Barack Obama has been making speech after speech about the American energy outlook over the last few weeks. Fueled by the rising cost of fuel, much of his speeches have been about allaying fears about the sky rocketing gas prices. The rest of his talking points have consistently been about his “all of the above” strategy.
“If we are going to control our energy future, then we’ve got to have an all-of-the-above strategy. We’ve got to develop every source of American energy — not just oil and gas, but wind power and solar power, nuclear power, biofuels.”
He continued at the speech delivered in Mt Holly, NC, last week:
“…we can’t just keep on relying on the old ways of doing business. We can’t just rely on fossil fuels from the last century. We’ve got to continually develop new sources of energy.”
While the president is looking toward the future and asking the government to do the same, the private sector is already making investments in the best way possible:
Investing in students.
How does the old adage go? The children are our future. Never a truer statement made, thirty-seven teachers across the state of Florida just received a combined $39,000 in grants from Florida Power & Light Company’s 2012 Renewable Energy Teacher Grant program. The grants will fund classroom projects to teach students about renewable energy sources and uses.
“FPL’s commitment to clean energy includes a commitment to help educate our children about its role in our everyday lives,” said Pamela Rauch, vice president of development and external affairs for FPL. “We’re proud to join forces with Florida’s teachers to create innovative and inspiring ways for students to learn about renewable energy sources and applications, thereby preparing them to lead the way to a cleaner future.”
Teachers received awards ranging from $500 to $3,000 for projects such as designing and racing solar-powered cars, building solar-powered water heaters, and constructing a wind turbine to power a radio tower for broadcasted school announcements.
The awards come from the NextEra Energy Foundation, which is funded by shareholders of FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy, Inc., the nation’s largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and the sun.
In it’s third year, the FPL Renewable Energy Teacher Grant Program, has now awarded more than $122,000 for 84 teacher projects across its 35-county service territory.
The Renewable Energy Teacher Grant program is part of FPL’s larger commitment to the state. Beyond the teacher projects, FPL has installed Next Generation Solar Energy Station arrays at 14 educational facilities across Florida and built three large-scale solar power plants to supply power to its customers.
“We’re No. 1 in wind power, operating more than 7,000 turbines in 16 states. And we’re No. 1 in solar power, operating the largest solar facility in the world in California’s Mojave Desert. We’re proud of our industry-leading position on renewable energy,” FPL CEO Armando J. Olivera wrote in an Oped.
“The future of affordable and reliable energy in our service area is being built as we speak,” he said earlier this week to hundreds of business leaders at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. The keynote speech highlighted the company’s continued investment in energy sustainability and efficiency,
Recipients were selected by the National Education Energy Development project (NEED), a non-profit organization working with energy companies and agencies to bring balanced energy curriculum and training to the nation’s classrooms.
“As school budgets for science and technology shrink even as the need for education in those fields grows, we are proud to partner with FPL to fill the gap,” said NEED Executive Director Mary Spruill. “The Renewable Energy Teacher Grant program, along with curriculum support and teacher training, gives our children critically needed opportunities to gain practical knowledge of today’s and tomorrow’s environmentally sustainable energy sources.”