ORLANDO, Oct. 27, 2009 — As President Barack Obama hails the opening of the nation’s largest solar photovoltaic power plant in DeSoto County, a University of Central Florida engineer credited with making the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) a world leader in renewable energy research is being honored by a national council.
David Block, director emeritus of FSEC, has received a special recognition award from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. The council, which Block helped found as the Interstate Solar Coordination Council in 1982, develops renewable energy programs and policies designed to lead to adoption of uniform guidelines, standards and quality assessment.
It’s no surprise that in today’s ailing market, new home sales are down. What is surprising is that construction is on the rise for six Florida homebuilders.
In partnership with one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America teams, led by the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), these successful homebuilders are building super energy-efficient homes. They are achieving a standard met by fewer than one of every 1,000 new homes built in Florida since 2007.
Homes consume about 35 percent of the electricity produced in the United States. Homes are also responsible for more than 20 percent of the U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, a significant contributor to global warming. Building America’s goal is to develop cost-effective solutions that reduce the average energy use of housing by 40 to 100 percent.
Similar to an automobile’s miles-per-gallon sticker, energy-efficient homes can have an energy-efficiency rating called the EnergySmart Home ScaleSM (E-Scale), which is based on the nationwide Home Energy Rating System’s HERS Index. A home with an E-Scale of zero generates as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. While most existing homes have an E-Scale of 130 or higher, typical new homes in Florida have an E-Scale of about 90. Read more
U.S. Department of Energy selected UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center to create and operate the network in six states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
With unemployment at an all-time high, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is investing in solar workforce development and providing $2.8 million to the University of Central Florida’s Solar Energy Center (FSEC) to help lead those efforts.
FSEC was selected as one of nine national institutions that will operate the newly created Solar Installer Instructor Training Network.
The national network will address a critical need for high-quality, local and accessible training in solar system design, installation, sales and inspection. The training network is a five-year effort intended to create a geographic blanket of training opportunities in solar installations across the United States. Its goals are to accelerate market adoption of solar technologies by ensuring that high-quality installations are standard and to create sustainable jobs within the solar installation industry.