With oil prices rising, climate change a hot topic, and renewable energy sources such as solar energy growing in popularity, it’s time to find out which state uses the most solar energy.
To determine the most solar-powered state, Live Design got in touch with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a trade organization that promotes sustainable energy and clean technology. The SEIA provided us with the data we needed to find out which state uses the most solar energy – as of 2018, it’s Texas.
Here, we’ll explore the ways in which Texas uses solar energy and how residents in this state benefit from living in a solar-powered house or business.
Top 5 Ways Solar Energy Is Used In Texas
As the most populous state in the country, it’s no surprise that Texas uses the most solar energy out of any other state. Here are the top five ways in which solar energy is used in this state.
Solar energy is most commonly used to heat homes and businesses in Texas. In fact, nearly all homes and businesses in the state rely on some form of solar energy. Despite the fact that Texas is the fourth-largest state in the country, it only has a 3.9% unemployment rate (as of April 2019). If more people in Texas were able to find sustainable sources of energy, it’s possible that this rate could drop significantly. In 2018, Texas had 72.8 million visitors, according to the Texas Office of Tourism. Many of these visitors might not have considered the impact that their travel had on the state’s power use – but this would certainly be a side effect of using less oil, wouldn’t it? In 2018, the total energy use in Texas was 18.3 trillion kWh, and almost all of this (97%) was from traditional fuels such as coal, gas, and oil.
Amongst the other major ways that solar energy is used in Texas is for water heating and supply. In the state, 19.6% of the population doesn’t have access to drinking water, according to the Water Resources Center. With such a large percent of the state living without easy access to fresh, running water, it’s no wonder that Texas uses the most solar energy in the country for drinking water needs. In the summer of 2018, Dallas experienced its hottest year on record, so it’s likely that many Texans are facing water shortages. Aside from the discomfort that comes with being unable to drink sufficient amounts of water, there’s also the environmental impact that comes with consuming more plastic than ever before in the name of convenience. Between 2006 and 2017, the amount of plastic bag waste in the state increased by 64% and 48% in large and mid-sized cities, respectively. It’s estimated that if current trends continue, there will be more plastic bag waste in Texas within the next decade than there is in the entire planet today.
The third and perhaps the most important way that solar energy is used in Texas is for electricity generation. In 2018, Texas had the third-largest wind energy industry in the country, with over 340 wind farms operating across the state. This energy is generated from the wind and is then sold to electricity companies for distribution. In the last decade or so, solar energy has become a popular choice for both residential and commercial applications, and as a result, the demand for solar electricity has increased by nearly 60% in the state.
This trend is likely to continue, especially since Texas is one of the most solar-friendly states in the country. Aside from the benefits of renewable energy sources, residents in this state also have the option of buying solar power directly through their utility company. Many electricity suppliers in Texas offer attractive renewable energy plans, so it’s likely that more individuals will choose to go solar.
Solar energy is a versatile and popular choice for homeowners in Texas for a variety of reasons. If you’re concerned about climate change or want to reduce your dependence on fossil fuels, then going solar is a great option. Not only does it provide a steady supply of clean energy, it also reduces your carbon footprint and makes you more independent on energy supplies. Despite all these advantages, going solar is not right for everyone – particularly those who want their electricity to be available at all times. If you’re looking for a way to save money on your energy bills while still being able to track the amount of electricity being used at any given time, then look into buying a solar power system that stores energy.
Depending on where you are in Texas, the amount of solar energy you’ll see will vary – some areas get a lot, whereas others get very little. However, in most places, solar energy is most commonly used for vehicle transport, particularly in the southern part of the state. This is due to the fact that most people living in Texas have to drive to get where they need to go, and with gas prices rising, it’s now more affordable for individuals and businesses to buy or lease a vehicle that runs on solar energy.
Solar powered vehicles are growing in popularity due in part to the fact that we’re now seeing companies create custom vehicles that run on solar energy. These cars are sleek, stylish, and have an aerodynamic body – creating a perfect blend of form and function.
Finally, we have industry, which, despite its somewhat ambiguous definition, can still be considered a form of solar energy use in Texas. Due to the fact that many businesses in the state are still heavily reliant on fossil fuels (65% use gas, 22% use coal, and 11% use oil), much of Texas’ industry continues to pollute the environment. However, there have been some notable advancements in this area, and many businesses have begun to see the benefits of going solar.
This trend is more visible in larger cities, where a lot of industries have begun to convert to solar power, resulting in a large amount of solar energy being used in the state’s manufacturing sector. Due to the increasing demand for solar energy, many manufacturers have started offering solar-powered equipment and vehicles, saving them money and the environment in the process. In 2018 alone, the solar industry in Texas is expected to grow by 19%, so it’s clear that more and more businesses are seeing the light and switching to renewable energy.
Overall, it’s clear that Texas uses a lot of solar energy – much more than any other state. The reasons for this are multifaceted, but it mostly comes down to the fact that this is simply a state that is very proactive in terms of conserving energy. Whether you’re looking to go solar to save money or reduce your carbon footprint, it’s an option that makes a lot of sense. Just keep in mind the various restrictions and requirements that come with installing solar panels, and do your research before committing.