Gainesville, Fla. is one city in the Sunshine State that's taking advantage the state's nickname.
In recent years the city has quickly become a leader in solar installations per capita. The amount of solar the city of 125,000 installs per person is greater than the per capita installations in Japan, France, U.S., and China.
Gainesville was one of the first cities in the U.S. to adopt a feed-in tariff, which pays owners of solar-power systems who feed energy back into the grid. Homeowners with solar panels receive 32 cents for each extra kilowatt-hour they generate -- a rate that is more economical for the utility than an upfront rebate program. And because feed-in tariffs offer long-term stability, solar projects are easier to finance.
Since enacting a feed-in tariff policy three years ago Gainesville has added seven megawatts of solar capacity. By itself the number isn't huge, but per person the number is quite impressive. It's per capita numbers are even larger than California which has had a solar policy in place for more than a decade.
A bunch more Gainesville-like success stories and we'll see big gains in solar energy production.
"How One City Achieved a Solar Surge" [Treehugger]