Red State = Clean Energy
The Texas market-driven model is a bold contrast to calls for new environmental mandates
Thanks to past actions by state leaders including George W. Bush and Rick Perry, Texas is expanding its historic energy leadership into the 21st century with a market-driven clean energy boom. The deregulation of the Texas electric market and other initiatives, such as adopting one of the first Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and investing in the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) to bring renewable power to Texas cities, have unleashed a new generation of energy entrepreneurs in a market-driven transition to clean energy in the Texas electric grid.
Texas has been a leading wind producer since the early 2000’s and with over 22,000 MW of installed wind capacity, Texas produces three times as much wind power as the second-ranked state. As solar power has expanded in Texas, the state now ranks 7th nationwide in installed solar capacity and 4th in solar industry job creation, with more than 8,800 Texans working in the solar industry.
At the same time, advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies have revolutionized natural gas production. Almost one-third of the 100 largest natural gas fields are located, in whole or in part, in the state and Texas leads the nation in natural gas production, accounting for one-fourth of U.S. production in 2016 with more than 8 trillion cubic feet.
The Texas Clean Energy Coalition (TCEC) advances market-driven policies and solutions that strengthen our state’s economy, promote Texas’ continued national and global leadership in energy innovation, and ensure clean and affordable energy and water for all Texans. Since 2013, research by TCEC and economists from The Brattle Group has found that market forces like low prices for natural gas and solar PV — not federal environmental mandates — are the primary factors driving the Texas electric grid away from coal and toward Texas-produced natural gas, wind and solar power. The complete study is available on the TCEC website.
The Texas model of a market-driven clean energy transition built on energy independence, innovation and entrepreneurship provide a bold alternative to proposals for new federal environmental mandates. When you combine:
• Texas’ conservative pro-market credentials;
• its market leadership as a producer of clean energy from natural gas, wind and solar power;
• its fondness for state-level, market-driven outcomes rather than federal government programs; and
• its success as a clean energy leader in the 21st Century; they all add up to a fresh, conservative model of a market-driven clean energy policy.