Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020 | 2 a.m.
As a physicist, I am encouraged that Gov. Steve Sisolak recognizes the seriousness of climate change and that he is trying to do something to ameliorate it. The strains on the Western power grid that occurred during the most recent heat wave are just one example of how climate change will negatively impact us and are a call for action.
Yet one of many solutions to reducing our dependence on greenhouse gas producing fossil fuels is already here: solar energy.
I recently purchased solar panels for my home and love them. However, due to regulations instituted by NV Energy, I could only install sufficient solar panels to pay for 85% of my yearly average electric bill and thus, only one-quarter or so of my roof was covered in solar panels though I would have been happy to purchase more panels if I were allowed to. Then, I received an e-mail months ago that said I could install a battery/energy storage system in my home (for a fee) to help compensate for the loss in power on the grid in days of overusage. But when I tried accepting the offer, it was already oversubscribed.
Here in Nevada, there is absolutely no excuse why every home in Las Vegas should not be covered in solar panels except for reasons of corporate profits and scientific illiteracy of our leaders. Solar is a very logical alternative as a dependable source of energy, particularly in sunny Las Vegas which would help buffer situations when the grid is under stress from overuse of electricity.
As climate change continues undaunted, our bills will only go upward and grid instability will only get worse without a seismic shift in the attitudes in our politicians to start encouraging the development of solar energy as a reliable resource for Southern Nevada.
Then we won’t need to be at the mercy of the Western power grid, and we will make a positive effort to combat climate change which can serve as an example to the rest of our struggling nation.