Solar energy has been surging for years, and it’s only the beginning. This week, we are going to look deeper into Florida’s success with solar energy. The Sunshine State is one of the best states in the country for solar capacity. Florida’s solar industry owes its success to tax incentives, sunshine, and the significant socio-political movement to combat climate change. Switching from fossil fuels to sustainable, renewable energies saves consumers money, and who doesn’t like to save money? Florida perfectly encapsulates the success of solar energy. Florida is genuinely a microcosm of the United States’ potential with renewable energy. Florida reflects the same success witnessed throughout the country.
Florida’s Success by the Numbers
The Solar Energy Industries Association, SEIA, has collected data through the first three quarters of 2020. They ranked Florida 4th out of all 50 states in 2020 for solar efficiency. Florida has installed over 5,750 Megawatts (MW). Only California, Texas, and North Carolina lead Florida in solar capacity. To put it into perspective, the SEIA shares that Florida has enough solar power installed to sustain over 687,800 homes. Last year, there were 12,000 new jobs in the Florida solar industry, from the manufacturers, the installers, and everyone in between. Last year, Florida nurtured over 400 solar companies in 2020. The culmination of successful solar companies and new jobs considerably helped Florida’s SEIA ranking. Florida ranks 3rd in projected growth over the next five years and projects 8,296 MW of solar energy produced during that time. Even with Covid-19, Florida’s solar capacity expects to double within five years. The above data is derived from the SEIA factsheet for Florida, found here.
Federal ITC Helped With Florida’s Success
The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is extended through next year if you haven’t heard. The solar ITC is worth 26% of your initial solar investment and can include everything that went into installing the solar system. The ITC has been a significant catalyst in converting households to a residential, photovoltaic system. It has been directly responsible for helping alleviate the burden of cost for homeowners across the country. It has been critical in the success of nationwide solar Florida has benefited significantly from the ITC incentive. According to the SEIA, “The residential and commercial solar ITC has helped the U.S. solar industry grow by more than 10,000% percent since it was implemented in 2006, with an average annual growth of 52%.”
Florida Went Further with Legislation
Lawmakers in Florida went even further. They realized the solar ITC could only do so much, so they added additional incentives. Florida lawmakers enacted extra state tax exemptions. The first exemption is ‘Florida’s Property Tax Exclusion for Residential Renewable Energy Property Act. Florida will abate an increased tax that comes with the inevitable increase in property value, meaning your property taxes won’t rise because you’ve upgraded to solar energy. The second Flordia tax exemption is the ‘Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption,” negating sales tax on a solar system’s purchase.
Florida’s Solar Success Can Continue to Grow
As aforementioned, Florida solar is expected to double in the next five years. Florida’s solar outlook is bright. The market is managing to thrive during a pandemic because the need is there. Politicians are setting their sights on zero emissions by 2050. It’s a tall task that will rely on solar energy efficiency. The incentives are there, and American consumers have responded by taking advantage of the savings. Solar energy continues to become more affordable, more efficient, and easier to install. If you would like to learn more about solar, check out our blog here. If you live in the Sarasota area, click here for a free quote.