In a report issued December 31, 2007 at the request of the state's House and Senate, the Florida Energy Commission (FEC) issued 85 legislative recommendations that would form the beginnings of a state energy policy. The report is to be presented to the state legislature next week. The recommendations are grouped within seven general policy goals, listed in bold below; key recommendations within each goal are noted.
Overall, key aspects of the report are a recommendation for specific emissions reduction targets and a focus on increased development of nuclear energy. The report also indicates that the 2008 report will focus on methods to lower transportation-related GHG emissions.
Specific Goals and Recommendations:
1. Restructuring the state governance for developing Florida's energy policies and programs
- Recommends forming a unified state energy policy governing body, housed in the FEC which would in turn be housed within the state's Department of Environmental
- Protection (DEP), with increased responsibilities and powers
2. Responding to the challenges of global climate change
- Recommends setting specific emissions reduction targets: to 2000 levels by 2020; to 1990 levels by 2030; and to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. In forming these recommendations, FEC indicates that it considered the time required to add additional nuclear generation capability and to make biomass and solar energy more affordable and commercially available.
- Limits would be subject to sunset review in 2013.
- Requires a GHG emission inventory
3. Increasing Florida's energy efficiency and conservation efforts
- Recommends increasing efficiency of electricity and natural gas and reducing peak power demand
- Proposes changes to the building code to require increased energy efficiency for buildings over time
- Recommends review of potential benefits and costs associated with creation of an energy efficiency resource standard
4. Maximizing Florida's development of renewable energy resources
- Recommends development of a renewable energy policy
- Recommends creation of a renewable portfolio standard "with special consideration of what is realistic in this state;" proposes one Florida-specific definition of the word "renewable" to be used throughout the Florida statutes
- Proposes further study by the PSC and DEP to determine, assess, and evaluate what an RPS should look like in Florida
- Recommends that electric customers be allowed to generate renewable electricity and sell a portion back to the grid
5. Strengthening Florida's energy supply and delivery infrastructure
- Focuses on generation diversity, nuclear, fuel supply, electric transmission, and land use to more efficiently accommodate future facilities
- Includes recommendation that the legislature "endorse and encourage nuclear fuel as a base load generation source" and work to simplify the nuclear permitting process
6. Enhancing Florida's energy-related education, research, and development programs
- Recommends increased consumer education, work force training, university research, market development
- Recommends establishment of a state electric power institute (CCS merits a mention as a new technology requiring recruitment of well-trained engineering and managerial personnel)
7. Developing issues for the FEC's 2008 report
- Lowering transportation-related GHG emissions
- Reforming utility regulation