Recent scorching heat in Texas let solar and wind energy shine and blow their own horn.
Clean energy — renewable sources of energy that don’t emit loads of toxic, heat-trapping gases — kept ACs pumping and power bills low as temperatures reached record highs that caused outages at many dirty energy plants while Texas sweltered under a heat dome, according to Axios.
Doug Lewin, president of Stoic Energy, executive director of the Texas Energy Summit, and author of The Texas Energy and Power Newsletter, told ABC News that without wind and solar power, outages would have been much more likely, and bills would have been unquestionably higher.
While natural gas is still the state’s main power source, data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) showed that on one afternoon, solar produced 10,757 megawatts while wind produced 7,433 megawatts accounting for a combined 26% of the grid’s power, per ABC News.
According to ERCOT, 1 megawatt can power 200 homes, so the electricity generated by clean energy in Texas was enough to power over 3 million homes, as ABC News reports.
Texas is no stranger to extreme temperatures that strain the grid, and it currently has the second-largest capacity of renewable energy in the U.S. So, as other states work to decarbonize their grids, all eyes are on the Lone Star State — and moments like this show that renewable energy is up to the test.
Not only are renewables saving customers money, but they’re also saving the planet. According to ClientEarth, dirty energy sources account for nearly 90% of global emissions of planet-warming gases. The transition away from them to clean energy sources is vital to the health of our planet, and seeing that they work and save money may make people more likely to switch.
“It’s another demonstration of the benefit for consumers that we see from wind and solar,” Lewin told Axios.
In a similar sentiment, Shanthi Muthiah, managing director and energy advisor for the ICF, a global consulting agency, told ABC News, “Solving for and addressing the issues of reliability and affordability, along with the issues of emissions and climate, are ones that have to be done in tandem.”
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