On August 8, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) held a second gubernatorial candidate roundtable in Florida with Democrat Philip Levine, a businessman and former Mayor of Miami Beach. The businesses participating in the roundtable represented a diverse set of advanced energy technologies, including renewable energy and electric vehicles (EVs). The conversation was focused on strengthening the advanced energy industry in Florida, which now employs more than 160,000 people across the state. The group shared its vision to make Florida a more competitive state for attracting advanced energy businesses and provided insight on how the governor can work with stakeholders to make Florida’s grid more secure and resilient to natural disasters.
Levine actively engaged in a dialogue with the business representatives and asked specific questions about what he can do as governor. Levine also shared his own perspective on what Florida needs to do to grow the presence of advanced energy in the state. Levine hopes to bring real change to Florida’s energy sector – stressing the importance of doing so to protect Florida’s unique costal environment, improve well-being, and grow the economy.
AEE believes a governor well-versed in the benefits of advanced energy to Florida’s economic success can work to do just that. Florida’s advanced energy industry now employs more workers than Real Estate Sales, Leasing, and Management, and double those employed by Department Stores in the state. Employers expected to grow advanced energy jobs by 9% in 2018.
However, advanced energy in Florida is still largely defined by its potential – particularly in solar, biomass, and combined heat and power (CHP). Strengthening policies in support of advanced energy can help Florida realize its full potential. With strong leadership and a focus on mobilizing all stakeholders, Florida’s next governor can harness the economic power of advanced energy to attract billions in private business investment, reduce consumer costs, meet new demand, and enhance the reliability of the electric grid.
We will hold additional roundtables to engage with candidates following the Florida primary election on August 28.