Oil and Gas Money Study: Texas can lead with Solar

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There's a very thorough new study funded by the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation – yes, old oil and gas money – by former Deputy Comptroller of Public Accounts Billy C. Hamilton, that says with a modest commitment to renewable energy, Texas could add 22,900 new jobs a year through 2020.

Read the report for yourself right here.

We are talking 220,000 jobs, $280 million per year in local and state taxes and a growth in the Texas GSP of $2.7 billion – per year.

 The study, an exhaustive 120 pages reviewing Texas's electricity market and variouspolicies, found that if Texas were to increase its Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard by some 13,000 MWs of clean power, including a required solar commitment of 3,500 MWs, some 20 percent of Texas's electricity would be either wind, solar, or biomass, even as coal plants went from some 19% to some 16% in electricity.

That's right, folks.

The study assumes no carbon tax or cap and trade legislation takes place, but just making a commitment to clean energy would help transition us away from dirty coal toward clean energy.

The study also discusses other policies beyond the expansion of the RPS that could help –including tax incentives, a true net-metering policy – where homeowners are actually paid a fair value for any electricity they generate from solar panels– and making sure that Homeowners Associations stop outlawing solar panels.

Hamilton is going around from Texas city to Texas city to join up with leaders like State Senator Kirk Watson.

Join the conversation. Texas leads the nation in wind development – already over 10,000 MWs installed — we can do the same in solar.

By Cyrus Reed, of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. Follow us at @texassierraclub


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