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The Texas Way of Life

| 05/25/2020

Texas is home to many major, environmentally destructive practices within energy and development. Although these practices have historically been detrimental to environmental conservation efforts, Texas has remained the home of oil and gas for decades. Now, consumers are shifting away from traditional energy sources, such as gas, oil, drilling, and fracking, and many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Why Shift to Solar Energy?

As social projects are gaining speed in the world technological development, more fossil fuel power plants are beginning to feel the pressure and closing. Renewables are establishing a new status quo in energy and as the price of solar equipment continues to fall, the US electricity generation is stumbling. In an ever-changing world, our concern for health has reached the forefront of our minds, including our electricity sources and output. And while the unmistakable impact of the coronavirus is evident, so is the future in solar. In fact, Covid-19 has shown the almost instant crippling of entire industries, indicating the need and benefit of energy independence rather than blind reliance on the unpredictable grid. Solar panels allow a sense of autonomy over how their power is generated, when it’s used, and how much of it is channeled. Texas ranks first in the entire US in wind power capacity. While states like California are pushing for one-hundred percent clean energy by 2045, Texas is increasing its use of solar power by offering incentives within the already competitive electricity market. The phrase, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” also applies to our electricity use, as the state consumes the most electricity in the US, and the power demand only continues to increase. Extreme weather in Texas is an additional impetus for solar independence. With severe storms and strong hurricanes becoming more frequent, the electric grid has never been more vulnerable. Additionally, air-conditioning demands in Texas during the summer alone can become crippling as households struggle under the weight of an overwhelming monthly bill. By shifting to solar energy, a household can save up to hundreds of thousands throughout their lifetime. Benefits?

It’s important to acknowledge the growing scientific research in regard to concerns of the negative, human-caused climate change we see happening throughout the world. This research is not only accepted by most major American oil and gas companies, but even politicians across partisan lines are beginning to realize the rapid deterioration of the world around us. Currently, a solar farm equivalent to the size of a small city will open in Texas’s heartland this month, only serving to increase the competition in the struggling oil and gas industry. “The Oberon photovoltaic project will generate 150 megawatts of power when they plug into the grid south of Notrees, an appropriately named town in the Permian Basin. Oberon’s developers want to eventually expand the project to 1,380MW — enough to serve 230,000 homes.” These dramatic numbers are the result of a dramatic shift in the way we perceive energy. Gone are the days of fossil fuels and pollutants. Innovative energy not only considers the most cost-effective methods for producing electricity, but the healthiest options for consumers and the environment. “When the clean energy advocacy group Conservative Texans for Energy Innovation formed last year, it commissioned a poll that showed Texas Republican and independent voters broadly backed policies to help solar and wind.” As the population continues to flourish in Texas, so do our state’s energy needs. By making the commitment towards solar energy, we are ensuring a longer lasting, more efficient state able to compete with the future leaders of solar energy. “Colin Smith, senior solar analyst at consultancy Wood Mackenzie, says certain projects will struggle if electricity use slows in the state. ‘But overall, the economics for solar in Texas are very strong,’ he adds.” The state’s economic voracity only gives a level up for those looking to shift to solar energy. Texas provides some of the best and innovative incentives for business and homeowners moving towards solar. Drawbacks?

The initial fear of many consumers is the up-front cost of installation. Having a quality customer care and a company with the customer in mind is crucial when considered solar, and it’s important to know that not all companies are created equal. As a state, Texas “will build a quarter of the record new industrial-scale solar capacity being installed across the US this year, according to the Energy Information Administration, part of the department of energy.” Recognizing the need for change is often the first step in changing for the better, and as our state moves forward with more environmentally reparative and energy efficient methods, so are our homes and businesses. Even “big corporate brands have seized on falling costs to sign long-term solar power purchase agreements that also improve their environmental image.” These factors, as well as the tangible savings only help further promote the idea that solar is the future. What Does This Mean for You?

Change, especially one that seems so foreign, often makes us nervous when there’s large upfront costs. Yet, trends, science, economics, and research all point to the same thing. The consistently dropping prices of solar energy panels has never made this a more opportune moment to make the shift to solar. Consumers not only get to enjoy the vast developments and options of renewables, they are freed from traditional electricity consumption rules. With this freedom, our individual contributions to our state and the environment are rewarded through financial incentives, such as tax breaks and buybacks from power companies. Solar energy promises long-term stability and consistency without blind reliance on power companies to give us the best deal. Utilizing financial incentives and by working with a well-established solar company dedicated to the increased use of solar to protect consumer needs and the environment, we are making a commitment to our future. By going solar, you’re ensuring the best deal for your home and business. It’s time we take control of our state’s energy use and make solar our only option as we move forward into a new landscape.

https://www.ft.com/content/21fd91f2-7271-11ea-ad98-044200cb277f