No one can dispute the rapid rise of wind power in Texas, which is expected to become the third largest source of electricity in Texas this year. From rather humble beginnings in the late 1990s, the wind industry in Texas has grown at an outstanding rate over the last five years, and generated 9.9% of the electricity in the ERCOT market, which covers most of Texas (see chart). In 2014, to date, wind has produced more electricity than nuclear power, according to ERCOT’s Electricity and Demand Report, in which wind produced 22.5 million MWh compared to 22.3 million MWh for nuclear power. Is solar next?
Tam Hunt, Greentech Media, Sept. 12, 2014
The Lone Star State's abundant land area, relatively simple permitting, and significant available transmission capacity may help usher in a new era. Texas is a highly desirable state for investing in renewable energy, topping the list for wind power development, but it is still quite a nascent market for solar power. But that may be about to change.
Editorial, Houston Chronicle, Sept. 12, 2014
With a rising population, Houston needs to be more ambitious on water conservation. The grass may be greener on this side of the 100th meridian, but that doesn't mean we don't have water worries. Houston, in fact, faces a water conundrum.
[UPDATE: Sept. 3, 2014] Thank you to everyone who attended public hearings and/or submitted comments to the Texas Water Development Board in favor of water conservation funding. Your efforts are much appreciated, and you have definitely made an impact! The turnout for the evening hearing in Fort Worth was particularly impressive. Though the comment period for TWDB's proposed rules to implement Prop 6 is now closed, the process is not yet complete. The agency stff and Board will review comments and consider changes to the rules over the next few months, with an anticipated adoption date in early-to-mid December. Sierra Club will continue to be involved in this process and work towards greater water conservation in Texas.
It may not seem like much is going on at the Texas Legislature right now, with the 84th session still months away and an election between now and then, but budget decisions are being made now that will affect key state agencies, including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Agencies such as the TCEQ are in the middle of submitting “legislative appropriations requests,” or LARs, which will form the basis of the state budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. Lone Star Chapter Conservation Director Cyrus Reed recently submitted comments to the TCEQ that would improve air quality and develop clean energy infrastructure in Texas, if adopted.
Tune in to Shades of Green live talk radio at 91.7 FM in Austin, or streaming on the web at www.koop.org on Thursday, Sept 18, from 1-2 PM CDT to hear Cyrus Reed, conservation director of the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter, discuss the exciting features of the upcoming Renewable Roundup and Sustainable Living Fair. Shades of Green hosts John Hoffner, Stacy Guidry, and Reed Sternberg will be offering two free passes to the Roundup for a donation to KOOP!
The 14th Annual Renewable Roundup and Sustainable Living Fair is right around the corner, and this year promises to be the best yet! The Sierra Club is a lead sponsor of this year's Roundup, which will be held for the first time at the Bell County Exposition Center in Belton, Texas. One, two, and three-day passes are on sale now, and discounts are available for seniors and military. Short on funds? Consider volunteering and get in free!