Solar Power Frenzy Hits Texas


Photo via Sustainable Design Update

Texas produces more wind power than any other state in the US. Now, it's looking to be a leader in solar power as well. And Lone Star State legislators aren't wasting any time. The New York Times describes an "avalanche" of bills that create or improve incentives for solar power hitting the state senate. There are so many solar power bills rolling in that they've actually taken to calling this entire session of congress "the solar session."Looks like Texas' reputation as an oil giant maybe on the decline—and its reputation as a powerhouse in renewable energy is on the rise. In what other state, may I ask, are there 69 alternative energy bills before the legislature—50 of which are solar? That's how many the Texas senate has on its plate right now.

And that's just part of the state's solar revolution—the city of Austin just gave the green light to allow the largest solar panel installation in the nation to be built nearby.

So why the sudden rush towards solar? Why has renewable energy piqued the interest of so many Texas politicians—many who up until recently refused to even say the words "Global Warming" aloud? Why has this scenario arisen, in other words:

"There are senators and representatives that are talking about solar that have never mentioned the word probably in their lives," he said. "We've actually heard the term 'global warming,' and two years ago that was called 'the G word' — you didn't talk about it."

So what brought the change? I've got a hunch a little thing called the stimulus bill had something do with it—paired with Texas's proven track record on wind, it makes for an intriguing opportunity.

More on Texas Solar Power
Solar Decathlon House Adopted by Texas Astronomical Observatory
Texas Utility Spends $690 Million on Smart Meters

Tags: Congress | Renewable Energy | Solar Power | Texas