Renewable Portfolio Standards

Anti-wind energy bill fails in Texas legislature

(Photo via Leaflet on Wikimedia Commons)
Anti-wind energy bill fails in Texas legislature
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A bill that would have repealed Texas’ Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) failed to get legislative approval, recognizing that the law has been good for Texas.

Texas’ commitment to a steady, balanced energy strategy has worked for consumers and investors.  The anti-wind bill would have not only repealed Texas’ RPS law, it would have also eliminated the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ), in effect, breaking a deal which was struck to put long-term, cost-effective power lines in place.

Some states are considering increasing their renewable energy requirements, while to date, no state has ever repealed an RPS law despite several well-funded attempts to challenge these laws.

The Texas RPS has worked as an economic development tool and diversified the state’s energy mix.  States can look to Texas to see the benefits of putting pro-wind energy policies in place. The wind industry employs over 17,000 people in the state, and provides $42.5 million a year in payments to landowners who lease their land for wind turbines.

The CREZ transmission lines are one example of the proactive policies that the state has put in place. These transmission lines allow not only wind but also solar, gas and other types of generation to reach communities that need power. As this video explains, this additional transmission helped Texas become the No. 1 state in the U.S. in wind energy:

But some CREZ lines in the wind-rich Panhandle have not been completed. Companies developing wind resources in the Panhandle put up significant financial commitments to signal that there would be wind projects using those lines. The bill that was under consideration in Texas would have sent the wrong message to companies seeking to develop in Texas.

Texas has welcomed a variety of energy industries with investment-friendly policies.  The number one state in wind energy, Texas has shown that a long-term, pragmatic approach to renewable energy has worked.   By rejecting the bill, Texas legislators have recognized that wind energy is an important part of the local economy. We encourage other states to follow Texas’ lead and reject attempts to roll back successful RPS laws.

Renewable Portfolio Standards

As the Vice President of State Policy at AWEA, Susan Sloan leads a team working on state policy issues including RPS laws, taxes, siting, and transmission, as well as distributed and community wind. The State Relations team works with AWEA member companies and nine Regional Partner organizations across the country in legislative and regulatory affairs, as well as regional- and state-based events. Prior to joining AWEA, Susan worked for wind and solar interests, promoting renewable energy policies in Austin, and then the Texas legislature. She holds a bachelor’s in International Studies and French from Austin College.

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