Texans want more clean energy
We are proud to announce that Progress Texas has joined the Clean Energy Works for Texas coalition as part of our first official environmental action. Joining with established environmental and labor groups like Public Citizen, Sierra Club, and the Texas BlueGreen Apollo Alliance, our coalition is urging the Public Utility Commission of Texas ("PUC") to make solar energy a priority for Texas.
Texas ranks 1st in solar energy potential, but only 10th in solar energy production. We can produce more solar energy and put countless trained electricians back to work in our state, but not until the PUC takes action.
Here's the background: in 2005, the Texas Legislature passed a bill empowering the PUC to create a market for energy created from renewable sources other than wind. To do so, the PUC must set solar energy production goals - as part of our state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) - for Texas to meet. Seven years later, the PUC still hasn't created the necessary rulemaking guidelines to create these goals. As a result, we have yet to fulfill our true potential when it comes to renewable energy production in Texas.
There are three Commissioners on the PUC, and we need two of them to agree to adopt this rule. With this action, we are writing to Commissioner Kenneth Anderson, who could be open to creating the necessary rule that will grow the solar industry in Texas. When you sign our petition, you will join thousands of other Texans in urging Commissioner Anderson to adopt a non-wind RPS that will promote the solar industry here in Texas.
The potential benefits from solar energy are obvious:
- Jobs - The Texas wind boom has created thousands of jobs for Texans. We can do the same if we support solar production.
- Clean Energy - In 2007, wind accounted for 3% of Texas' electricity. By 2010, that number jumped to 8%. Increasing where we get our energy - and building drought-proof sources of energy - is critical to our state's future. We already produce twice as much wind energy as any other state in America - imagine how we could lead if we showed the same support for solar production.
- Money Saved - A recent study showed Texas consumers could save $520 million if solar capacity was added to Texas' energy market.