288.041 Solar energy industry; legislative findings and policy; promotional activities.–

(1) It is hereby found and declared that:

(a) The solar energy industry in this state has been a leader in the nation in the manufacture, supply, and delivery of solar energy systems.

(b) The use of solar energy in this state has been demonstrated to save conventional energy sources.

(c) The solar energy industry offers the prospect for improved economic welfare of this state through creation of jobs, increased energy security, and enhancing the quality of the environment of this state.

(d) Through helping to provide for a clean environment and healthy economy, the solar energy industry contributes to the continued growth and development of the tourist industry of this state.

(2) It is the policy of this state to promote, stimulate, develop, and advance the growth of the solar energy industry in this state.

(3) Enterprise Florida, Inc., and its boards shall assist in the expansion of the solar energy industry in this state. Such efforts shall be undertaken in cooperation with theDepartment of Environmental Protection, the Florida Solar Energy Center, and the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association, and shall include:

(a) Providing assistance and support to new and existing photovoltaic companies, with special emphasis on attracting one or more manufacturers of photovoltaic products to locate within this state.

(b) Sponsoring initiatives which aid and take full advantage of the export market potential of solar technologies.

(c) Informing the business sector of this state about opportunities for cost-effective commercial applications of solar technologies.

(d) Encouraging employment of residents of this state by solar energy companies.

(e) Retaining existing solar energy companies and supporting their expansion efforts in this state.

(f) Supporting the promotion of solar energy by sponsoring workshops, seminars, conferences, and educational programs on the benefits of solar energy.

(g) Recognizing outstanding developments and achievements in, and contributions to, the solar energy industry.

(h) Collecting and disseminating solar energy information relevant to the promotion of solar energy applications.

(i) Enlisting the support of persons, civic groups, the solar energy industry, and other organizations to promote and improve solar energy products and services.

(4) The department shall also promote projects that demonstrate viable applications of solar technology which may include, but shall not be limited to: irrigation and stock watering, process heat for dairy and citrus operations, aquaculture, hydroponics, horticulture, waste detoxification, and other means of meeting the energy needs of the agricultural industry.

(5) By January 15 of each year, the Department of Environmental Protection shall report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the impact of the solar energy industry on the economy of this state and shall make any recommendations on initiatives to further promote the solar energy industry as the department deems appropriate.

288.0415 Solar energy; advancement; economic development strategy.–The use of solar energy is a proven, effective means of reducing air pollution, while also creating new jobs, saving energy, lowering consumer utility bills, and stimulating economic development. As such, this state is committed to advancing the use of solar energy in the state. Towards this end, the state shall give priority to removing identified barriers to and providing incentives for increased solar energy development and use. In addition, the state shall capitalize on solar energy as an economic development strategy for job creation, market development, international trade, and other related means of stimulating and enhancing the economy of this state.