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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Opinion

Texas’ embrace of green energy should inspire hope


Texas is paving the way to becoming more eco-friendly. | Juana Garcia/ The Cougar

Green energy is vitally important to the future of society and its combat with climate change. Fossil fuels are, of course, used in nearly every facet of society, but their methods of acquisition and use are bringing incredible harm to the planet and the environment.

Thankfully Texas, despite being a world leader in the oil and gas industry, is making efforts to decrease its carbon footprint and is working toward a more sustainable energy model. The steps currently being taken may be somewhat small, but it’s great to hear progress is being made.

The state is making great strides toward more green sources of energy. In fact, Texas produces the most wind energy of any state by a huge margin — nearly tripling the output of the runner up in the category, Iowa. Wind production has come so far in the state that current predictions estimate it will outperform coal in 2020, which is inspiring to hear.

A probable reason for this is the plummeting cost of harnessing wind energy. It has reportedly become one of the cheapest forms of energy, even lower than the ever-increasing price of natural gas and just cheaper than solar. Through wind and solar power, green energy is no longer only making sense environmentally but also economically.

Hearing about these advancements should inspire hope in the hearts of a generation that is currently staring an apocalypse in the face.

Global warming is real, and it’s being expedited by our society’s rampant use of fossil fuels. Wind energy is clean and incurs far less environmental impact than the methods that have been relied on in recent centuries.

All that being said, however, natural gas is still king in Texas, dwarfing its competition. This makes sense, as Texas’s oil and gas industry is famously massive. While hearing that may seem discouraging to some, the aforementioned economic incentives to push for more green energy is already pushing the state in the right direction.

As mentioned, solar power is currently about as affordable for energy companies as wind, but its use in Texas isn’t as widespread as wind’s.

While, again, this may seem discouraging to some, the reason behind it makes sense: solar has been much more expensive than its contemporaries, making it a less desirable option. Now that it’s nearly as cheap as wind, however, it should see more use in the state.

Additionally, solar energy doesn’t have to be exclusive to big businesses and energy producers. Anybody with the necessary time, money and location could and should consider installing solar panels on their home. It’s easier and more affordable than ever and will bring down carbon footprints by a non-negligible factor.

So, while Texas still has a considerable way to go before being considered entirely eco-friendly, inspiring progress is being made toward that goal. Wind and solar power are on the way in, and hopefully that progress can continue and perhaps even speed up in the upcoming years. Because if it doesn’t, nothing good could come of it.

Opinion writer Kyle Dishongh is a finance junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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