Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam outlined his vision on the future of energy in Florida before an audience of more than 500 at the recent Florida Energy Summit in Orlando. 

Commissioner Putnam called on stakeholders in Florida’s energy industry, including elected officials, innovators, entrepreneurs and investors, to work together to secure a stable, reliable and diverse energy supply.

The Florida Energy Summit is a three-day event hosted by the Florida Department of Agriculture in Orlando that features discussions on the future of energy among representatives from government, the private sector and the academic world.

Following are excerpts from Commissioner Putnam’s remarks:

“With an abundance of natural resources, the state of Florida is well-positioned to take advantage of the new technologies that emerge from our world class universities.”

“Energy is the lifeblood of our economy and the basis for the upward trajectory of our nation’s quality of life.”

“Less than two percent of electrical power produced in Florida is renewable. While that may not seem to be a significant piece of the overall energy pie, that’s a ten-fold increase over the last 12 years. There has been great progress in the renewable sector in Florida.”

“The challenge moving forward, in terms of growing the energy industry, is that government incentives — or disincentives — play an enormous role in what moves forward and what is held back.”

“Over the last five years, the federal government and the state government have invested $233 million in advancing Florida’s energy industry. The obvious question is: what do we have to show for it.”

“There are more than 20 facilities around the state of Florida producing renewable energy. We have a number of new developments in the works. There are also a number of plans that will never be fully realized.”

“There’s nothing wrong with experiencing both success and failure in a capitalist society. Some of the innovative ideas will work and some will not. What’s important is that we apply what we’ve learned to the development of the next emerging technology.”