Bills Filed Reflect New Priority on Renewable Energy

This legislative session we have seen several bills filed in both chambers that tackle renewable energy and energy efficiency legislation. While not all will gain traction, it is encouraging to see an increasing priority placed on addressing climate change.

SB 136, “Energy 2040 Task Force” by Senator Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) 

- Establishes the Energy 2040 Taskforce within the Public Service Commission to address Florida’s energy needs over the next 19 years. The bill requires an analysis of the impact of solar and other renewable technologies (by non-utility suppliers), sustainable energy, smart grid technologies, energy storage, and electric vehicles. No House Companion has been filed.

SB 138, “Electric Vehicles” by Senator Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) + SB 140 “Fees/Electric Vehicles” by Senator Brandes

- Directs funds from license tax revenues of electric vehicles to the proposed Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Grant Program. SB 140 is linked to SB 138 as the fee structure mechanism to fund the proposed grant program.

SB 208, “Renewable Energy” by Senator Brandes (R-St. Petersburg)

- Allows commercial or industrial businesses to install solar panels on their property and enter into power purchase agreements to sell the generated electricity to adjacent commercial or industrial businesses or to a local utility. No House Companion has been filed.

HB 283 + SB 720, “State Renewable Energy Goals,” by Representative Eskamani (D-Orlando) and Senator Berman (D-Boynton Beach)

- Amends the definition of “renewable energy” so that energy generated from waste and other methods is no longer defined as an alternative energy resource. The bill prohibits exploration and drilling for oil, gas, or other petroleum sources on state lands and waters. The bill sets a 100% renewable energy goal for the state by 2040, as well as a statewide net zero carbon emissions goal by 2050. The bill requires an assessment of what measures must be taken to reach these goals.

SB 514 + HB 315, “Resiliency” by Senator Ray Rodrigues (R-Estero) and  Representative LaMarca (R-Lighthouse Point)

- Creates the Statewide Office of Resiliency within the Executive Office of the Governor to be headed by the Chief Resilience Officer, appointed by the Governor. The bill creates the Statewide Sea-Level Rise Task Force to recommend consensus projections of sea-level rise and flooding impacts across the state.

SB 856, “State Preemption of Energy Infrastructure Regulations” by Senator Hutson (R-Palm Coast)

- Mandates that the construction approval of "energy infrastructure," defined as any infrastructure that supports production, storage, importation, and distribution of any energy resource (to include petroleum, solar, wind, etc), is at the state level. The bill would prohibit any local government from implementing any restriction or requirements on changes to existing or proposed energy infrastructure. No House Companion has been filed.

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