In a hugely positive move for sustainable energy production, the Texas attorney general has ruled that county governments cannot ban the development of solar farms.
Angela Colmenero, who is serving as the state’s interim attorney general while Ken Paxton awaits his impeachment trial, told residents of Franklin County that Texas law does not give county governments the authority to ban solar projects, the Texas Tribune reported.
The conflict arose when members of the community began fighting proposals for solar farms, arguing that such projects would lead to the destruction of trees and the scraping of grasslands.
While this can pose environmental issues, solar power has been proven to play a significant part in reducing pollution that contributes to our planet’s overheating, which protects our communities and the environment in the long term.
Furthermore, clean energy helps to provide employment opportunities. According to the U.S. government, over three million Americans are employed in this sector.
With the United States aiming to reach 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035, solar farms are vital to achieve this goal.
According to the Texas Tribune, the state produces more wind power than any other, while it is second in solar power.
Solar power also proved extremely useful during heat waves that scorched the state in June. With air conditioning units being used more frequently as residents remained inside to avoid the extreme heat, more pressure was put on the energy grid.
Thankfully, the state’s focus on renewable energy over the last few years helped to avoid blackouts, which would have put residents in danger of heat-related illnesses.
“The same sun that heats up buildings [and] triggers people to turn on their air conditioners, is the sun that can make electricity from solar panels,” University of Texas research scientist Joshua Rhodes told the Guardian. “So during this high amount of heat, we’re also seeing a lot of electricity being produced by solar panels.”
According to the Guardian, Texas has doubled its solar supply since 2022, and banning blocks on future solar developments will allow the state to further increase its capabilities.
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