space Coast, the           rent aerospace work-
 Brevard Workforce Development Board,           force, and support the
 Inc. (BWDB) is working to help the Space       Banner Center in its                                              As the Space Shuttle
                                                                                                                  A
                                                                                                                  p
                                                                                                                  program comes to
 Shuttle program workforce transition to        efforts to meet the
                                                                                                                  a
                                                                                                                  an end, training
 the new aerospace program, Constella-          growing demand for                                                p
                                                                                                                  programs will help
 tion. This transition means a loss of about    professionals in the                                              transition its highly
                                                                                                                  t
 3,000 jobs in Brevard County, which are        solar industry.                                                   skilled workforce into
                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                  new jobs.
                                                                                                                  n
 currently filled by highly-skilled work-
 ers. The Banner Center and BWDB will
 merge efforts to develop training programs
 that can increase job potential for these
 skilled workers within Brevard County
 and throughout Florida during the next
                                                                          Courtesy of NASA




 two to four years. BWDB will help recruit
 students for these programs from the cur-


                                                                                                                   Banner Center • Summer 2008
                                                                                                Alternative Energy Ba
6
                                                        TCC Partnership with FSEC a “No-Brainer”
                                                     As part of the new Alternative Energy           “Without a doubt, this partnership
                                                 Banner Center, Tallahassee Community           is just the beginning of a long relation-
                                                 College (TCC) has partnered with the           ship that will provide new and essential
                                                 Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC)             skills to our local workforce,” Frazier said.
                                                 to provide solar thermal and photovol-         “Plus, it will provide other economic op-
                                                 taic (PV) training in the Big Bend
                                                                                 e d                   portunities in North Florida, and
                                                                                                       p
                                                 region. This Banner Center will ll                        contractors who participate in
                                                                                                           co
                                                 provide training and education n                            the training programs at TCC
                                                 in alternative energy tech-                                   are opening more doors to
                                                 nologies for students all over                                 financial opportunities as
                                                 Florida. Beginning in the fall                                 ‘green’ building becomes
                                                 of 2008, TCC will provide                                      increasingly important.”
                                                 training for alternative energy
                                                                                                                  TCC’s interest in provid-
                                                 and its applications to building
                                                                                                            ing alternative energy training
                                                                                                            in
                                                 contractors, incumbent construc-uc-
                                                                                                        can be linked directly to local com-
                                                 tion workers and any other interested
                                                                                                mitments to alternative energy. The City
                                                 parties located in the Big Bend/Panhandle
                                                                                                of Tallahassee strongly encourages the use
                                                 region.
                                                                                                of solar and PV technologies in residential
                                                      The close connection TCC has with         and commercial applications. For more
                                                 its local workforce and FSEC’s long his-       information on the City of Tallahassee’s
                                                 tory of being a driving force in alternative   alternative energy programs visit http://
                                                 energy research and education make the         www.talgov.com/you/electric/solar.cfm.
                                                 partnership between these two institu-         If you are in the Big Bend region and are
                                                 tions ideal. And Rick Frazier, director of     interested in taking solar and PV train-
                                                 economic and workforce development at          ing courses, please contact TCC at (850)
                                                 TCC, believes that the Big Bend region is      201-8760.
                                                 primed for solar and PV training.




                                                  Broward CC Develops Institute for “Green” Jobs
                                                     Energy industry professionals are be-
                                                 ginning to notice the strong public inter-     workforce of Broward County and other
                                                 est in alternative energy, especially solar    south Florida communities by providing
                                                 energy and “green” building and manufac-       renewable energy education and training,
                                                 turing techniques. There is also a strong      specifically in the solar energy field. As
                                                 legislative interest in                                                    the institute de-
                                                 the development of                                                         velops, BCC will
                                                 sustainable energy                                                         be well-equipped
                                                 industries and train-                                                      to provide the
                                                 ing programs in                                                            necessary skills
                                                 Florida. As consum-                                                        and education
                                                 ers become more                                                            in order to meet
                                                 environmentally-                                                           the growing
                                                 conscious, consum-                                                         demand for
                                                 er-driven technolo-                                                        industry profes-
                                                 gies need to be researched and developed       sionals and train Florida’s energy work-
                                                 in higher quantities, though few compa-        force of tomorrow.
                                                 nies have knowledgeable personnel when
                                                                                                    “Even though alternative energy has
                                                 it comes to sustainable energy.
                                                                                                been identified as an ‘emerging industry’,
                                                    At Broward Community College                instruction is very limited in this field
                                                 (BCC), a new Institute for Renewable           throughout the state, and is virtually
                                                 Resources will serve the residents and
                                                                                                            Broward CC - continued on page 7
Alternative Energy Banner Center • Summer 2008
                                                                                                                                                                        7
Broward CC - continued from page 6              credibility while instilling consumer-
                                                confidence in their work among their
                                                customers.
non-existent in the Southeast region of
Florida,” said Mason Jackson, president             This institute will provide curriculum                          Calendar
and CEO of WorkForce One in Broward             for certificate and degree programs. For
County. “There is strong evidence from          example, an associate degree in sustain-                        Solar Thermal
national, state and local municipalities        able energy would include a course load                         Train the Trainers
that the need exists, and that in the near      featuring classes in solar, water, biomass,                     June 11 - 13, 2008
future there will be a high demand for          tracts, or any combination of these. Busi-
these skilled jobs, making solar energy         ness and manufacturing components are                           PV Train the Trainers
courses what we currently need most.”           also integral to these programs for “green-                     June 16 - 19, 2008
                                                collar” jobs. By combining all of these
    Job-seekers as well as those already
                                                skill-sets, students will be well-prepared to                   Advisory Meetings
working in the industry can benefit from
                                                meet the needs of Florida’s energy work-                        September 8, 2008
BCC’s sustainable energy institute. Utiliz-
                                                force demands.                                                  January 2009
ing this type of continuing education
and credit program identifies students             As a leader in education, BCC can
as professionals and equips them with a         meet tomorrow’s needs for sustainable                           Focus Groups
recognized skill. This allows flexibility and   energy and new green jobs through this                          September 8, 2008
mobility for those who have a certificate       endeavor.                                                       January 2009
or degree, and can provide additional




                     Westside Tech Going Green

                                                the demonstration center and heat water
                                                for the cafeteria kitchen. Westside Tech is
                                                currently working to develop an “Alter-
                                                native Energy Field Trip Experience” for
                                                public school students that will involve
                                                the PV and the bio-diesel projects on-site.
                                                    The overall goal
                                                for Westside Tech is to
   Over the past five years, Westside           take these alternative
Tech has been developing alternative            energy components and
energy projects utilizing solar power. The      weave them together,
school currently produces clean electricity     developing a complete
throughout the campus with its four pho-        and unique alternative
tovoltaic (PV) systems, and employs the         energy education and
only solar thermal system among Orange          training program for
                                                                                                                                            Courtesy of Westside Tech




County Public Schools (OCPS), which is          OCPS. Westside Tech is
used to provide hot water to the school’s       favorably positioned to
cosmetology programs.                           develop educational pro-
    In conjunction with the OCPS Energy         grams for public schools,
Administration and the Florida Depart-          as well as training
ment of Energy, Westside Tech recently          programs for the growing      This photovoltaic system at Westside Tech is one of four on
                                                PV industry.                  campus generating solar electricity for the school.
completed a bio-diesel demonstration
center on campus, where used oil from
the culinary program is converted into
bio-diesel fuel. This alternative fuel is
being used to create clean electricity for


                                                                                                    Alternative Energy Banner Center • Summer 2008
www.floridaenergycenter.org/go/bannercenter

Florida Solar Energy Center
1679 Clearlake Road
Cocoa, FL 32922-5703




BAN-02



Children - continued from page 2

     One question always asked during            sues, these rebates are not very timely and
these tours is, “Why aren’t we using more        consumer confidence is low. Florida not
solar, especially here in Florida?” When         only needs a long-term
teachers and parents are asked this same         strategy for deploying
question, they usually respond that solar is     solar energy throughout
too expensive, not much is known about           the state, but it needs
it, the technology is still being developed,     to educate its citizenry
no one knows where to find solar informa-        about energy efficiency.
tion, or that it will ruin a rooftop, blow off
in a hurricane, or upset the homeowner’s              FSEC Director, James
association.                                     Fenton, often says, “The
                                                 cheapest kilowatt is the
    FSEC researchers have spent 30 years         one you don’t use or
working out these issues, and the only le-       have to produce.” Energy
gitimate issue with installing solar systems     efficiency is the first step
currently is the cost, even though solar         toward energy conser-
thermal systems – for hot water and pool         vation. That means
heating – have been made quite afford-
                                                                                                                                               Nicholas Waters




                                                 thinking about energy as
able. PV is still relatively expensive, but as   we go through our daily
other energy costs rise, the cost of PV is       lives, purchasing things
looking more palatable. Many states pro-         that use less energy, and
mote solar systems as a good investment                                         Students experiment with solar electric cells while visiting
                                                 turning off power when
                                                                                the Florida Solar Energy Center.
by offering rebates and tax incentives,          it’s not in use. If you can
which increase the interest and demand           afford it - go solar. Kids
for solar systems. Florida is not far behind     get it, too bad they can’t vote.
these states, but due to state budget is-

								
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