Monthly Archives: July 2015

Wind Power’s Growth In Texas Triggers Challenge To Renewable Energy Mandates

Oil and gas dominate the Texas energy market but wind is growing exponentially. Wind power now provides 10 per cent of the state's electricity. (Lorne Matalon)

Oil and gas dominate the Texas energy market but wind is growing exponentially. Wind power now provides 10 per cent of the state’s electricity. (Lorne Matalon)

 

A version of this story also aired on the Texas Standard, a public radio collaboration led by KUT, Austin, Texas.

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NOTREES, Texas–Energy production in Texas is dominated by oil and gas — but the state also leads the United States in the production of wind power. Some energy analysts suggest that wind power’s success in the Lone Star state has now become its challenge.

State senators recently passed a bill that threatened to repeal a state law that required utilities to source a certain amount of electricity from renewables. For 15 years, that mandate has paved the way for wind power’s growth in Texas.

They are part of an initiative that used private sector investment in wind power production and government investment in transmission lines to bring in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar to the Texas grid.

But the effort to eliminate what has been the backbone of the wind power industry’s financial model has sent a troublesome signal to investors who say wind generation needs support to compete with the fossil fuel industry.

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