Solar Users Find Silver Lining to Summer Heat
September 28, 2022
By Bret Biggart
The blast furnace heat of this summer repeatedly pushed Texas’ power grid to the brink. If there’s any silver lining at all, it belongs to solar power users.
When temperatures are this hot, it means the sun is shining brightly. The same energy that cranks highs into the triple digits also packs electrons into solar panels, where they help power appliances and air conditioning units while helping relieve the strain on Texas’ power grid.
In this way, solar power is making Texans — and Texas itself — more free and more safe. Solar users are protected from high bills as they generate their own electricity when they need it the most. And those who couple solar panels with battery storage have their own reserve of electricity when the power goes out.
More than that, Texas’ fast-growing force of these home-scale power plants also benefits the state — every kilowatt that Texans generate themselves frees up power for other families and businesses, helping ensure that Texas’ energy market can meet the needs of those who are relying on it.
This is not the last summer that Texas will face these kinds of tight electricity supplies. It may just be the beginning: the state climatologist at Texas A&M University projects that we’ll face even hotter summers in the future, and the state’s traditional power plants are only going to have a harder time keeping up with demand in this growing state.
As I wrote in this op-ed that ran in the Texas Tribune, Texans can’t trust the state’s power grid anymore. Given this growing state’s growing need for electricity, it’s all-but certain that Texas will have a hard time keeping the lights on in the future.
If we can’t trust Texas’ grid, then Texans need to start creating their own.