Texas wind power continues to pick up speed
Caitlin Cosper / October 9th, 2017
The world continues to change, and so does the way we get energy. In Texas, oil, natural gas and coal have been the main sources of energy because, historically, they’ve been cheap and plentiful. However, concerns over rising costs and dwindling supplies have caused many in the state to rely more seriously on renewable energy sources. For Texas, the best green energy source is wind.
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the wind energy market. Wind power is great for the environment, in infinite supply, and, perhaps most importantly, it’s saving Texas money. Texas’s expansive rural landscape gives it a massive (and cheap) space to set up miles and miles of wind farms. Texas also is perfectly positioned for wind turbines because its strongest winds blow in the middle of the day, at the time when electricity demands are highest.
The mix of ideal conditions, in combination with the persistence of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, now U.S. secretary of energy, turned Texas into a wind power giant. Today, Texas is the top producer of wind energy in the United States, at times supplying up to 50 percent of the state’s electricity.
Texas is uniquely situated in the national energy system because its grid is self-contained within the state. Since power lines never cross state borders, the Texas government only must work with itself to establish energy regulation and change.
The booming Texas wind industry, however, could not continue to thrive without national support. Luckily, the federal government is in support of American-made energy. The federal and Texas government both continue to show support of expanding the Texas wind energy market; both governments offer incentives and tax credits to Texans who utilize renewable energy or purchase renewable energy certificates. There are standards of renewable energy usage that every state must meet – and Texas far exceeds the minimum.
Regardless of whether the environmental advantages of renewable energy are the focus for Texans, no one can deny the financial benefits of wind power. Think of wind as the newest national cash-crop; wind energy is cheaper to produce and a constant in Texas, so prices are much more predictable than those of other energy sources. For this reason, Georgetown, Texas, decided to become the first fully wind-powered city and give its citizens steady prices for up to 25 years (with other cities following suit).
Besides its value as a commodity, wind energy opens the door to thousands of new jobs and technological advancements. The wide-open Texas land is an obvious choice for companies investing in wind power. And with hundreds of acres of wind turbines across this 820-mile wide state, landowners need educated and capable engineers to keep everything functional.
Demand for workers has pushed the position of wind turbine technician to be the fastest growing job in the U.S., with annual salaries upwards of $50,000. By bringing thousands of jobs into the state and encouraging the country to keep investing in this renewable energy source, supporting wind power truly means supporting Texas.
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