The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The battle over solar panels in Florida

December 30, 2016

In an effort to prevent the ever-rising temperatures in Florida, solar panels can seem like a viable solution. Amendment 1, did just that, as major utilities like Florida Power and Light influenced 4,560,580 voters into thinking the bill would promote the usage of solar panels.
The bill allows Florida residents to use solar panels supported by law in the first few lines, but as potential voters read on, elevated language mislead them. The follow-up line states individuals who do not currently use solar energy will be unable to use them in the future. The basis of the wording, though, causes many readers to ignore the face value: solar energy will be limited.
“I’m for the use of solar. This is against [it] because at the very last part people who don’t use solar are able to abstain from the production of solar panels and all that, meaning they won’t be made because they’re not using it,” junior Vincent Pareda said.
When Pareda red the amendment, he noted right off the bat that the purpose of it was to restrict residents who currently do not use it from future use.
Because the energy plants face compete head-on with solar industries, this amendment opposed the power-saving industry. The implementation of the law would prevent pro-solar residents who currently do not produce solar energy from taking advantage of it in the future.
“I understand that people see no difference between solar energy and electrical energy and would be likely to make the switch,” junior Angel Carrasquilb said.“The effect would be releasing much less greenhouse gases, perhaps most power plants would be shut down.”
For the vote to be ratified, the amendment required a 60 percent majority. The final poll counted 50.79 percent for and 49.23 percent against Amendment 1; the amendment did not pass. Now that major power companies do not control solar energy, what is the next step? Everyday people can be energy-efficient and produce less greenhouse gases by carpooling, biking or walking to school and unplugging devices when they are fully charged or not being used.
“I do ride [my] bike to school and have a power strip for my electronics that I keep off during the day,” Carrasquilb said.
Instead of allowing powerhouses to abuse their power, Floridians can take a stand for renewable energy.

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