Written By John Bryant

The path forward with renewables.

Renewable Energy and Power outages

So, picture this: you are chilling at home, enjoying your day, when suddenly poof! The power goes out. Not cool, right? That is exactly what happened to me last summer 4 times and at least twice this winter.  As the sweat started rolling and the heat turned up, I realized how crucial a constant power supply is. It got me thinking about why some do not root for renewables when the lights flicker, and the AC and heat stop humming. An article I read this morning inspired me to write this post. I will link the article below.

Let’s begin with the positives.

Digging into renewable energy solutions, wind, and solar power are like superheroes in a blackout. They do not bail when things get tough; they keep churning out power. These power champions have the juice to change how we power up and handle those “uh oh” moments. Renewable energy, particularly solar and wind, played a significant role in supporting the Texas power grid during the heatwave in 2023. Upon using a little forensic meteorology this morning, Solar power accounted for nearly 20% of the state’s electricity during peak demand, while wind and solar together provided 35-40% of total electricity. Forensic meteorology is reconstructing past weather events for a specific time and location and piecing the information together when you need answers and solutions to complex weather events. It’s difficult to specifically remember many past weather events when it comes to exact times. Integrating renewable energy sources, battery storage systems, and efficient grid-scale battery installations helped maintain the grid reliability and prevented widespread outages. Texas experienced lower electricity prices despite gas and coal plant outages. The expansion of solar energy capacity highlighted the state’s commitment to sustainable solutions.  I know many people will feel differently about this, but the data doesn’t lie. The big freeze several years ago was also a wakeup call to action for the Lone Star State.

So Why the Doubts?

Here is the kicker. Some folks are not all aboard the green energy train during emergencies. But why the hesitation? Shouldn’t we embrace a solution that is like a cool drink of water or warm hot tea when the heat or AC goes out? Is it the fear of change or the love for the usual way things work? But when you are sweating it out in an outage, you see why sticking to the old routine might not cut it.

Rallying for Reliable Energy

After my blackout power episodes last summer and this winter, I realized that power cuts are more than just a nuisance. They throw a wrench in your day, mess with your groove, and test your patience. It is time we shine the spotlight on renewables, not just as backups but as the real deal when things go sideways.  

I am all in for the wonders of green energy. It is time we get on the train of a future “fueled” (pun intended) by renewables and a commitment to a greener, more reliable system. I was listening to a podcast, and someone put it this way. “If you are on a train and the conductor says it’s time for the train to leave, the conductor holds the train for his or her best friend as long as he or she can until, eventually, the train has to leave the station.

Join the conversation. If you disagree, I encourage you to leave your thoughts and opinions.

Here’s the link to the USA Today article.

 Are wind, solar power reliable in extreme weather? Evidence says yes (usatoday.com)