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Florida utility pledges no carbon emissions

Words by Smiley Team

Florida is known as the Sunshine State – a place where the weather is temperate and sunny almost all year round.

According to the CDC, Florida receives the 10th most sun in the US, and yet the state only produces about 4% of its power from solar. On a larger scale, Florida is the 23rd largest producer of renewable energy, lagging far behind states like Vermont and Oregon.

That might soon be changing though, as Florida’s largest energy provider, Florida Power and Light, announced a plan to end carbon emissions by 2045.

The provider, which serves 5.7 million homes and businesses or about half the state, said the goal is that over the next 23 years they will gradually shift to primarily solar power. FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy, said in its announcement this week that when its “Real Zero” plan is fully implemented 23 years from now, 83% of the utility’s electricity will be generated by solar, including “green hydrogen,” or come from battery storage from periods when excess power is produced.

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Green hydrogen is a process where solar power is used to break apart water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. That hydrogen is then used as a fuel source, eliminating the company’s use of natural gas.

The company says another 16% of FPL’s power will be generated by its two current nuclear plants and 1% from renewable natural gas, which is created from biomass such as plant waste.

The plan has five-year checkpoints, starting in 2025, that will be audited by environmental groups. 

Today, about two-thirds of FPL’s power comes from natural gas, another 20% comes from nuclear, 4% from solar, and the rest from a Georgia coal plant that FLP has a stake in. 

“This is a goal that we are setting because we think the technology exists and it can be done in a cost-effective way for our customers,” FPL spokesman Chris McGrath said.

Inspired to Act?

DONATE: Check out GRID Alternatives. They work to provide solar power to low-income households. 

SUPPORT: Try and find ways for you to lower your own carbon footprint. Here is a carbon footprint calculator so get started.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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