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Category: Hybrid Energy

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Saving Without Solar

Savings SaveOnEnergy.comDid you ever think to yourself, “I know I could be doing more to save energy, but I can’t afford to go solar yet! What can I do?!” I know I have, and thankfully SUNTEX, as well as our friends over at saveonenergy.com, are happy to help! They’ve created a blog post to help guide you on steps to do just that – save money and spend less on energy, without taking out a loan to go solar. How does it work? Check out their post at the link below, and let us know if these tips worked for you in the comments below.

The best energy-saving hacks you should be using to save money right now! https://www.saveonenergy.com/learning-center/post/best-energy-saving-hacks/

For other money saving tips, or additional financing options for your home improvement projects, be sure to check out next week’s blog posts (added for reference, here: https://suntexllc.com/lets-talk-financing/, https://suntexllc.com/saving-money-on-solar-for-new-home-buyers/, https://suntexllc.com/loanpal-goodleap-and-everything-in-between/, https://suntexllc.com/is-sunlight-financial-financially-smart/, https://suntexllc.com/home-improvement-financing-options-for-the-frugal/).

Note: This article was written for SUNTEX by guest writers from saveonenergy.com. Please reach out directly to SUNTEX if you have any questions regarding this article, or the blog post content.

Yellowstone National Forest & the Fire that birthed it

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Forest & the Fire that birthed it

What can I say about Yellowstone that you haven’t heard before? Likely nothing, in all honesty, you just have to see it for yourself!

One thing I will say, is that this was actually our second time visiting the park, and somehow I managed to miss an entire lake (that covers the horizon from the shore) – a massive body of water that can be seen almost anywhere on the North-east side of the park. In our defense, the park is quite large, and we were camping on the South-eastern side of it the last time we came, but when we drove into Yellowstone National Park this time around and saw what looked to be an ocean in the middle of land-locked Wyoming, it’s safe to say we had to stop and see! Check out the photos from our trip to see what I mean (featured on the left and right).

Bull Elk, Yellowstone National Park

Bull Elk, Yellowstone National Park

While I won’t get into great detail here – particularly since we already covered the impacts of climate change on these beautiful forests in an earlier post (here: https://suntexllc.com/on-the-road-again-next-stop-climate-change/) – I did find it odd that we were surrounded on this trip to Yellowstone by completely scorched forests.

It’s important to note here, that naturally occurring forest fires are part of the forest’s history, and even help new life to grow! What was odd this time however, was just how much of the west was covered in dead trees – both within Yellowstone National Park – and in the surrounding areas (we saw evidence of large forest fires in Washington, Montana, and Wyoming, and the smoke from the fires was prevalent throughout the month-long trip).

To learn more about the naturally occurring forest fires of Yellowstone National Park, check out the following link: https://serc.carleton.edu/NZFires/megafires/Yellowstone.html – which includes charts of forest fire activity in the park from the last century! If, like me, you’re curious to learn more about climate change in general in the Rockies, check out the following: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/how-do-the-rocky-mountains-influence-climate.html, and be sure to share your favorite insights in the comments below!

The Grand Tetons & the Moose!

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Yes, this post is mainly dedicated to Yellowstone National Park, however I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our journey through Grand Teton National Park (https://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm). This park borders Yellowstone, so seemingly, they shouldn’t be very different, right? Well, of course, if you said this you’d be wrong.

Yellowstone offers wildlife and dense forests of course – similar to the Grand Tetons – however the main attraction of Yellowstone are the hot geysers such as “Old Faithful” and the entire park is essentially sitting on one big volcano. The Grand Tetons do not have any geysers that I’m aware of, however what they feature is a staggering, jagged mountain range that can (usually) be seen for miles around – and with snake river winding through it, and the golden grassy knolls that waiver in front of it, it’s truly a site to see, setting it apart from any other park around.

Grand Teton National Park

Moose and Calf, Grand Teton National Park

Even though the camp ranger told us upon pulling in that they had seen black bears every single night perusing the mesquite fields just outside our campground, we did not see any while we were there. We did however see something we had been yearning to see all trip, and she and her calf were visible from the road to our campsite each night before sunset: a moose!

 

It’s hard to tell just how big she is from across the river, and because I’m not a complete moron, I wanted to be sure and respect her boundaries, however given her stature from even 100 yards or so away, it’s obvious she is a big girl! We were absolutely mesmerized by her and her calf, and stood there taking pictures for a long time before leaving her to peacefully finish dinner. While I can’t be certain, I would bet that she and her ‘little one’ are still there, just outside of the Grand Teton campsite, munching on brush and awaiting the next group of campers to come gawking. If you happen to see her, tell her I said hello, and Bon Apetite!

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Wyoming Energy Profile

Welcome to WyomingWhile Wyoming might not be the most populous state, it’s certainly populated with millions of breathtaking views. Thus far on the trip we had seen the immense beauty of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and Montana – so it was baffling that I was still surprised at just how much more beauty Wyoming had to offer.

The transition from Montana to Wyoming wasn’t too drastic since the two states share a similar topography, as they’re both part of the Rocky Mountain range, but once we got into the Shenandoah forest, it was hard not to feel like explorers traversing an unfamiliar territory. We drove for just seven hours that day, through the most beautiful part of the country – Yellowstone National Park, and just after it, Grand Teton National Park – before finally arriving at our final campsite just beyond Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Elk Reserve outside of Jacksonhole, WY

With the natural scenery, and plentiful rivers along the way, I had a feeling we’d be looking at a similar energy makeup as Montana and Oregon, however this time, I was wrong. Even though Wyoming has made strides in recent years in building their renewable reserves – as you can see by the stats listed on the EIA.gov website, “Wind power in Wyoming has more than doubled since 2009 and accounted for 12% of the state’s electricity net generation in 2020. The state installed the third-largest amount of wind power generating capacity in 2020, after Texas and Iowa” – they’re not a big producer of hydroelectric power as I would have guessed.

According to the state’s energy report from 2012, “Wyoming has a long history of hydropower dams, dating back to the early 1900s. While hydropower generation is considered small and seasonal, it represents a consistent and established electricity source. There are 15 hydropower plants on 10 reservoirs. Thirteen of these are operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and two by private companies. The total hydropower generation capacity in Wyoming is 299.6 MW. The five largest producers are Fremont Canyon/Pathfinder (66.8 MW), Seminoe (51.6 MW), Alcova (41.4 MW), Glendo (38 MW), and Kortes (36 MW)” (https://www.wsgs.wyo.gov/products/wsgs-2012-electricalgeneration-summary.pdf).

However, since 2012 it seems Wyoming has put their energy into producing wind power, which has led to some pretty remarkable advancements in their green energy sector. However green energy is still fairly new, and Wyoming has produced more than it’s share of coal and oil and gas for decades – just see the Quick Facts from eia.gov below (https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=WY#tabs-1):

  • “Wyoming produces 14 times more energy than it consumes, and it is the biggest net energy supplier among the states.”
  • “Wyoming has been the top coal-producing state since 1986, accounting for about 39% of all coal mined in the United States in 2019, and the state holds more than one-third of U.S. coal reserves at producing mines.”
  • “Wyoming was the eighth-largest crude oil-producing state in the nation in 2020, accounting for slightly more than 2% of U.S. total crude oil output. The state was the ninth-largest natural gas producer, and accounted for almost 4% of U.S. marketed gas production.”
  • “Wyoming’s large energy-producing sector and small population helps make the state first in per capita energy consumption and gives it the second most energy-intensive state economy, after Louisiana.”
Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

It’s funny how we could travel through the state for days and days without seeing so much as a windmill, or an oil well, and come to find out after that Wyoming produces a fairly large amount of energy, enough even to export energy to other parts of the country, and generates a large portion of their economy. Of course, however helpful these quick facts and charts may be, they do not paint the full picture. To learn more about Wyoming’s economy, check out the links below:

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Montana’s Clean Energy Profile

Montana MountainsI’m starting to wonder if ‘MT’ standing for both Montana and Mountain was intentional. On the way into Montana on our summer trip, we took Interstate 90 east, until heading north on Interstate 95 through the Kaniksu National Forest. I say this as an understatement, since even from the road, we saw chipmunks, a bald eagle(!), millions of pine trees, and wide, rocky streams passing through more mountains than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.

We finally got across the state, and into the dense Kootenai forest, we unpacked for one night, hoping we may still be able to acquire one of the non-reservable, first-come-first-serve campgrounds within Glacier National Park.

Having seen a large portion of the state at this point, I would have guessed there would be lots of hydro power and dams to utilize the rivers running rampant throughout the state – and, I would have been right! Check out the Chart below showing the Energy Generation of Montana per month, as of June 2021:

Montana Energy Generation

Montana Net Electricity Generation by Source, per Month (click on the photo to learn more).

While they aren’t producing quite as much Hydro electricity as Washington (see comparable chart, here: https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=WA#tabs-4), it’s certainly impressive that this beautiful state is leveraging it’s streams and rivers for even more than fly-fishing. Another impressive state from their profile on EIA.gov, was that “In 2019, Montana ranked among the top 10 states with the largest share of electricity generated from renewables, about 45%. Montana is also the sixth-largest producer of hydroelectric power in the nation, and 6 of the state’s 10 largest generating plants produce hydropower” (https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=MT#tabs-1).

I almost laughed out loud upon reading this ‘Quick Fact’ about Montana’s energy consumption: “Montana’s temperature extremes and its small population contribute to the state’s residential sector having the second-highest per capita energy consumption of any state, behind only North Dakota” (https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=MT#tabs-1) – because it couldn’t be truer than if I’d visited the Sahara desert (see what I mean, here: https://www.livescience.com/why-do-deserts-get-cold-at-night.html).

On our first day in Montana, the high temp was roughly 90 degrees Fahrenheit, however the very next day the temperatures had dropped drastically – to a high in the mid-sixties Fahrenheit, and lows in the mid-thirties Fahrenheit at night (in August no less!) – and that was before we even arrived in the mountains of Glacier National Park! Perhaps had I studied this information prior to visiting Montana, I would have known better and brought a few more long-johns and layers. Still, we survived snuggling through the nights with our two dogs, and spent the next few days walking the foothills of the Apgar campground within Glacier National Park – an undeniably gorgeous site – and well worth the temperature changes.

I fully understood why residents of this state were so keen on protecting it – via clean energy and hydroelectricity production, or through private and federal land protections, like those we were camping in (not to mention several throughout the state: https://www.visitmt.com/).

It’s a beautiful destination and as long as you have a small, butane stove for camping, or a well-ventilated fire place inside of your home, you should be set to stay warm in the cooler months, which apparently includes late August. In the cooler winter months, it’s likely you will need natural gas to power many appliances and heat your home. When it comes to finding a hot shower while camping in Montana however, you’re on your own! Good luck, and stay warm.

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Washington Energy Profile and the Beauty of Hydroelectric Dams

WashingtonIf you’ve ever been to Washington, especially having come from Texas, one thing becomes clear very quickly: there is a lot of water in this state! I’m not just talking about the rivers and lakes you’re used to, and not only does this state have a beautiful rocky coastline, but there is also tons of rainfall all year long (73 inches of rain per year on average, according to: https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/city/washington/index). The beauty of this type of weather pattern of course is that everything within that wet environment is poised to grow tall and wild, and the pines trees and giant blackberry bushes will certainly convince any naysayers!

In fact, when I lived in Seattle, I remember planting dahlias one spring and feeling shocked to find them, along with roses, peonies, poppies, and other native flowers that presumably had been planted before we lived there growing in abundance that fall! I did get tired of the rain from time to time, but I did not ever tire of watching out garden grow and change each season.

Given the hydro-electric dams in Oregon and Idaho, it’s no wonder that Washington, an even wetter state, should prove ahead of the bell-curve on this metric as well. In fact, according to eia.gov (https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=WA):

  • “The Grand Coulee Dam on Washington’s Columbia River is the largest power plant by generation capacity in the United States, and the seventh-largest hydro-power plant in the world. It can provide 4.2 million households with electricity for one year.”
  • “Washington generated the most electricity from hydropower of any state and accounted for 24% of the nation’s annual utility-scale hydroelectricity generation in 2019.”

Although these figures are certainly impressive, I think the chart below paints an even better picture of just how much of Washington’s energy grid is devoted to hydro-power:

Washington Energy

Washington Energy Consumption Estimates (EIA.gov)

If you’ve been following along with the prior blogs from this week, you already know how this ranks among the other Pacific Northwest states (see Idaho and Oregon’s energy profile posts, here https://suntexllc.com/idaho-oregon-washington-oh-my/). Looking for more details on the state? Feel free to check out the links below:

For more information on hydroelectricity, be sure to check out tomorrow’s post!

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Idaho, Oregon, Washington – Oh my!

ROAD TRIP UPDATES: After our evening arrival in Salt Lake City, we were happy for the easy check-in, delicious dinner, and good night’s sleep at the Radisson Hotel downtown (https://www.radissonhotelsamericas.com/en-us/hotels/radisson-salt-lake-city-downtown). The city itself was warm and vibrant – and nestled in between the glorious mountains of Utah, the views are hard to beat no matter where in the city you stood. We also noticed some of the temples on our way in, which were certainly spectacular views to behold – with the stark white architecture which contrasted perfectly with the green fields and blue mountains surrounding them (featured right). The next part of the journey would take us through Idaho, Oregon, and Washington as well – so in this post and later this week we’ll focus on the PNW energy profiles, and the vast beauty that comprises this part of the country.

Idaho Energy Profile

IdahoBefore traveling through Idaho, I’ll admit I didn’t know much about it beyond some faint idea that they grew potatoes (see Idaho Potatoes, https://idahopotato.com/). Naturally, my imagination led me to believe the state was covered in potato farms and not much else, and while there is certainly farm-land to be found in Idaho, we saw plenty of other vegetation as well! For one, there were tons of streams and rivers throughout – and we even stopped at dog park for Benny and Earl while we were outside of Boise, that was covered in green grass and weeping willows. It was just beautiful, and very peaceful I might add!

Checking out their energy profile on EIA.gov (https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=ID), we immediately learn that Idaho is a much greener state than anticipated:

  • “In 2019, 76% of the electricity generated in Idaho at utility-scale power plants was produced from renewable energy sources, the third-highest share for any state after Vermont and Maine.”
  • “Idaho is among the five states with the lowest average electricity price, in part because of the large amount of electricity that comes from relatively inexpensive hydro-power, which accounted for 56% of the state’s generation in 2019.”
  • “Idaho’s small population contributes to it being among the 10 states with the lowest total petroleum consumption, but Idaho’s per capita petroleum use is near the national average.”

Perhaps it’s obvious that with a lower total population, (roughly 1.78 M, https://datacommons.org/ranking/Count_Person/State/country/USA?h=geoId%2F16), Idaho has lower overall petroleum consumption rates, however I think it’s still pretty impressive that so much of their state grid is dominated by renewable energy and hydro-power.

Oregon Energy Profile

OregonIt’s no secret that Oregon has a diverse landscape – home to some of the tallest mountains in North America, including Mount Hood (https://www.fs.usda.gov/mthood), as well as counting numerous rivers and waterfalls within it’s vast territory – such as Multnomah Falls (https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/crgnsa/recarea/?recid=30026) – it’s no wonder that this state is such a sought-after travel destination for skiers and hikers. Our journey through Oregon this time was short however, and we would only be spending a brief moment passing through the grassy hills and into the pine-forests before arriving in Washington later that same day.

It’s easy to think of Oregon as “just another Pacific Northwest State,” if you’re not from the area, and while there are some regional differences between Oregonians and Washingtonians or Californians, the western-most states do have a lot in common when it comes to energy. Just check out what eia.gov has to say about their devotion to green energy (https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=OR):

  • “In 2019, 49% of Oregon’s utility-scale electricity net generation came from hydroelectric power, and 62% came from conventional hydroelectric power plants and other renewable energy resources combined.”
  • “In 2019, wind farms produced 11% of Oregon’s electricity net generation from more than 1,900 turbines with more than 3,400 megawatts of installed generating capacity.”
  • “Oregon is a partner in the West Coast Electric Highway along with California, Washington, and British Columbia, Canada. As of December 2020, there were more than 670 public electric vehicle charging stations with a total of more than 1,800 charging outlets in service across Oregon.”

While other states are still trying to build wind farms, Oregon leads the way in wind and hydro-power, and has already begun construction on the electric car infrastructure needed for battery-powered cars to charge and continue to operate on longer trips.

I also found this Quick Fact about Oregon energy interesting (https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=OR): “Oregon receives more than 90% of the refined products it uses from the Puget Sound refineries in the state of Washington.”

To find out more about Oregon’s energy profile, check out the following links – or share your own insights within the comments section below!

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Check Out Utah’s Energy Profile

Utah

In addition to the large, majestic rocky mountains and valleys throughout the state, not to mention the beautiful ranches and pastures everywhere, I was very excited to see a few large-scale solar farms during my time in Utah. Looking at the climate, which is certainly consistent with what we experienced, it’s not hard to see why (check out the following to see what I mean: https://www.visitutah.com/plan-your-trip/weather). There is plenty of sunshine in Utah, and while the temperature may fluctuate greatly throughout the year, or even throughout the day, because humidity is low, the climate can be fairly arid.

From the sound of it, and by the appearance of it, solar energy should be pretty wide-spread in Utah, right? Well, they’re certainly improving in the area of bio fuels anyway – check out the full report from Energy.gov, here: https://energy.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/Utahs-Energy-Landscape-5th-Edition.pdf. According to the report, “Renewable energy has historically been dominated by hydroelectric power, but geothermal and wind have grown in significance over the past two decades. Nearly 1 gigawatt of utility-scale solar was built in 2015 and 2016, more capacity than hydroelectric, geothermal, and wind combined, creating a large spike in renewable energy production in recent years (but still only enough to increase renewables’ share from about 2% to 6%).”

For like comparisons from previous state energy profile blogs however (Texas, https://suntexllc.com/3673-2/; New Mexico; Colorado), let’s also check out the following link and see what we can find: https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=UT:

  • “Utah accounts for 1 in every 10 barrels of crude oil produced in the Rocky Mountain region. The state’s five oil refineries, all located in the Salt Lake City area, can process nearly 200,000 barrels of crude oil per calendar day.”
  • “In 2020, 61% of Utah’s electricity net generation came from coal-fired power plants, down from 75% five years earlier, while natural gas-fired and solar power generation increased.”
  • “Utah’s per capita energy consumption in the residential sector is the third-lowest among the states, after Hawaii and California.”

Utah

Looking at the full picture, it seems as though Utah has a pretty healthy energy system, particularly given their lower demand for energy overall in comparison with the other 49 U.S. states, and has rapidly begun to increase the use of renewable energy sources. Given the state’s particular climate, and wide-open mountain views, it’s easy to see that while they’re not the large drivers of climate change, we would be remiss not to consider the land here a vital environment worth protecting. As for me, I can’t wait to go back and see it someday in the near future! Feel free to add your favorite destinations in Utah in the comments below.

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View Colorado Energy Profile, plus our first Hiking Pics!

Hiking in Colorado

We arrived at last to our very first stop on our summer trip! While the drive was breathtaking, 14 hours on the road and we were all ready to stretch out our legs. Not to mention, there were plenty of mountains to hike within sight! So, on our first morning in Colorado, after checking my emails of course, and getting in a decent breakfast, we set out on the misty morning with Earl and my parents dog, Gracie, trekking along in front of us. Being that they’re both fairly high-energy and nimble dogs, it’s safe to say they kept a healthy lead too.

Colorado

I worked with a woman once who lived in Colorado on an off-grid system – including a well, a small home-garden, and solar panels – and I thought, “Wow! I wonder if everyone lives that green in Colorado.”

ENERGY PROFILE

Of course, it didn’t take long when researching the Colorado state energy profile to navigate to eia.gov – for like comparisons with the Texas and New Mexico energy profiles from prior blog posts (Texas on 08/02/2021, https://suntexllc.com/3673-2/, and New Mexico on 08/03/2021, https://suntexllc.com/new-mexico-energy-profile/, respectively) – to find while no other state even comes close to the Texas natural gas consumption rates, Colorado did rank higher in Natural gas consumption than New Mexico (in Trillion BTU: TX, 4,779.5; CO, 559.8; NM, 305.1; https://www.eia.gov/). While Colorado also has impressive supplies of oil and natural gas, what I did find pretty remarkable were the renewable energy Quick Facts (pasted below for reference, https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=CO):

  • “Since 2010, Colorado’s renewable electricity net generation has more than tripled, led by increased wind and solar, and accounted for 30% of the state’s total generation in 2020.”
  • “In 2020, coal-fired power plants provided 36% of Colorado’s net generation, down from 68% in 2010, while electricity from natural gas and renewable energy sources increased.”
  • “Colorado ranked seventh among the states in installed wind power capacity in 2020.”

While you’ve likely heard the saying, “Colorado gets 300 days of sunshine per year,” some debate whether or not that claim is valid depending upon how you define a sunny day, however it’s safe to say that there is a lot of sunshine to capture in that state during the spring and summer months. You’re welcome to check it out for yourself (https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/?query=colorado), but at least for now I’d say they’re making positive steps in the direction towards increasing their usage of renewable energy – be it wind, solar, or rain-water capture, Colorado is steps ahead of the game.

For more details on Colorado’s Energy Profile, check out the following links:

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Texas Energy: Riding through Texas with my Woes

If you’re a Drake fan you’ve likely heard this line, but in all reality we were too excited about the month long adventure to focus on any ‘woes’. Since I promised Alejandra (my boss) I would relate these posts back to the energy grid somehow, today we’ll explore the energy make-up of Texas, and then we will focus on New Mexico, and finally the Colorado energy grid — with a particular emphasis on green energy production in each state.

TEXAS ENERGY PROFILE 

As a Texan working for a Texas-based energy company, we’ve focused a lot on the local energy grid and how it’s managed in previous blogs – see below links for reference:

Including where we currently stand and what updates (if any) have happened to improve the grid since the February freeze, here…

Texas Energy Grid Updates

 

However, today we’ll focus on the energy grid at large, and really highlight the major benefits of the Texas energy market as a whole.

For starters, say what you will about the climate crisis (and there is a LOT to say for sure), however since in the past century we’ve been collectively focused as Americans on mass production, much of the economic gains could not have been possible without the Texas oil and gas industry. For an interesting history of the oil boom, check out the following article from the Texas Almanac: https://texasalmanac.com/topics/business/oil-and-texas-cultural-history. To see a little more about oil production in the Lone Star state, I turn to our friends at the Energy Industry Administration, https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=TX.

As stated before on this blog (), the EIA.gov website is an incredible useful source of information when it comes to US energy production and consumption rates, and there are a few bullet-points on the Texas Profile & Energy Estimates page that bear repeating (https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=TX):

  • “In 2020, Texas accounted for 43% of the nation’s crude oil production and 26% of its marketed natural gas production.”
  • “The 31 petroleum refineries in Texas can process almost 5.9 million barrels of crude oil per calendar day, which was 31% of the nation’s refining capacity as of January 2020.”
  • Texas produces more electricity than any other state, generating almost twice as much as Florida, the second-highest electricity-producing state.”

While the “oil and gas state” is certainly an accurate trademark, Texas is starting to make waves in the renewable energy market as well, as EIA.gov will also tell you:

“Texas leads the nation in wind-powered generation and produced about 28% of all U.S. wind-powered electricity in 2020. Wind power surpassed the state’s nuclear generation for the first time in 2014 and produced more than twice as much electricity as the state’s two nuclear power plants combined in 2020.”

It goes without saying that I have to quote the most recent numbers for the amount of solar capacity in the state, however sadly I must report that while we are improving, the total solar energy production in the state is still pretty dismal (see photos to right and left, or check out the original charts in the following link: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/solar/where-solar-is-found.php).

If you have been following along with this blog for some time, you already know the capacity this state has for solar power. Why aren’t we achieving that yet? Feel free to post your ideas below, and hopefully together we can find the solution to getting more solar installed in the state of Texas! In the meantime, I’ll continue to support solar growth by: 1) working for a reputable solar company with a drive towards superior products and outstanding customer service, i.e. SUNTEX, and 2) continue my civic engagement by contacting local and state representatives to help support solar policies that help home owners like myself go solar. I hope you do the same, so that we can continue to support the nations’ energy demand as we move into the next phase of the Texas energy future.

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The Solution: Paris Climate Accords – Why Should I Care About Paris?

If you’ve been following along with our blog this week, you know that: 1) energy usage isn’t just increasing in the U.S. – it’s increasing all over the world; 2) energy production is meeting energy consumption in a few countries, but severely lacking in many other countries outside of the U.S. and China (which will lead to blackouts), and 3) that Carbon Dioxide – a harmful greenhouse gas associated with climate change – is not produced when using renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, or hydro-electric energy.

If this is true, what’s the solution? This is where things get really interesting! For many years, climate scientists and activists have been the only ones sounding the alarm on climate change, however thanks in large parts to their efforts (and to the increase in the price of non-renwable resources like oil and gas), world leaders are finally starting to listen. In December 2015, 196 countries signed the Paris Climate Accords! This was monumental because no other agreement of it’s kind had included such a wide array of countries all advocating for the same cause: the reduction in climate change. To learn more about what this agreement entails, check out the following link: https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement; or for a more detailed look, check out the full text of the Paris Climate Accord here: https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/english_paris_agreement.pdf. With this agreement, each country designated their own goals for CO2 reduction – which means if you’re thinking about increasing the energy efficiency of your home, you’re not alone! Almost every country in the world is doing the same thing, and hopefully if we work together, we can see notable changes before it’s too late.

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