Renewable Energy In Florida
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 Volume 14                                                                         January -February 2011


Florida Renewable Energy Producers Association



BIODEISEL PUMPcapitalclouds
sputnik moment obama

                                                                                                                    Getty Images


President Obama ask us to cease our Sputnik moment at 2011 State of Union address


 Creating Renewable Energy and Clean-Tech Jobs, Our Sputnik Moment

Dear Members and Supporters,


Welcome to IGNITE, the FREPA E-newsletter. And, much belated Happy New Year to all. We hope that you and your family have a healthy and prosperous year.

Let us begin by congratulating our new Governor, Governor Rick Scott and this writers good friend Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll. We also congratulate Sen. Haridopolis and Rep. Dean Cannon as they take the helm of the Florida Senate and House of Representatives (respectively) to lead us in the legislative branch. FREPA and its members look forward to providing them with credible information from the industry and educational material as needed to be of  assistance as our leaders search for solutions that will create jobs and allow Florida  to utilize its natural resources to enhance our economy and lift up our communities.. particularly rural communities. We also welcome FREPA member Rep. Michelle Rewhinkle back to the House E

nergy and Utilities Sub-Committee in the Florida House of Representatives along with other returning members of the house. She and the others  will be a great asset to Sub-Committee Chairman Rep. Clay Ford who, as a panhandle/costal legislator, knows first hand the importance of protecting our beaches and understands the economic fallout when our pristine environment is threatened. In the Florida House of Representative,  we also welcome back Rep. Seth Mckeel who is the Chairman of the State Affairs Committee for which the Energy and Utilities Committee is a sub-committee. Rep. McKeel has  spent the last four years or more on the House Energy Committee where he has developed a level of expertise in energy policy. FREPA also congratulate Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto. She is the Chairwoman of  the Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee in the Florida Senate.  


Not unlike individuals,  FREPA has also made new years  resolutions. This year we will sharpen our focus even more on the business side of renewable energy as opposed to its altruism. That will be done with a laser like focus on project financing, being a resource for investors seeking viable Florida projects, financial tools for renewable deployment and manufacturing. Additionally, it will include a thorough compilation of research and industry  data to enhance the quality of our conversation with policy makers. All of this will be done with a keen focus on job creation. In the past few years, all too often many of us have approached renewable energy advocacy as though altruism alone  is enough to move mountains. As a result, the business  realities and opportunities  that form the serious discussions about renewable energy has been often overlooked. The business of renewable energy is not merely altruism, instead it includes meeting our future energy demands in a more sustainable way that does not pollute our planet while allowing us to maintain our standard of living  at a cost that does not make us  less competitive. And, at a cost that does not burden  American households.    The issues of cost and its effect on competitiveness are real concerns for  many who  support renewable energy.  But, is that a legitimate concern or is it propaganda? What are the facts?  These are discussions we must have and deliberate with unbiased facts so that our leaders can get us to where we all want to be. It is our belief that Florida  legislators want Florida to lead in renewable energy job creation. We simply have to help provide a roadmap that considers all hard realities and legitimate as well as illegitimate concerns.    


In recent years, we advocates have done a great job of promoting our industry and the pursuit of a  lifestyle that upholds  sustainable living as a utopia that we all would like to achieve for the good of the planet.  But we have fallen short at making the case for the investment.  After much reflection, perhaps its because we sometimes believe  that the technology  "literally" speaks for itself. As a result, perhaps we have not done the best job at identifying adequate return on investment and/or raw job numbers up front. We at FREPA will work with others to do better.  Our new governor has made jobs his primary mission.. now here is our chance. In Washington, President Obama has redoubled his commitment to transforming our economy with the clean tech jobs that will come from new innovations spurned by our need and desire to solve our earths energy needs. Governor Rick Scott has made it his promise to get Florida back to work. Shame on us if we cannot provide the information needed to help our leaders realize how investing in renewable energy,sustainability and the clean tech industry can help get Floridians working again. At FREPA, we are committed to policy that level the playing field for independent renewable energy producers and foster investment in renewable deployment and cleantech manufacturing. Essentially, we are committed to making Florida the southeastern leader in renewable energy using our natural resources and clean tech innovation by securing the policy infrastructure that allows the renewable energy industry to grow and prosper. 

We have a tremendous opportunity to go a long way at overcoming some hurdles in developing renewable energy policy  by simply being clear about the jobs, the investment, the return and what it would require of citizens. We will also need to find ways to communicate to our leaders the critical need for long-term strategic thinking with respect to renewable energy policy. One could argue that culturally and politically, decision makers  are locked into a system designed for short-term solutions when long-term strategies are needed. Perhaps, its because of the short length  of time between campaigns, term-limits  and/or our capitalist systems desire  for fast returns on an investment. So to be successful, we can not employ traditional thought.  We must challenge lawmakers to not only look at renewable policy in terms of what world their constituents and children will inherit but also what world their grandchildren will inherit.


On a personal note, I cannot over emphasize how important it is for us that FREPA be an effective business organization that properly identifies the needs of their members and potential members .... not simply another so called "greenie group" that begs conservative  policymakers to take them seriously. Renewable energy and clean tech innovation is big business and it is here to stay. It is incumbent upon us to take it more seriously...not just some feel good hobby, which I fear is the image some of our groups (FREPA included) may have presented to decision makers. And, it is important that we renewable energy policy leaders  not treat our  associations like it was  a 1970's style good idea to ride some wave of green jobs hysteria with dollar signs in our eyes  and end up with no real staying power... to simply whimper  away. I'm saying all of this to simply say that, this is a fight for the long haul. As new organizations, we have "at times" been very shortsighted. In some cases, we have acted as though all we have to do is have a rally in Tallahassee, announce a tour of solar roof tops, hold an annual conference, make announcements, host a few meetings and all will happen over night. It's not going to happen that way. All of those things have been important as we have worked to get attention to the industry and better educate its practitioners as well as some policy makers. But, it is now time to take our efforts to a different level. So, as harsh as this may sound, I challenge us all. I challenge us to rise to the occasion and beyond our own rhetoric. Real change in the industry will require a focused long-term business approach to the problem. It will require a financial commitment as well. Such financial commitment  could be in the form of you simply supporting a candidate who will make a difference, join a renewable energy related PAC and contribute, join an association, assist a renewable organization with its needs or simply be available to call lawmakers when asked.  FREPA is committed to the long haul and the long view. We want to make sure that the membership payment is a positive investment and one which can be tracked to an increase in your bottom-line. We want to make sure that we are a net positive with regard to your cash flow when it is all said and done. In todays Saint Petersburg Times, there is an article titled: As the North is blanketed with snow, its sunny in Florida-but is that enough? read article . The question for me is are we ready to step up to the plate... I say we must and we are.

We are striving to make a difference. Sometimes that means that  FREPA  has to take on rather large challenges... calculated challenges to move the industry forward. FREPA continues its work on the 2012 Florida Green Energy Initiative because its  clear to us that Florida's industry will not take off without a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS)  and the ballot is the only option. FREPA  also looks forward to hosting its 4th Annual Sunshine State Renewable Energy Expo in Tallahassee along with its co-host, the Gulf Coast Energy Network. We also ask that you keep abreast of the activities of the PSC, the Department of Agriculture under the leadership of Agriculture  Commissioner Adam Putman  along with congress the actions of the EPA. Federal activity is rather fluid.    


Thank you for taking the time to read our 2011 opening note. We sincerely wish you and your families well. 


Warm regards,


Michael Dobson

Reactions to President Obama's State of the Union Address 


Politics: The State of the Union Is All About Eneregy- Not Climate


Tonight's State of the Union may be remembered as the moment when the White House stopped working on climate-and started working on energy.Read More



Which Energy Industries Would You Subsidize? 



Subsidies and tax breaks are a tried and true way of helping a developing industry get up on its feet.Read More



Obama: U.S. Must Compete 

Citing Global Jobs Race, President Calls for Spending Cuts But Also New Initiatives

WASHINGTON-President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address Tuesday to ask the nation to meet the challenges of a global economy, framing what he called a competitiveness agenda that includes traditional Democratic proposals like increased education spending, alongside gestures to Republicans seeking deep budget cuts.Read More


Obama Agenda: the reviews are in

Read The Reviews


Why green energy still needs Uncle Sam's help


Read Now



Congressmen react to Obama comments on energy in State of the Union Address


View Here





Policy Thoughts on Renewable Energy.... from U.S politicians to China 



Best political ad from a Governor in support of renewable energy for job creation 


New Jersey Governor Chris Christy Renewable Energy Proposal



Governor Scotts campaign ad for jobs



What Governor Rick Scott and other governors think about energy and oil policy



What is China doing?


China Adding 500 Gigawatts of Renewable Power by 2020!!


 China's New National Plan


Chinese President Hu Jintao's recent visit with President Obama on energy


US-China energy dealmaking

FGEI logo 
A call to: Support the 2012 Florida Green Energy Ballot Initiative

Dear Renewable Energy Friends and Supporters:

Please accept this writing as another clarion call to: Florida Farmers, solar contractors, solar technology installers, renewable project developers, those in the legal profession focusing on renewable energy regulation, PPA negotiators, researchers, biofuels producers, engineering firms, industrial construction companies, architects, electricians, roofers, economic development councils, chamber of commerces and all who are eager to have Florida lead in establishing a robust renewable energy industry.. It is now time for you to act and be serious if you are to have renewable energy policy in Florida. The FREPA founded, Florida Green Energy Initiative is our best shot and require your support.


Over the last 40 years, Washington has failed to act on renewable energy... locked in the grips of big oil, some large utilities, their lobbyist and the status quo. In Florida, the same has held true. Over the last four years (or more) Florida's  renewable energy business organizations, environmentalist and their activist have worked diligently to get renewable energy legislation passed. They have been  working with both political parties, the governors office and with other appropriate agencies  to secure a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and a Public Benefits Fund policy for Florida. Additionally, the summers  of 2007 and 2008  were spent meeting with and addressing the Florida Public Service Commission which ultimately secured a study by Navigant (a private consulting company) at tax payer's expense to identify Florida's renewable energy resources and to outline what is possible with regard to creating a renewable energy industry in Florida.  Recommendations from the findings were submitted to the legislature. It was done so only to have the Florida legislature all but ignore the work and their suggestions .... to push for off shore oil drilling and nuclear energy instead.
Time and time again, the Florida legislature has failed to pass or even hear renewable energy policy in its committees and on the floor, as explained
here . Legislators who champion the renewable energy industry has seen their legislation simply languish because leadership is simply not interested in taking it on.  Opponents has voiced support in public and worked to kill measurers behind the scenes. And, on many occasions renewable energy groups has cannibalized each other.. therefore making the renewable energy industry  easy pickings to divide and conquer. Legislative bodies in America is the opponent's domain. It is where the renewable energy industry cannot compete. One could argue that, this new industry cannot compete with the historic relationships tied by money and blood throughout  American politics. This is not a new story; it is an American story that is as old as the first combustion engine and our first utility with the advent of the light bulb.

That is why it is crystal clear that the only way forward in Florida is with a constitutional amendment for renewable energy. To not accept that fact may be considered na´ve or simply wishful thinking. Since key opponents of renewable energy have not been overtaken by an alien creature with special mind bending powers, it is not likely that any hearts are minds will change in our legislature enough to pass a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard or a Public Benefits Fund. However, we must and will  continue making our case in Tallahassee. So friends, the wolf is certainly at our door and it is now time to get serious about renewable energy policy in Florida. The voters have overwhelmingly stated over and over that they support renewable energy. So, it is up to us to give them a chance to vote on it.

We need your contribution to the Florida Green Energy Initiative today. We are asking for contributions of $75, $100, 150, $200, $250 and up to $5000 or more. The website at under repair and will be back up on February 5, 2011.  There is no limit to how much you contribute to this important cause.  The success of the renewable energy industry in Florida depends on you. It is clear; we can not depend on our legislature to change its stripes regarding renewable energy policy. The only reason that there was a debate at all was the fear of the Federal government perhaps forcing the State legislatures  hands. Now that the Federal RES legislation has been all but taken off the table, the Florida legislature no longer have a reason to even lend such polices lip service. We urge your contribution now to the Florida Green Energy Initiative. And, we urge you to join our organizing committee.
All checks should be mailed to 3491 Thomasville Rd #11-110, Tallahassee, Fl 32309 to the attention of Nancy Harrison, Treasurer and made out to the Florida Green Energy Initiative or FGEI or pay here
online (as donation).    Please help the industry you care about get a real foot hold in Florida by supporting this cause to place the question on the ballot for voters to voice their support in 2012. We must start now.  We need your support. 
Michael Dobson
Florida Green Energy Initiative


Spreading the Word


FREPA   Luncheon Series
For Discussion:
Florida's renewable enery future and discussion on Green Energy Initiative 

FREPA Big Bend Chapter, Tallahassee Florida - February 7, 2011
Double Tree Hotel 

FREPA West Florida February  11, 2011 

Pensacola Florida- location TBA  

FREPA Central Florida - February 17, 2011

Florida Gulf Coast  February 28, 2011
Ft. Myer/Sarasota Region- location TBA

FREPA South Florida Chapter- March 1, 2011

No fee.. only pay for your meal ...which you get to order 

To reserve a seat or ask questions contact us via email at or call (850) 363-4122



Energy Business News Articles


The Peak Oil Catastrophe-in-waiting

The United States continues to slumber while a catastrophe lies in wait. Increasing numbers of analysts and policymakers are warning of another super price spike for oil and the likelihood of "peak oil" more generally. Read More


Solar Investors Should Be Bullish on Oil


Solar investors know there are all sorts of risks investing in solar stocks. There's the risk of reduced government subsidies like we've seen in Germany, Wall Street analysts hammering the industry, and the constant risk of oversupply. But the thing that solar investors should keep an eye on is the prices of natural gas, coal, and oil, in particular. If these three sources of energy, which provide most of our electricity and vehicle fuel, are cheap, solar simply doesn't stand a chance.

 Read More



Pentagon Must 'Buy American,' Barring Chinese Solar Panels


HONG KONG - The military authorization law signed by

President Obama on Friday contains a little-noticed "Buy American" provision for the Defense Department purchases of solar panels - a provision that is likely to dismay Chinese officials as President Hu Jintao prepares to visit the United States next week. Read More


 GE Invests in Wind Farm



GE Energy Financial Services, a division of

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE - News), and Bankers Commercial Corporation have jointly purchased the 150 MW Alta Wind I wind farm in Tehachapi, in Kern County, California.Read More


Stress, Pollution and Poverty: A Vicious Cycle?


The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $7 million in grants to researchers to study the cumulative health impact of pollutants like mercury and lead and social factors like stress and poor nutrition in several low-income communities, the agency said Tuesday.Read More


Much-Touted Cellulosic Ethanol Is Late in Making Mandated Appearance

Edison signs deals for seven new solar power plants

The facilities, to be completed by 2016, would more than double the utility's electricity-generating capacity from solar projects. A 325-megawatt photovoltaic installation in Rosamond, Calif., would be one of the nation's largest.

 By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times

Southern California Edison has signed contracts with two companies for the construction and operation of seven solar power plants in the state, including one that the utility said would be among the largest single solar photovoltaic installations in the U.S. Read More


Bill would count existing dams as renewable energy Read More

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it easier for utilities to meet the standard for renewable energy production, a proposal that conservationists say would make the standard meaningless. 

 Pew's Cuttino says stronger global policy could spur multitrillion-dollar investments


Pew Charitable Trusts' Phyllis Cuttino discusses policy options for clean energy investments.View Now


Environmental & Energy TV Video Guide


View Your Favorite Here


Environment and Energy News Network


View news here 



Green Lobby Weighs 'Political Realities' of Energy Policy, Finds 'Clean Energy Standard' Isn't So Bad


The wind industry's largest trade group a few months ago rejected the idea of a "clean power" mandate on utilities that included nuclear, some coal and natural gas as options. But American Wind Energy has a new opinion today. Read More


Business Insights: State level political desire needed for a federal mechanism for renewable energy

 Jan 20, 2011 - But not all states have taken it forward, fearing damaging the coal industry and the resultant political fallout, suggests a new report into the US state by state electricity market outlook from independent market analyst, Business Insights. Read More






News Links of Interest

*the following links are being added to te FREPA site


Energy Politics


Register Now




The Fourth Annual


Sunshine State Renewable Energy Expo and Symposium


To be held at

The Mary Brogan Museum of Tallahassee 


Host by FREPA 

Co-host: The Gulf Coast Energy Network Here 







"Bringing clarity to the renewable energy policy debate in Florida. What are the realities, the facts and what are simply myths ... and how does Florida not be left behind and lead instead while remaining a competitive leader for jobs, business growth and innovation" 



*keep checking for 2011 agenda 



 March 14, 2011
Reception at Mary Brogan Museum 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
March 15, 2011


 Roundtables and breakout sessions 8:00 - 12:00

Subject areas:

  • Project financing for capital intense projects
  • A review of the current financial market for renewable energy and clean tech innovation (can only speak to a moment in time and a review of what we anticipate as trends as the economy recovers)
  • Opportunities for Federal grant funding and Q&A with USDA representatives about specific program  and opportunities


  • How Florida can create green jobs now and an overview on where we are now as compared to other states


  • Florida and clean tech manufacturing: hurdles to financing, VC funding opportunities in Florida, Florida venture clubs, governments role in helping entrepreneurs with clean tech startups and innovation that could be exports for Florida. What role can Florida tradition financial institutions play 


  • An overview of the cost of renewable energy vs. cost of traditional sources of energy. Also a discussion of cost trends when considering  the life of a renewable energy sources. Additionally, a factual and historical overview on the role of subsidies for current energy sources and how such should be  factored in while discussing the cost viability of independent renewable energy production.


  • Overview of job creation opportunities from independent renewable energy generation from third party renewable energy producers vs. green jobs created when only investor owned utilities are allowed to build. Thirdly, discuss, job creation opportunities when Florida has policies that benefit both regulated utilities and independent power producers. Question: how can we get to a third way whereby all benefit while maximizing Florida green job potential


  • Florida biofuels infrastructure: fuel crop that can be grown in Florida and best strategy to match such crop with existing technology  and producers as quickly as possible, Same for waste that can be processed or energy.


  • Land use politics: when can renewable producers and environmentalist get along... they are not one in the same. What is governments role with regard to better defining guiding rules for renewable production facilities and site selection.


  • A presentation and discussion led by a roundtable of renewable energy policy experts to discuss the politics of renewable energy  in Florida and in the new congress. We anticipate a lively discussion that will not only reveal setbacks, but also opportunities and a deeper understanding of the various political factions involved in the debate. Also, provide  a better appreciation for the difficulty of the issue and at least a knowledge of all views so that we can be solution oriented.






The afternoon will be dedicated to lobby day activities whereby attendees will walk over to the state capital to visit with lawmakers at pre-arranged meetings to discus renewable energy policy in Florida


12:30 noon- 1:30 p.m. lunch session- Keynote Speaker


1:30- 1:30 - state lobbying overview, handing out of schedules to include the answering of any questions regarding policy proposals from the group which we hope to be an abbreviated  reflection of the policy goals from all Florida based organizations for which their input is sought.


1:45- 5:00- Visit with legislators at the state capital

5:15- Meet back at Mary Brogan Museum for de-briefing  



Ask about CLE Credits








 Sunshine State Renewable Energy Expo Fees: 


**All FREPA members receive 40% off attendance/registration fee  if registered early before  
February  20,  2011
Fee includes:
All Sessions

 Exhibit Booth Space $125 (include  one %30 discount toward symposium registration) 
Expo Attendee Registration

Non Members $95

Members $50 
*Affiliated organizations - discuss special rate with you organizational leader

Student Fee  $20 (student ID to be shown at check in)

We also encourage you to consider purchasing add space in our program booklet. The purchasing of add space entitles you to have your logo and a link to your candidate website to be placed on our conference website as a supporter. 
Quarter Page    $250.00
Half Page         $500.00
Full Page          $750.00
Priority placement of name and logo on conference website, conference and promotional materials.
Recognition at all meals
Dignified and appropriate signage recognizing sponsorship
Complimentary exhibit table & registration
Opening reference in all media advisories
Two (2) complimentary exhibit booths (for car dealers: two spaces to exhibit flexfuel, hybrid vehicles)
Two complimentary attendee passes for all event activities
Priority placement of company name and logo displayed on sponsor banner
during conference and on FREPA website with link
Full page ad in program booklet which will be available statewide
Name listed in all event advertising
Name and logo listed on event display board at entrance of event
Recognition at all meals and event advertising
Company insert in event registration bag 
One (1) complimentary exhibit booth (for car dealers: One space to exhibit flexfuel, hybrid vehicles)
One (1) complimentary attendee passes for all event activities
Company logo displayed on a sponsor banner during event
Half page ad in program booklet
Company insert in event registration bag
One (1) complimentary exhibit booth (subject to availability)
For car dealers, one space to exhibit flexfuel, hybrid vehicles
One (1) complimentary attendee passes for all event activities
Company logo displayed on a sponsor banner
Quarter page ad in program booklet
Company insert in event registration bag
One (1) complimentary exhibit booth (subject to availability)
Company logo displayed on a sponsor banner during event
Company name displayed on a sponsor banner during the event







In The Spotlight

Local Government recycling 
New FREPA Member, Okaloosa County Government- Recycling Department
* Jim Reece, the Divisions Director is one of our states leaders  in county government recycling.


New member, Uma Solar-For more than 30 years, UMA Solar has been a preeminent force in the solar industry. From its beginnings in the plastic over-molding industry to today's domination of the solar thermal market, UMA Solar continues to meet the nation's solar needs.Visit them here

New Board Member
Remo Eyal of Uma Solar 


Join Our Governing Team
FREPA is expanding its board and is now accepting applications for new board members and/or sub-committee members. If you are interested in serving on a committee or participating on our board or be an advisor, please send your bio to  

Join FREPA today or simply make a donation of support. Download NEW membership app HERE. Please allow 24 hrs for all credit card s to be processed.

Please contact our office by phone at (850) 363-4122 or e-mail, or for additional information about  FREPA.  


Michael Dobson
Florida Renewable Energy Producers Association

 Managed by Dobson, Craig and Associates