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'Grid' Author Illuminates Florida Solar Debate

In her book, “The Grid,” McGill University cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke  points a harsh spotlight on a poorly understood infrastructure that’s aging, plagued by outages and incapable in its current form of switching to renewable energy.

In a conversation with Capital Report’s Jim Ash, Bakke says Florida utilities view a massive switch to solar power as an existential threat, and for good reason. There is no way to store renewable energy on a grid-sized scale, and the current infrastructure wasn't designed to handle renewable's on-again, off-again nature:

“I think in some ways they’re trying to stay alive. I think that they’re up against a very difficult situation which is that they’re being asked to put in place a series of transitions that would put them out of business.”

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.