World over, businesses and individuals are slowly yet surely becoming aware of the critical importance of switching to alternative, renewable sources of energy as opposed to the conventional forms. A report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) states that, as sources of alternative energy, solar and wind power are fast gaining precedence over other forms. In fact, the agency reportedly predicts that by the year 2018, these two sources will account for one-fourth of the power mix worldwide. At the forefront of the switch over to alternative energy, Tampa has been in the spotlight for all the right reasons in recent times.
Increasing utilization of solar power in Tampa
Tampa City authorities have always been keenly interested in making the city more and more environment friendly. The adoption of solar power as a primary source of energy in several key areas is just one way in which the city’s officials have been meeting their ‘Go-Green’ goals. One such interesting endeavor was the introduction and installation of solar-powered trash compactors downtown in 2010. This project continues to this day, allowing the city to move ahead in its bid to replace the conventional 32 gallon trash cans with these eco-friendly substitutes. These solar powered compactors pave the way for lower greenhouse gas emissions. Also, thanks to these compactors, fewer trips by the city vehicle are required for efficient waste management within the city limits. Today, this concept has been adopted by many other cities across the US and these solar-powered compacters are also found in many national and state parks.
Reducing overall power consumption in Tampa City
In another significant move towards adoption of alternative energy, Tampa City officials have succeeded in reducing the city’s carbon footprint with the installation of solar parking pay stations. The pay stations eliminate the need for conduits, reduce overall power consumption dramatically and also limit the need for power meters. The fact that these initiatives find special mention in the Annual Sustainability Report 2014 presented by the City of Tampa, highlights how serious the authorities are about moving to alternative energy sources.
Solar panels become more affordable in Tampa
In what could provide a major impetus to alternative energy initiatives in Tampa, the price of solar panels has reportedly come down by a dramatic 60%. Companies producing alternative energy have actually announced several solar projects to come up in the State over the next few years. A news report in the city-based portal Tampabay.com further indicates that this interest in alternative energy is not exclusive to the biggies only.
Small and mid-sized alternative energy producers have also committed to building solar farms that will, when completed, double the State’s solar capacity. Meanwhile, the foundation stone for Florida’s biggest solar power system in collaboration with the military forces has also been laid. In addition, political pressure to switch to environment-friendly alternatives has been mounting via initiatives like the Solar Choice ballot. The keen interest that city officials have in ‘Green’ initiatives is also evident in the Tampa International Airport Sustainability Master Plan. Over the past few years, several electric vehicle charging points have been installed here and almost 40% of the vehicle fleet has been converted to alternative fuels.
The Solar Tax Rebate Pilot Program authorized by the Florida Public Service Commission makes the decision to ‘go solar’ even easier for Tampa citizens. These tax rebates apply to individuals and businesses installing solar and photovoltaic water heaters in their homes and offices. The move towards solar power in the State and the increasing interest in alternative energy sources by City officials gives enough reason to believe that alternative energy Tampa will be a happening topic in the coming years. You, too, could do your bit for the environment as a proud citizen of Tampa by replacing your heating, lighting and other equipment with solar alternatives.
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