Report: Repower Texas with Clean Energy

Sun Power: Texas' Solar Future

Released by: Environment Texas

With the best solar resource potential in the nation, high projected energy needs and a considerable existing energy infrastructure, Texas is in a prime position to be a world solar leader. Developing a thriving, self-sufficient solar power market in Texas can have huge benefits for the state—reducing air pollution, protecting consumers from volatile electricity prices, reducing the need to fire up expensive power plants, and avoiding costly upgrades to electricity transmission and distribution systems. A solar market could also bring billions of dollars in investment to the state and create thousands of jobs.

The best way for Texas to ensure that the state sees a future expansion in solar power capacity is by committing to long-term market development programs that include financial incentives and new construction design policies. Experience in California and in other countries, especially Japan, has shown that such government programs can lead to increased demand, lowered prices, and ultimately a robust, self-sufficient solar market in which government incentives are no longer necessary. 

Texans want more solar power in this state and they’re willing to pay for it. A January 2007 poll by Baselice & Associates found that sixty percent of Texas voters are willing to pay more than fifty cents per month to encourage solar developments. 

In 1999, the Texas Legislature created one of the nation’s earliest and most successful renewable energy standards. In 2005, the Legislature increased the standard and set a target of generating 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy by the year 2025. These laws created a boom for wind power that helped propel Texas to become the national leader for wind energy. By creating incentives for homeowners and businesses to install solar photovoltaics, the Legislature can help Texas meet our growing demand for electricity and continue our leadership in the field of clean energy.