Alternative Energy Sources in South Florida

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The energy sector is one of the most important aspects of humanity’s survival. People require power to produce food and clear sight, especially at night. Energy is also crucial for transportation and industry operations globally. Currently, the world depends on fossil fuels to meet over eighty percent of its energy demand. The high dependence on non-renewable sources of power leads to excessive environmental destruction. Fossil fuels also produce enormous greenhouse emissions that harm the environment and human health. Emergent concerns regarding energy sources and their effects on the environment lead to significant changes and investigations on safe alternatives. Examples of the available substitute power sources include hydroelectric power, wind energy, solar power, hydrogen gas, nuclear power, natural gas, biofuels, and geothermal power. Each of these options exhibit strengths and weaknesses, which affect their application. The existence of many choices also causes substantial challenges as people struggle to choose the most desirable solutions. As such, hydroelectric energy, solar power, and hydrogen gas are the three most desirable alternative energy sources for South Florida based on its natural endowment.

South Florida’s Energy Potential

South Florida is a highly populous area in Florida, mainly due to municipalities such as Miami. The region’s energy demand is equally high, leading to the continued search for a reliable power source. Jiang et al. (2018) say that Florida ranges among the nation’s top-ten most effective energy producers, with the southern section contributing about sixty percent of such endeavors. According to Jiang et al. (2018), the locality depends mainly on coal and petroleum for over seventy percent of its energy supply. The area touches the Atlantic Ocean sea-line and is generally flat. Moreover, South Florida is a sunny region experiencing sun-rays from mid-March to Mid-November (Du et al., 2018). Unlike many other U.S. locations, South Florida’s winters are generally warm, with the term “winter” referring to temperatures below twenty degrees Celsius in the area (Du et al., 2018). Being flat and next to a major water body further makes South Florida windy, implying a significant potential to divest from fossil fuel dependence.

Current Energy Situation

Over ten alternative energy sources are applicable in South Florida due to the area’s natural endowment. Examples include hydroelectric energy, solar power, wind energy, nuclear, and hydrogen gas. Almost all these alternate power projects exist in the land and contribute significant energy to the grid. Henderson and Sommer (2022) report that South Florida depends mainly on fossil fuels to power its economy. According to Henderson and Sommer (2022), sixty percent of the electricity used in the locality comes from coal-based power plants that emit excessive waste to the environment. The problem exists because of the government’s policy to support cheap energy sources with the ability to produce large quantities of power. Coal is a substantially affordable organic product with massive deposits in South Florida (Henderson & Sommer, 2022). Other fossil products in the area include natural gas, which the state uses with coal to produce electricity (Henderson & Sommer, 2022). Dependence on these two substances to generate power makes Florida’s energy sector highly unstable and non-sustainable. Therefore, the state requires new energy policies and interventions to curb the environmental damage caused by emissive petroleum products.


South Florida has several permanent rivers with the potential to produce hydroelectric power. Almost all the rivers feeding Lake Okeechobee have suitable sites for power generation activities, as per Mirchi et al. (2018). The government requires to spend minimal funds to develop dams for hydroelectricity to help reduce environmental harm. According to Hoseinzadeh et al. (2020)., electricity is clean energy with zero-emission. The power has multiple applications, from lighting, running industrial plants, driving vehicles, and even cooking. Focusing on the hydro system promises South Florida clean energy and surroundings. Mirchi et al. (2018) argue that South Florida’s stream can support over twenty massive dams for power generation. Accordingly, establishing dams along the permanent rivers will also help control floods and promote irrigation. Fish farming will also be possible at the barricades, allowing the region’s dwellers to grow their economy while enjoying clean energy.

Solar Energy

Solar energy holds a meaningful resolution to South Florida’s struggle with unclean power sources. The state (of Florida) experiences an almost all year-round sun, partly leading to its ‘sunshine’ nickname (Lanier et al., 2018). The state’s winters are also generally warm, with the lowest temperatures being fifteen degrees Celsius (Jiang et al., 2018). The facet provides much hope for the solar energy industry and its utilization to power the region. Moreover, technological advancements leading to stronger, more efficient, and durable solar panels also boost South Florida’s ability to benefit from solar power. Ahmadi et al. (2018) cheer solar energy due to its free supply and absence of monthly power bills. Consequently, enacting appropriate policies supporting the invention is a necessary move that the Florida government can take to promote the creation and protect the environment.

Hydrogen Gas

Hydrogen gas forms the third crucial energy substitute for South Florida. Currently, the region has several refinery plants that produce Hydrogen for various uses. Nonetheless, Tan et al. (2019) recommend diversifying the crude-oil acquired Hydrogen for adequate environmental protection. Hydrolysis is the answer to these concerns, which involves breaking down water molecules into Hydrogen and Hydroxyl ions using strong catalysts (Tan et al., 2019). The technique is currently under-utilized due to the catalyst problem. However, studies portray remarkable hydrolysis breakthroughs, which may change the situation with time. South Florida has several higher education institutions that can advance research on the subject. Providing a solution to the matter will help the location realize a better way of conserving the environment and also become a crucial global player in the sustainable energy sector.

Fossil Fuel Dependence

Debates concerning sustainable energy supply form a serious subject worldwide. Different groups hold contradictory accounts on what is a safe energy source. Other individuals even refute the idea of dangerous power sources, noting that the universe has a natural way of balancing its issues. The latter force particularly claims that the registered rise in global temperatures is a natural thing that the universe will get over with time (Held & Roger, 2018). All these accounts lead to significant challenges in enforcing policies and practices leading to sustainable energy. South Florida mainly requires a drastic shift from the reliance on fossil fuels for energy. Different groups provide various counterarguments regarding the earlier suggested solutions. Cost, lack of know-how, and the locality’s massive petroleum deposits are some of the worthwhile ideas countering efforts to introduce clean energy sources in the region.


In conclusion, hydroelectricity, solar power, and hydrogen gas are the three most appropriate alternative energy sources for South Florida. The state needs to start small and gradually advance the efforts towards sustainable energy implementation. Those opposed to the renewable energy alternatives maintain that Florida experiences other more urgent issues that the government should address. The anti-sustainability lot ignores significantly serious signs due to the hefty financial profits realizable through the currently over-relayed petroleum sector in Florida and the U.S. However, focusing on the petroleum-related financial gains alone denies South Florida the good it stands to gain by heading the zero-emission route. Florida’s current leadership needs to realize that change is never easy and thus enact policies that support the realization of the three suggested energy options for the area to attain the anticipated transformation.


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Tan, Z. H., Ouyang, L. Z., Huang, J. M., Liu, J. W., Wang, H., Shao, H. Y., & Zhu, M. (2019). Hydrogen generation via hydrolysis of Mg2Si. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 770, 108-115. Web.

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Premium Papers. 2023. "Alternative Energy Sources in South Florida." February 19, 2023.

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Premium Papers. "Alternative Energy Sources in South Florida." February 19, 2023.