HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date


Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management


Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

Richard E. Dodge

Second Advisor

T. Nejat Veziroglu

Third Advisor

Luciano Blanco

Fourth Advisor

Curtis Burney


The transition to a new energy infrastructure is a reality that the world cannot continue to postpone. The limited nonrenewable energy resource should begin immediately to be invested in the development of a new energy infrastructure, based on renewable energy. However, because there is such a wide range of energy sources and technological options, the problem becomes choosing and finding energy technologies that are cost effective, energy efficient, environmentally acceptable and socially benign.

Due to the interrelated nature of renewable resources, and the international scope of present day environmental problems, the energy infrastructure problem requires a global and comprehensive approach in the search for solutions. Particularly significant is the increasingly important role of the oceans and the coastal zone as a source of food, energy and raw materials. It is within this context that the problem of solar electric systems integration with Florida's power generation system is considered.

The thesis focuses on the impacts of the environmental, energy and economic crises of the 1970's on the U.S. Electric Industry that led to the increasing use of, and research in, renewable energy technologies for electric power production. The case of Florida is significant due to the over dependence of the Florida electric utilities on oil and the availability of an abundant and varied renewable energy resource base within the state's jurisdictional limits and in the surrounding ocean waters. The thesis examines the economic, technical, environmental and institutional aspects of systems integration in Florida. Conclusions are based on the results of a survey which reflects the opinions of the Florida Electric Industry, State government agencies and research centers regarding the potential of the solar electric technologies in Florida. The survey results indicate that photovoltaic and Biomass technologies are perceived as the most promising solar electric options for Florida at this time. The need for a comprehensive resource and technology assessment at a systems level is clearly established. Interconnection issues are identified (storage, siting, transmission to shore, materials requirements, area requirements and systems integration). The problem of limited jurisdiction of the state of Florida over offshore energy development is identified in the legal and regulatory framework for power plant siting in Florida. The possibilities of a solar-hydrogen economy are examined.

The thesis proposes a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach (Coastal Zone Energy Management (CZEM) to the problem of integrating solar electric systems with Florida's power generation system. This approach is based on the conservation ethic and the application of a multidimensional analysis methodology (a multidimensional theory of value) that comprehensively integrates existing analytical methods; namely, benefit-cost analysis, environmental impact analysis, economic-environmental models, technology assessment and energy analysis.

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