Florida Could See Natural Gas Prices Double Over the Next 10 Years, Report Shows

With 70 percent of Florida’s electricity generation coming from natural gas, which is around twice the national average, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (USEIA) insists the Sunshine State could see natural gas prices doubling over the next ten years–which could result in an extra $360 a year on every customer’s electric bill.

Vote Solar released a report detailing Florida’s reliance on natural gas, stressing that the state loses around $5 billion annually to pay to import it.

“Florida’s dependence on natural gas to produce electricity is one of the highest in the country, even though there are now more affordable alternatives like solar energy,” said Katie Chiles Ottenweller, the southeast director of Vote Solar. “The state’s lack of energy diversification puts us in a precarious position, especially as fuel prices increase.”

The fuel markets Florida relies on to power its electric grid can be volatile, creating risk for residents when prices go up or supplies are restricted. The federal government has forecast that natural gas prices could double within the next decade.

The report also notes that for every $4 Floridians pay their electric utilities, at least one of those dollars immediately departs the state to pay for out-of-state gas.

“If Florida invested in homegrown solar energy instead, those dollars could remain in the state and grow its local economy,” Vote Solar noted.

Solar is now the most affordable energy source in Florida, according to the USEIA.

USEIA claimed by expanding solar use Florida has the potential to stabilize energy costs and save residents significant amounts on their utility bills.

Despite solar power’s reliability and affordability, Florida currently gets less than 2 percent of its electricity from it. In contrast, 70 percent of Florida’s power comes from burning gas.

“Florida is the Sunshine State, but instead of capitalizing on our enormous solar energy potential, we’re digging ourselves even deeper into dependence on gas over the next decade,” said Ottenweller. “If we want to create a more resilient economic and energy future for Floridians, we need to start treating solar as more than a fringe energy source.”

Vote Solar also pointed out that, with technological advancements in solar battery storage, energy remains available regardless of whether sunlight is present. This is especially important during hurricane season when clean microgrids and battery storage can help keep the lights on for more Floridians.

 

Reach Ed Dean at ed.dean@floridadaily.com.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Putting in more solar is smart and because TECO finally installed enough to make a difference our electric bill has been cut the last 3 adjustments because the fuel charge has dropped besides the C19 cost break.
    And it takes out our most polluting power as cuts out A/C demand peak as solar tracks A/C demand well, our biggest use.
    We have a huge local biomass resource from yard wastes that could be burned replacing coal or gasified, an easy process and replace NG.
    Next we have a lot of hurricane tree blowdown that needs to be cleared before it catches fire and kills everything in those places.
    We have 2 dirt cheap storage with hot, cold produced with heat pumps off peak storage and shortly EVs with V2G will both charge off peak or solar and then generate on demand power for income. You car making you money is a great thing!!
    As will homes with battery storage and solar. So think about getting solar now with the option of battery when they get cheaper or a lead battery pack now and by the time it needs replacing, lithium batteries will be cheap.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here