Following Governor Jeb Bush's Executive Order to hold an energy forum to assist in the development of a new state energy strategy, a day-long program was held in Tallahassee on December 14.
Hosted by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and lead by environmental Secretary Colleen Castille, the 2005 Florida Energy Forum included industry leaders, utility authorities, experts in the field of renewable energy sources and state and local elected officials.
The forum addressed the state's current and future energy supply and demand, as well as energy generation, transmission, distribution, conservation and energy security.
Florida Solar Energy Center's director, Dr. James Fenton, who served on the Energy Forum panel, pointed out that one of the quickest and easiest strategies to save energy is to initiate energy efficiencies in our homes and businesses. He also stated, "If Florida increases its use of renewables, such as solar thermal and photovoltaics, this will alleviate the need for increased consumption of fossil fuels for the production of electricity."
The discussions of the panelists will assist the Governor’s Office and the Department of Environmental Protection in updating Florida’s energy strategy. The plan will be issued by January 17, 2006.
Visit www.FloridaEnergy.org for more information.
On November 10, 2005, Florida Governor Jeb Bush issued Executive Order 05-241 outlining the challenges that Florida faces in energy use and supply in the coming years and directing the Governor’s Office and the Governor’s executive agencies to “continue their energy conservation efforts to reduce the demand for energy in Florida and (they) are further encouraged to develop innovative conservation initiatives to serve as a model for all Floridians.”
The Executive Order also directs the Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to “develop a comprehensive energy plan by evaluating Florida's current and future energy supply and demand.” As part of the Order, the Governor directed the DEP to “host the 2005 Florida Energy Forum before December 31, 2005, in Tallahassee, Florida” and issue “an updated energy strategy by no later than January 17, 2006.”
The Order directs that "the State's energy plan shall consider all relevant topics, including, but not limited to the following:
A. Florida's current and projected energy needs
B. A review of Florida's efforts to meet its current energy needs
C. Florida's ability to generate, transmit and distribute electric power
D. Florida's ability to generate, store and distribute fuel
E. Traditional and alternative fuel vehicles
F. Methods by which Florida can protect its energy supplies during an
G. Methods by which the State can reduce barriers and provide incentives to
increase energy efficiency in power and fuel consumption."
The Order further specifies that the above review include, but not be limited to, "laws, regulations, executive orders, Florida's Building Code, alternative energy investments through the Office of Tourism Trade and Economic Development, Florida's Energy 2020 Study Commission, Florida's Energy Future: Opportunities for Our Economy, Environment and Security Report, and conservation plans implemented by the state.”
The following links are provided for additional information: