It’s back to school
August 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
Welcome back students, now turn out the lights
It’s been a long hot and dry summer in Texas. While the students were away the miracle Governor, in the face of a $27B Texas budget deficit, cut $4B from school districts over the 2 year biennium period.
This is the first decrease in student spending in Texas since WW II . . . larger classes, fewer teachers and administrative positions, fewer school buses, less maintenance.
Get used to it kids! This is Texas. And, by the way, turn up the thermostat and turn out the lights. The much celebrated ‘deregulated’ Texas utilities forgot to plan on your electricity supply.
So, what’s up? Texas has deregulated it utilities. We need more power generation. Where is the free market response? The free market has responded: no thanks Texas schoolchildren.
This is what happens when you separate power generation from power consumption. This is why regulated utilities are assured a fair rate of return on their capital investment. This is why regulated utilities plan ahead and build adequate electricity generation capacity.
Texas has an abundance of sun light. Let’s put that renewable energy to work for Texas schools. Most schools have vast amounts of available roof space perfectly situated for grid-tied solar photovoltaic power generation.
Over a long-term period of time, a small fee on Texas consumers electricity bills could finance solar systems on public schools that would provide some (say 20%+/-) but not all of the schools’ electricity needs. These systems are on the load side of the meter and a prefect antidote for the recurring rolling brownout issues Texas faces in its energy deprived markets.
During the summer when schools are not in operation, the schools would be a net power generator and sell electricity back into the grid further reducing seasonal stress to the grid.
Solar energy is reliable, affordable, and long-term; it uses no fuel, has virtually no maintenance, no emissions, and no water use. Solar for schools . . . this is not an original thought.
Let’s do something bold TEXAS. We have the schools, we have the sun light, we have the local electrical contractors, we have the relentless demand; we are the absolute leaders in electricity consumption, we are the Energy State . . . the Lone Star (solar) State.
Let’s take the leadership and by 2025 have a solar installation on every public school in Texas. It’s a long-term investment in sustainable electricity for our schools. It’s time. Light from light. How perfect is that?
Chet Boortz, CEO
[The comments, positions, and opinions stated above are my own and may or may not represent those of SES21USA, LLC and its affiliate companies.]