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The Future is Renewable Energy in Texas

by Joey Zoubi | Nov 12, 2019

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You may believe that Texas connects things to always being ‘bigger,’ but fortunately, that isn’t the case when it comes to its carbon footprint. In a mere 15 years, we have seen Wind power soar from 1.4% in 2005 to 20% in 2019, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

Being that Texas is the largest in population and only falling behind Alaska in size, we are the tycoons of oil that set a proverbial standard for the rest of the world. When other nations think about oil production in America, they think of the cowboys in Texas.

Although Texas may look very different in modern times than this stereotypical image, it is still strange to imagine Texas completely moving away from oil and petroleum. Nonetheless, more and more oil and coal plants are shutting down around the state and grabbing the attention of major media correspondents nationwide.

If you’re from the Lone Star State, you know all of the qualities that make Texas great. But did you know that Texas is the largest generator of electrical energy in the United States? As the second-largest state in population and square mileage, this isn’t hard to believe, but certain changes on the horizon of those wide-open planes could have some raising eyebrows.

Things are changing rapidly as 21.5% of energy in Texas was renewable in 2019, comprised of Wind, Hydro, Biomass, as well as solar energy. The wind is quickly becoming the most heavily utilized energy source, but 47.3% of Texan energy is still coming from gas resources.

Wind Energy

With this transformational shift that began around the turn of the century, renewable energy is on the rise and receiving more attention than ever. Don’t allow this to excite or frighten you too much, because the shift will not be overnight, yet you may be surprised how quickly it’s begun.  

Onlyin the last 5 years have we seen the drastic upswing of Wind Energy, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

There are now over 10,700 wind turbines scattered around the state of Texas, with over 80,000 windmills spanning the Texan Great Plains, according to Amory B. Lovin’s piece on Business Solutions for the New Energy Era.

These evolutions in our energy usage are also creating wonderful commercialization and revenue stream that is impacting the job market, offering 24,000 new jobs in the last decade and the opening of many wind energy farms. Major development is currently (2020) being down in West Texas as there is the most room for growth, but this impacts the entire state.

According to the EIA.Gov, “The Public Utility Commission of Texas first adopted rules for the state's renewable energy mandate in 1999 and amended them in 2005 to require that 5,880 megawatts, or about 5% of the state's electricity generating capacity, come from renewable sources by 2015 and 10,000 megawatts of renewable capacity by 2025, including 500 megawatts from resources other than wind. Texas surpassed the 2025 goal in 2009, predominantly with wind generating capacity.”

Texans continue to do it ‘bigger and better’ beating their 2025 goals about 16 years ahead of time. What kind of standard does that set for the amazing future of renewable energy? Are the possibilities endless? People are continuing to question its growth and it shows no signs of blowing away (bad pun, apologies).

Our current wind capacity as of 2019 is 27,036 MW, higher than any other state in the nation.

Solar Energy

The top States connected to the Solar-Energy shift to renewable power options is mostly recognized in the states of:

  • Texas
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • North Carolina

Each of these 5 states showing the greatest solar-development in the last decade (2009 to 2019).

In a report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Texas has shifted upwards from 9th to 5th in the National ranking of solar electricity capacities. This report also discovered that Texas has increased by over 60% in less than a year!

Solar is taking more time than Wind as it can be very expensive as far as upfront-investment. The savings will come from solar energy, but only in the long-term. Our plans are incredibly affordable as we avoid the premium price so you are offered the lowest rate possible. (Skip to the bottom for our contact information if you’re ready to call with your questions or for a quote!)

The exciting prospect of Solar Energy becoming more and more affordable. The price drop is quite staggering from the first solar panels in 1956 which were around $300.00 per watt, now roughly 1% of that cost, at $3.00 per watt in the late 2010s.

And a recent study, “found that the cost per kilowatt-hour of solar has fallen below coal and gas,” according to the Ars Technica Information and Technology Media group.

Total Energy Usage in Texas

The total fuel type usage across Texas in 2018, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is as follows:

  • Natural Gas (Petroleum) 45%
  • Coal 24%
  • Wind Power 19%
  • Nuclear Power 11%
  • Solar Power 1%

Which has already increased to 20% in 2019 and Solar is due to rise substantially as well.

Big Changes Being Enacted in Texas

What Texas residents need to be aware of are the large-scale changes that the Great State of Texas is making. Some of these include:

  • In 2020, those that have converted their homes or businesses to solar energy can be eligible for a tax credit of 26%. This tax credit can greatly assist with the upfront costs that can be hefty, while the long-term savings of solar power in your home could save you between $10,000 to $30,000 across the life of your solar panels, according to the Energy Sage, (savings calculated by including this Texas Tax credit).
  • A recent study in 2019 done by Rice University found that Texas could easily function off of Wind and Solar power alone. Citing on their assessment of solar and wind power’s complementary nature to the Texas energy model, “such analyses will become increasingly important as the mix of Texas variable renewable electricity supply shifts from predominately West Texas wind to include more solar power and a broader mix of wind locations.”
  • Natural gas (such as coal, petroleum, and other gases) is undercutting the value of other energy sources in Texas, as well as the entire world. Renewable energy is still quite expensive for the middle-class average family home; however, it is becoming increasingly economical. The average of developing a solar-powered plant is $0.18/kWh, which is honestly becoming quite competitive with fossil fuel expenses.
  • Essentially, Texas is noticing the amazing impacts of renewable energy, and you should too.

Shifts are happening quickly and some of the pendulum swinging may balance out this transformative period.

You make think that Texas has oil in its veins., but based on the state’s long-term goals, recent investments in renewable energy, and recent backlash to public officials regarding sustainable energy sources for efforts against global warming, this loyalty to petroleum might be dancing on its last breath.

Is It Time to Make the Switch to Renewable?  

For those that are not ready for a renewable energy revolution, don’t worry yet. Natural gas still accounts for more than 40% of the state’s energy usage and a major shift like this takes large-scale and state-wide support. We are also supplying over 40% of the entire nation’s petroleum output and nearly 30% of its natural gas capacity, so these renewable changes won’t be overnight.

You won’t immediately see everyone with solar panels on their roofs or wind-mills in their front yards. But over time, it will certainly become increasingly common.

The increase will come in a similar fashion to all great changes: People will be intimidated by it upfront, grow more comfortable over time, demand rises but similarly to a hot-trend such as the iPhone, prices will drop over time. It’s already happening as countless media corporations release pieces about the affordability of renewable energy, often beating natural gas rates.

You should consider making the switch to renewable energy options as we offer incredible rates that won’t break the bank. We hope all of this information has enlightened you to the savings of renewable energy and the incredible environmental impact your shift can have.

At this point, the entire nation will take cues from the influence of Texas, making renewable energy more affordable and reasonable for a greater percentage of citizens throughout the nation.

Adaptation has always kept the world moving forward and both solar and wind energy are on the rise. As approaches that offer cleaner energy, lowered maintenance costs, tax breaks, the entire nation will be making more decisions based on what is good for the environment, planet, and long-term options that are viable.

Petroleum wasn’t going to last forever, and it has an estimated 50-150 years left at the rate we’re blowing through it. What do you think will occur when it’s all gone?

Renewable energy has reached a peak regarding its affordability. Are you ready to make the switch?

Contact us for any questions you may have and the incredible savings we can offer. We use solar and wind energy to supply our members with 100% green energy with low costs. Your wallet won’t suffer and neither will the environment.

We want to keep Texas as clean and beautiful as we found it.