The Swamp is powered by Vocal creators. You support Heather Wilkins by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

The Swamp is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Energy Solutions for Florida

Since the legalization of fracking, it might be important to discuss other alternatives.

Florida is one of those states where it's sunny all year round. There's memes and jokes about some of the stupid things that happen in our state or the weather. People who live in Florida deal with snowbirds and yes our attitude is a bit dickish, but we have Disney and no one complains there.

Fracking, scientifically known as hydraulic fracturing, has become the biggest hot topic button since it was passed in State Congress. What it does is put chemicals in the ground that are toxic to the water supplies. The purpose of fracking is to tap into the natural gas and oil supplies. However it is such a controversial method that more and more research is showing some negative side effects on the environment.

Methods and Results

Fracking has great methods to extract natural gas. You can do it vertically through the Earth, or, the more popular method by tapping straight down. It can allow the gas to escape through the surface through a series of pipes and can be collected for people to use to power their homes or to create more fossil fuel based products such as plastic bags.

While some of the methods are ideal, the environmental results are more damaging overtime. Water quality will become poor, or even dangerous to drink. If you were to frack anywhere between a hot spring or a river, the quality of life often will hinder on its performance. Fish may suffer from the chemicals in the water, possibly leading to a decline in river health, as well as any drinking water may be contaminated from the chemicals and could cause serious complications which are worse than Flint, Michigan.

Fracking not only causes problems with water, but also the ground. In the UK, fracking is an exploratory phase, but in 2011 tests were postponed because of the rise in earthquake development around the site. Low magnitude earthquakes were discovered near Lancashire. But the impact of reducing CO2 emissions from other forms of achieving reservoirs of oil and natural gas is enough for most people to jump on it without doing any research.

Even though we can think of alternative ways to get to fossil fuels, in the US we should look to our sunnier states or more green energy productions. 

Here are some ways in which Florida can get an economic impact from the green thumbs.

Solar Industrial Roofing

In some areas along the Gulf Coast, there are some industrial acres for sale. Several bills have gone with Florida Congress for green energy solutions. One of them was to make solar farms, and, in due return, offer the energy of the consumers. 

Another bill was to raise property taxes on homeowners who were buying green options such as solar panels. But the cost of those ideas was more for the purpose of electric companies. Living on solar means living off the grid, something that could cost those types of companies to find ways to tap into it for business scams and profit than environmental protection. 

Solar power is great for most people since the excess wattage can be sold back to the grid. But the possibility of extending the use of solar power could have a great impact for skyscrapers and other large businesses who might be a better foothold into the legislation. So what about tapping into solar power with just a change to a company's roof?

The problem with solar panels is that birds are often distracted by the glint of light, but what if there was a way to provide solar power for a business, without ever needing solar panels? Solar Roofing could be the best alternative since while it does require fossil fuels to make the solar cells and rubber products for an industrial roof, combining the two might help with making a solar building or a sky high solar farm.

If you are a small business, solar panels on a metal roof might help with lowering the cost of electricity. However, that type of added weight to a flat roof might cause the structure to bow. So, by combining solar panels with the mixture for a flat roof, you can avoid bowing and any added need for support and in return save less on energy bills.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Energy requires the use of heat trapped in the ground to be used for heating or cooling the energy inside the home. In some parts of Florida, limestone is a huge concern for using something like geothermal since it is a porous rock that filters groundwater. There have been indications that large rivers run underground in Florida where limestone is present.

But using geothermal energy is a great option for Floridians because the state is located in the sub-tropic region of the United States. The average temperatures in the summertime reach into the nineties. Cool air or moisture often stays lower to the ground, often trapped in the lower portions of the Earth. Harnessing this energy could provide more cooling alternatives than those who use regular HVAC systems. If you want to modify your HVAC system from running on coolant to geothermal, it is difficult process, but in return could mean less energy bills after the installation process.

Places like Saint Augustine, Tarpon Springs, and Silver Springs are located in areas where freshwater hot springs run continuously throughout the year. These areas of Florida might benefit most from geothermal energy since the water cools and heats based on the climate and weather locally to those regions. However the best benefit is a stable form of heat and energy. Natural hot springs usually stay a stable temperature. There could be a benefit in the wintertime for those areas with hot springs because the stable temperature from the hot water in the ground will keep the home warm in the cooler months.

A great way to push mass commercial green energy is to talk with your local district representative and lobby with other consumers or green energy industries about campaigning for more reasonable and available options for off-grid living or greener living societies. The more people want to make Florida an ecological and friendly environment for both consumers and natural species of wildlife, the better we have to sustain every ecosystem.

Now Reading
Energy Solutions for Florida
Read Next
The Greenback