Report: Solar costlier than nuclear for Florida

In a much anticipated report that could affect every Floridian's pocketbook, a consultant hired by the state says solar power could be a competitive source of electricity by 2020 in many scenarios, but it will cost considerably more than new nuclear power and natural gas, the main sources of power for present customers of Florida Power & Light.

Biomass -- things like plant waste, wood chips and garbage -- will be a financially viable source in all scenarios, but wind isn't likely to be much of a factor in Florida. Power from ocean currents -- still in a very basic experimental stage -- could be producing power that's competitive with solar by 2017.

These are some of the findings of a draft study by Navigant Consulting, commissioned by the Public Service Commission, which has been ordered by the Legislature to come up with a recommendation for a renewable energy portfolio standard that will mandate a certain percentage of power come from clean energy, to offset the need for foreign oil and the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

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