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Solar energy comes to the rescue for Californians

Solar panels cover the roof of a Sam's Club store in Glendora, California.
Solar panels cover the roof of a Sam's Club store in Glendora, California.
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Solar energy comes to the rescue for Californians. This winter there’s been a lack of rainfall in California affecting reservoirs and rivers that fuel the state’s hydroelectricity power plants.

However, with the abundant sunshine this year and solar panels coming to the rescue by providing power and filling in the energy gap, Californians are not at risk of losing electricity at the present time, according to the state's energy officials.

Robert Weisenmiller, chairperson of the California Energy Commission said,

"We're going to have enough power to keep the lights on: We are not concerned about blackouts or outages. We are much less dependent on hydropower now than we were in the 1940s. In just the last year, we've added more than 1,000 megawatts of solar alone."

Close to 200,000 homes can receive power from 1,000 megawatts of solar power. Pacific, Gas & Electric receives about 11 percent of its electricity from reservoirs that help in producing hydropower; on the other hand, natural gas, nuclear, solar wind and air provide the remaining renewable resources to generate electricity.

Solar energy comes to the rescue for California

In the last few months, a number of large solar plants have come online. The solar plant, SunPower just recently started operation with BrightSource Energy expected to come online in the Mojave Desert next week.

Spokesperson for Solar Energy Industries Association, Ken Johnson points out,

"Solar not only helps California's economy and environment, it's also the smart way to go if you want to conserve water resources. Solar panels use almost no water, while nuclear; coal and natural gas facilities can use thousands of gallons per megawatt hour, depending on the technology and the facility."

Impact of solar energy

Reservoir water levels provide hydroelectricityhydropower completely depends on water in order to produce electricity. With the recent drought, hydro facilities located in Northern California’s mountain ranges are not getting sufficient supplies of water to help in generating electrical power.

Even though California has experienced drought conditions, rain shortages, and reduced levels of water in rivers and reservoirs, California state energy officials are not panicking since energy providers diversify their power sources. With the added utilization of solar energy to generate power, California residents, businesses, and visitors are less reliant on water, and benefit from more reliable renewable resource in order to provide electricity for their homes and businesses.

Read more of George Zapo’s articles pertaining to public, global, and environmental health at his website:

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