In my youth I used to own a T-Shirt that said, “Give Texas Back to Mexico.” I admit it was rude, I apologize, and I’ve changed my mind!
Texas has an image as a big tough, independent and proud state. It’s also known as the oil capital of the country. They haven’t voted for a democrat for president since Jimmy Carter and that didn’t work out too well. Texas has an abysmal record on some things that most reasonable people would agree are bad, from ranking 43rd in the nation on education to ranking 4th for pollution. So what could possibly change my mind?
If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know I keep mentioning something on which most people are unaware… that there are alternatives and clean energy solutions that are viable, will create jobs, and will reduce our climate changing consumption of fossil fuels.
Texas is now number one in the country for wind and biomass energy and is currently ranked number three in renewable attractiveness. Texas is clearly doing something about energy!
- Texas ranks #2 nationally for employment in the renewable energy market. There are 102,000 new jobs in the renewable energy field in Texas. That’s a lot of jobs! Something we hear that we need, and the growth of this industry should reduce the Texas ranking on unemployment.
- It ranks 6th in the nation in solar.
- Texas A&M’s Center for Solar Energy will be the world’s largest solar PV and R&D facility when complete.
- The CPS Energy 400MW solar project in San Antonio will be the nations largest.
- Currently Texas ranks 4th in the nation on clean energy patents.
- Clearly they are investing in education and research.
- There won’t be another coal fired power plant built in Texas for twenty years because of renewable energy.
- Some Texas utilities are offering free electricity at night because of the excess wind power.
- The city of Georgetown, Tx (pop 50,000) will go 100 % renewable by 2017.
- The city of Austin, Tx (pop 900,000) will go 55% renewable by 2025.
While the current Texas goals are only a small part of their total energy consumption (approx. 10%) the trend is in the right direction. This number is expected to grow to 15% within two years. Is this because Texans understand that they are dead center for climate change: hotter temperatures, more hurricanes, droughts, and water shortages? Not really. Maybe some, but this is simply an economic issue. Renewables make economic cents (pun intended.)
Renewable energy policies help drive the nation’s $36 billion market for wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. Twenty-nine states have developed Renewable Portfolio Standards and Goals.Texas set their goals early. A few of the states that didn’t are WV, KT, AR, LA, MS, AL, GA, FL, NE, WY, ID.
So Texas, thank you for showing the way. If Texas can do it, then the other 21 states can also. Stay tuned to learn about how this transformation is taking place.
Savor the Earth!
L Hobart Stocking