Solar | Texas Public Radio

Solar

Call it a sign of the times.

Renewable energy has gotten so cheap that even oil giant Exxon Mobil, which reported $20.8 billion in earnings in 2018, is getting in on the savings.

Paul Flahive | Texas Public Radio

Georgetown, located north of Austin, was the first in Texas to go 100 percent renewable energy in 2017. Now, the city of nearly 70,000 thousand people wants to generate power locally in a move staff say could change how neighborhoods are designed in the future.

 


Puerto Rico is in the midst of the worst electricity outage in U.S. history. Most of the island remains without power more than two months after Hurricane Maria hit the island.

Some Puerto Ricans are saying that the current crisis should be a wake-up call that the island needs to move to a less centralized power system — and that solar power might be part of the solution. In other words, they believe Puerto Rico should follow the lead of many developing nations where solar power production is expanding rapidly.

Morocco has officially turned on a massive solar power plant in the Sahara Desert, kicking off the first phase of a planned project to provide renewable energy to more than a million Moroccans.

The Noor I power plant is located near the town of Ouarzazate, on the edge of the Sahara. It's capable of generating up to 160 megawatts of power and covers thousands of acres of desert, making the first stage alone one of the world's biggest solar thermal power plants.

Travis Bubenik / KRTS

CPS Energy is rolling out a new program aimed at giving people more options for customer's energy consumption. Aimed at providing solar programs for people who may have inadequate roofs or those who don't own their homes, the program consists of a larger solar farm where people could purchase a solar panel and be guaranteed the energy produced for 25 years.

Guest:

Raiford Smith, Vice President of Corporate Development and Planning at CPS Energy

The Obama administration hopes to make solar power more accessible for low- and middle-income Americans. It's announcing a series of moves, including installing more solar energy units in federally subsidized housing, low cost loans for homeowners and a program to help renters.

Solar Gardens Grow Community Energy

Jun 5, 2015

A growing number of homeowners across the country are looking to get their electricity from solar energy, as the cost to install panels goes down.

But not everyone can put panels on their homes. Maybe it’s too shady, or the roof slope isn’t quite right. That’s where community solar comes in.

Grace Hood, an energy and environment reporter for Here & Now contributor station Colorado Public Radio, explains what it is and how it works.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

GEORGETOWN — A Central Texas city will be among the first in the U.S. to get its electricity exclusively from solar and wind energy.

SunEdison, which makes solar panels and develops power plants, said Wednesday that it is building a 150-megawatt solar farm in West Texas to serve the municipal utility of Georgetown, about 30 miles north of Austin. That’s enough to supply about half the city’s residents, and the rest of the electricity will come from wind.

San Antonio is known for its big inroads into solar power. Boasting 128 MW of commercial solar power currently online and the biggest solar project of any municipal power provider coming online--their 400 MW OCI solar collaboration--CPS Energy says and appeasr to be fully invested in solar power.

The Danish Wind Industry Association (Flickr user: danishwindindustryassociation) / cc

For decades the world hoped for a clean energy revolution, but the big energy story of the last 5 years has been the rise of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing and a retrenching in fossil fuels.

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