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Is Texas Ready to Take on Solar?
- Mar 24, 2021 3:23 pm GMT
The unprecedented cold, ice, and snow that surprised Texas a few weeks ago opened up a lot of eyes to the idea that climate change might just be something worth preparing for, even in places in the United States that historically maintain moderate temperatures. Solar power, and other renewable energy sources are not only infinite, unlike their fossil fuel counterparts, but also can serve as backup plans in the near future, while the U.S. (and most of the world) continues to rapidly diminish the amount of accessible crude oil left on the planet while still being heavily dependent upon it.
The U.S. produces 35% of the world’s crude oil and consumes almost 20% of the oil consumed on the planet. Texas is responsible for the most oil production in the U.S., by a significant amount, producing more than the next three states combined.
As the adage goes, the longest fall is from the top, and with such an enormous dependence on oil, Texas also stands to lose the most when the reserves to dry up. Expert analysis is quite varied regarding the amount of oil left on the planet, but some say it cold be gone in less than 50 years. Others believe that oil may not ever actually run out, but it will continue to be more difficult to access, further damaging the planet.
With all of those things in mind, and a very recent storm that proved to be deadly, there has never been a more sensible time for Texas to seek out legislation and funding for green energy and construction engineering practices that set up for a future dependent more upon renewables than fossil fuels.
What are Power Grids?
The United States is split into two power grids, with Texas choosing to provide and control their own energy production, importation, and consumption legalities. Generally, when we hear the phrase “off the grid” it pertains to these power grids. Many people who decide to move off the grid, don’t physically do so, but they switch to energy sources devoid of government control or regulation, with the most common being solar in 2020.
In most of the country, citizens are able to create a kind of hybrid situation for themselves where they produce their own energy, but remain on the grid for emergency situations. Additionally, most states allow for these homesteads that produce their own energy to “sell” their excess energy to the grid, often winding up in a situation where they are getting paid to power their homes.
Given Texas’ reasons for staying off the U.S. grid system, this opportunity for individuals to make money off their own grids may open up some ears to the thought of Texas producing solar power on a much grander scale than they currently are, and ultimately powering their own grid and selling excess to the other U.S. grids.
In addition to the financial selling points (important for Texas), having hybrid systems of energy production and storage also mean security blankets for situations such as the one that just occurred, causing catastrophic losses both financially and even with human life. Energy storage is also a green topic of discussion, and excess production from renewable sources is being stored in gigantic batteries, another business opportunity for Texas that can double as a means for protecting their citizens from future freak storms caused by climate change.
Physically speaking, Texas has everything they need to create a hybrid energy system that can serve their people, as well as provide financial opportunities beyond their borders. With so much oil production being done in the state, storage can be more easily accomplished with green initiatives like the batteries, and progressive construction can help set up new infrastructure to be set up for renewable adaptation when the time comes.
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