April 3, 2015

Proposed Texas State Legislation Could Change Renewable Energy

Proposed legislation could end a Texas mandate for the renewable power industry.

The state of Texas leads the nation when it comes to wind power, but Texas lawmakers are asking if it is time to end state support for the renewable power industry.

The bill's sponsor says Texas has far surpassed goals set by the state to lower its carbon emissions.

This proposed legislation would end the requirement that power retailers must buy credits from wind and solar farms to meet state renewable standards.

Ken Starcher, the Associate Director of the Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M explained why lawmakers are wanting to end this state mandate.

"The renewable energy has grown past what the state has asked for. So they fill like it is no longer needed to have a law that says, reach these targets" says Starcher.

A lot of the wind development and wind potential is in The Panhandle Area, so if this bill becomes law, it could be detrimental to the area. 

"So it is going to affect us economically, tax wise, and secondary job growth. We are seeing a lot of growth around the wind farms for people supply tools, parts, plumbing to the wind farms. They are making good income just by supporting the wind farms as they develop".

The wind farms that are up and running now will not go away under this proposed legislation, but it will put a limit on any future growth.

"The effective size that we expect to see is anything that you see in The Panhandle could double. For every wind farm that you see right now, expect one more. However, that would be the limit of all the wires to transmit to the people who need it, far south Texas.

This bill would also end the renewable energy zone project to bring wind power to Dallas -Fort Worth, Houston and Austin.

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