Jim Fenton, director of UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) in Cocoa, has been named to the Florida’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change.
Governor Charlie Crist made the announcement Monday. Crist said he appointed the 21-member committee to “preserve our state’s beautiful natural environment. During the next few months, Florida’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change will develop further recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversify our energy resources.”
Fenton said the first directive should always be to focus on “efficiency.”
“We have to find ways to make it cost effective for consumers to be more energy efficient,” he said.
Fenton, who specializes in fuel cells, sustainable energy, electrochemical engineering, environmental engineering and pollution prevention, said consumers are often put off by the initial cost of products that, in the end, will not only save them money but will also help the environment.
“I would love to find a way to let people buying a brand new home to demand every energy efficiency measure, and solar electric and water heating on the roof from their builder and get an immediate payback,” he said.
The first phase of the committee’s work, due by November 1, will be to make recommendations regarding Florida’s energy policy, including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and strategies to diversify fuels used to generate electricity.
Phase two of the work, with a deadline of October 1, 2008, will focus on mitigating the impact of greenhouse gas emissions caused by new growth. One way will be looking at how to lure more “climate friendly” businesses to the state.
Fenton said that might require attracting venture capital funds to help companies that make and install energy efficient products to locate in the state.