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Audubon Florida
Audubon Florida Climate and Energy News Roundup
This week we are featuring news about a grant program for sea-level rise in Miami, a drop in electric vehicle battery costs, FPL’s SolarNow program, and more!
The Everglades. Photo by Ian Shive.
FPL’s SolarNow program continues to bring solar energy through 2025
From Community Newspapers

“The Florida Public Service Commission recently determined that Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL) SolarNow Program is not ready for sunset and extended the program’s tariff through Dec. 3, 2025… As of August 2020, SolarNow had 51,049 participants. The electricity generated by the solar facilities displaces fuel that otherwise would have been used for generation, resulting in avoided fuel costs. FPL’s estimated 2020 fuel savings is $67,000, resulting in an estimated positive impact to all FPL customers of $340,000.”
Electric vehicle models expected to triple in 4 years as declining battery costs boost adoption
From Utility Dive

“The number of electric vehicle models available to consumers is expected to more than triple in the next three years, from roughly 40 to 127 in the United States, as battery prices fall, charging infrastructure spreads and adoption rises, according to Dan Bowermaster, senior program manager for electric transportation at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)… Key to speeding adoption is the declining cost of batteries. DOE officials at the event said their research and investment is targeting $80/kWh by 2030 for a vehicle battery pack, but experts say more rapid declines may be possible.”
A flooded Everglades: Boon for birds but high waters threaten some species

“Water is the lifeblood of the sprawling Everglades ecosystem, but its wetlands, prairies, forests and hammocks thrive on a seasonal cycle of rainy springs and summers and dryer falls and winters… A wild storm season that started with record-breaking rainfall in May and ended with a double landfall by a very wet Tropical Storm Eta filled up canals and conservation areas to the brim. Even before the storm hit, water managers and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were trying to figure out how to make room for the expected deluge in canals and water retention areas already swollen from months of regular rains ”
Miami Beach wants to help homeowners adapt to sea level rise with matching grants
From the Miami Herald

“Miami Beach is exploring a way to help residents cover the cost of floodproofing their properties from heavy rains and high tides made even higher by sea-level rise — at least a little. The city is considering offering residents matching grants of up to $20,000 for projects like installing flood panels, swapping out a driveway for permeable pavement or planting absorbent landscaping — all simple ways to cut down on flooding.”
Losing ground: Climate change Is altering the rules of ecosystem hierarchy
From Scientific American

“Halfway down Georgia's coastline, Sapelo Island is surrounded by more than 4,000 acres of salt marshes, with vast stretches of lush grasses that blaze gold in the colder months. But this beautiful barrier island is experiencing some of the harshest effects of climate change: seawater intrusion, intense storms and flooding. And scientists have noticed something more subtle and unusual happening to the island in the past several years… Their results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, show the crabs are altering salt marshes' response to sea-level rise by gorging on cordgrass at the heads of tidal creeks.”
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