At the end of 2019, Texas was fifth in the nation for solar power generation, and its numbers are swiftly rising. What’s on the docket for solar energy in the Lone Star State over the next decade? So far, the outlook is sunny.
The climate in Texas provides abundant sunshine that propels solar panels, solar farms and any other solar powered technologies to produce extensive power year-round.
Texas residents enjoy about 2800 hours of sunlight per year in addition to having a clear sky on 135 days per year. These natural factors are extremely beneficial for solar panels because it allows it to capture the maximum amount of energy with the sunshine provided.
In addition to the weather, cities all over Texas incentivize businesses and residents to transition to solar energy. For many parts of the state, Texas’ electric utilities are deregulated. This allows consumers to select the provider of their choice instead of being forced to remain with their utility company. Many of these providers offer green energy options.
For businesses, cities and the State of Texas can provide tax credits for solar projects and for transitioning energy use to solar energy. By using the savings provided by local, state and federal governments, businesses are much more likely to use solar energy.
In comparison to oil and coal, solar energy is a non-depletable energy reservoir. This means that solar energy can generate significant revenue for city and state entities indefinitely. Solar investments in districts across Texas have totaled over $4.5 billion. It’s anticipated that investments will increase to over $7.5 billion over the next 3 years alone statewide.
The solar energy market is also providing many job opportunities. The solar energy workforce added over 5,600 jobs from 2018 to 2019. Texas is one of the leading states for job opportunities within the solar energy market.
The state ranks fifth nationwide in solar job opportunities and accounted for nearly 10 percent of all new solar jobs from 2018 to 2019. The job opportunities in solar energy for local residents are great because many corporations provide on the job training for candidates with a high school diploma.
In 2020, wind generators in Texas are set to pass coal-fired power plants as the second largest power generation in Texas due to the falling prices of renewable energy. Pressure from politicians, corporations and other influences are pushing the state of Texas to opt for renewable energy in future decades instead of relying on fossil fuels.
This helps set the infrastructure for solar energy to make a great impact in the renewable energy market in Texas. In 2020, Texas is anticipated to double its solar electricity output by investing in solar farms.
One of the leaders in the forefront of transitioning Texas to more sustainable energy is Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross. Ross has made it a priority to ensure his city of 70,000 residents use only clean energy for their power needs.
In addition to environmental impact, one of the main incentives for Ross to switch to sustainable energy was to circumvent the regulatory risk that comes with using gas and oil.
“What’s there to regulate with wind and solar?” the mayor asked.
The multiple incentives provided by transitioning to clean energy can be sufficient to influence more cities to stop their reliance on coal, oil and gas to power their cities. Examples like Georgetown, Texas will be more common as the investment in clean energy continues to grow and renewable energy becomes more cost-effective for cities within Texas.
To learn about how your city and state are using renewable energy, find out more here.
Dhoof Mohamed writes about energy and IT topics for various clients. His academic interests include solar energy initiatives and the future of sustainable energy. His articles have appeared on SiteProNews, ChooseFlorida and the office of the U.S. Embassy. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.