Street. PETERSBURG FL (AP) – Florida’s power companies will gradually increase their renewable electricity until 2050, according to a rule proposed Thursday by the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture.
This proposed rule is the result a long court battle that involved dozens of young people. They claim Florida violates their constitutional rights because it continues to encourage the use fossil fuels that cause climate change. Similar lawsuits have also been filed in other countries.
Nicky Fried (Democratic nominee for governor) announced the rule after young people representing the Our Children’s Trust submitted a petition asking for the proposal. It is the first in Florida of its size to be especially vulnerable to climate impacts like coastal flooding, stronger hurricanes, and excessive heat.
Fried stated that although the rule isn’t final and could face many challenges, it was a “monumental step” to curb greenhouse gasses from changing climates.
Fried declared that this was one of the most pressing problems of our time at a Miami press conference. “We cannot afford to ignore this fact and the urgency of the events in our country.
The proposal requires Florida service companies to first meet three interim targets for renewable energy. They must achieve 40% by 2030, 63% and 82% respectively by 2035, according to the proposal. Ten years later, the rule foresees 100% renewable electricity for services. Experts in energy agree that intermediate goals are necessary to ensure that major changes do not get delayed.
According to the Federal Energy Information Administration only 5% Florida’s electricity came from solar energy sources in 2020. This compares to 75% natural gas, which is mostly methane.
Over 200 young people signed this petition, including Delaney Reynolds, 22, who was 22 years old. She stated at Thursday’s press conference that the rule was a step towards addressing one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases emissions at power stations.
Reynolds stated, “Today Florida can start addressing the core elements for climate change.” “We don’t have the time to waste.”
Florida Power & Light Inc., the largest state-owned electric company, and NextEra Energy Inc. jointly stated that they are investing heavily in solar energy and have 50 centers operating now. They also plan to quadruple their capacity by 2031. Florida is now ranked number one in solar installed.
The FPL statement stated that Florida is the leader in renewable energy in Florida and was also the largest state-wide solar expansion. We will continue to work closely with state leaders to move Florida to more efficient renewable energy.
Fried is the head of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumerism. He also oversees the state Department of Energy. Public comments will be accepted by the Agency for 21 days. A hearing is possible and there is the possibility to appeal through an administrative law judge.
The agency does not have the ability to enforce the rule even if it is put into effect. But, it can collect information annually about advanced utilities. All regulatory actions related to this rule will be taken by the Florida Public Service Commission.
Holly Frank, a Florida Seminole Tribe member aged 19, said that their traditional home, the Great Cypress Reserve, near Everglades, is under extreme threat from climate change.
Frank stated, “Our culture is dependent on this country.” “Florida is not possible as it stands now. We cannot continue this path.”