“We can’t trust the state’s power grid. It’s time for Texans to start creating their own.”
This summer’s extraordinary heat delivered an unsettling reminder to Texans nearly every day: we can’t trust the state’s power grid.
It’s time for Texans to start creating their own.
Over and over again this summer, triple-digit temperatures have driven record electricity demand across Texas, and the state’s utility-scale generators struggled to keep up. More than once, the agency that manages Texas’ grid issued a notice imploring Texans to reduce power use due to the strain on the grid.
While Texas has likely made it through the summer without blackouts, it may get worse. The state climatologist at Texas A&M University projects that the state faces even hotter summers in the future, meaning Texas will have long-term challenges keeping the lights on.
“It’s time for Texans to take energy matters into their own hands. They can start on their own rooftops.”
It’s time for Texans to take energy matters into their own hands. They can start on their own rooftops.
By installing rooftop solar panels, Texans can generate their own energy straight from the sun — paying no fuel costs and slashing their electric bills. Once installed, the solar panels are immune to the effects of inflation.
Those solar panels will produce the most electricity during the heat of the hottest days, when Texas’ electricity use peaks. Every kilowatt that Texans generate themselves frees up power for other families and businesses, helping to keep the grid running.
“Every kilowatt that Texans generate themselves frees up power for other families and businesses, helping to keep the grid running.”
Further, by adding energy storage units — especially wall-size batteries but also those built into electric cars and trucks — that are fully integrated with their homes’ electricity systems, Texans can build up and hold their own power supply for when they need it. That will allow them to run their homes through summer outages and emergencies such as 2021’s Winter Storm Uri.
In these ways and others, solar power is making Texans more free and more safe.
“Solar power is making Texans more free and more safe.”
These savings and security have propelled Texas’ residential solar industry. After Winter Storm Uri knocked out power across the state, solar installations accelerated.The skyrocketing costs of electricity from gas-fired and coal-fired power plants have made solar even more attractive.
With long-term financing options, Texans installing rooftop solar systems will save money on electricity bills over time, especially as energy costs continue to rise. Solar is clearly part of the solution for Texans.
The state has several ways to enable even more Texans to take advantage of the benefits — for themselves and for the state as a whole — that solar power offers. Leaders should start by requiring utilities and homeowners associations to streamline the permitting process for solar panels.
“Leaders should start by requiring utilities and homeowners associations to streamline the permitting process for solar panels.”
In many places, it can take up to three months to get permission to install solar panels and have them inspected. That means a Texan who decided in June to go solar couldn’t start saving themselves money — or saving the state electricity — until summer was almost over.
Texas can do better, and Texans deserve better.
Our state rightly takes pride in its ability to deliver affordable, reliable energy. Texans are known around the world for innovation and independence. And the sun in our big sky is as much a part of our identity as the oil and gas under our feet.
“Solar power is Texas’ future — a market solution that’s meeting the moment.”
Solar power is Texas’ future — a market solution that’s meeting the moment. It is increasingly cheaper than other forms of energy, and it protects Texans from extreme weather and skyrocketing electricity bills.
Solar won’t get Texans off the grid entirely. But it will help them create their own — in a way that protects their homes and families, cuts electricity costs, and benefits all of Texas.
Solar is a solution to Texas’ energy challenges — those that are coming, and those that are already here. Let’s make it happen faster in Texas.