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Florida Matters: Solar Power In The Sunshine State

This is the Sunshine State, so doesn’t solar power make sense? Then why does it only make up a tiny fraction of Florida’s electricity output? This week on Florida Matters we’re talking about the promise and prognosis of solar energy in the state.

A new report says Florida is leading the nation in solar permits for homes. We explore why residential solar is becoming more popular and look at two new co-ops being formed in the Tampa Bay area to take advantage of the power of group buying.

We also learn more about how solar power actually works and discuss some of the hurdles solar technology faces – from policy to the physics of energy storage – that could explain why it still only makes up about 0.36 percent of the state’s electricity despite its expansion.

Our guests include:

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Credit Photo provided by Ralph Fehr

Ralph Fehr, Ph.D: power systems expert and electrical engineering instructor at the University of South Florida.

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Credit Photo provided by Susan Glickman

Susan Glickman: Florida Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

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Credit Photo provided by Rick Garrity

Rick Garrity, Ph.D: former Director of the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission, and current chair of the Hillsborough League of Women Voters Natural Resource Committee.

Share your questions and comments on solar power with us on Facebook, Twitter or by emailing FloridaMatters@wusf.org

Stephanie Colombini joined WUSF Public Media in December 2016 as Producer of Florida Matters,WUSF’s public affairs show. She’s also a reporter for WUSF’s Health News Florida project.
Steve Newborn is WUSF's assistant news director as well as a reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
Robin is Senior Editor at WUSF, spearheading the station's podcasting initiatives and helping to guide the vision for special reporting projects and creative storytelling. She created The Zest, the station's podcast that's all about food, which she continues to host and serve as senior producer.