Renewable Energy Grows in Oil-Rich Texas – Spectrum News

When people think of Texas, they think of iconic Texas images; cowboys on horseback, tumbleweeds, and cactus.

Of all the images associated with Texas, no more strongly identify the Lone Star State than the oil derrick and the pump jack bobbing on the plains.

But the 21st century is making some new icons for Texas; the solar farm and wind turbine.


What You Need To Know

  • Texas is the largest producer of wind energy in the U.S.
  • Texas is the 7th-largest producer of solar power
  • Together, both energies provide reliable and steady power

When it comes to wind power, the oil-rich state is now the largest producer of wind energy in the country, in both installed and under-construction capacity. Texas produces more than 330 gigawatts of wind energy, supporting 25,000 energy jobs.

If Texas became an independent country, it would be the 5th-largest wind-power producer in the world.

In solar power, Texas is the 7th-largest producer among the states. San Antonio leads the state in solar photovoltaic capacity and ranks 8th among US cities. There are more than 210,000 residential installations statewide.

Critics often point to the fact that both types of systems are susceptible to weather impacts on generation. Although, when put together, you could make the case that the two sources can provide steady and reliable power.

This website shows estimated wind and solar generation in Texas daily.

These numbers reflect a change in the weather pattern. The solar estimates show high generation on day one but much lower generation with cloudy weather moving in.

The wind power estimates show that wind generation rises significantly with the passage of a cold front on day two, filling in the lost capacity of solar.

The combination of these two renewable energy sources points to a bright future for wind and solar energy in Texas.

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