The forefront of renewable power
There is no doubt power generated by renewables is growing and nowhere more than the Lone Star State of Texas. Texas, long known for its romance with oil and gas, is leading the nation in energy generated by solar power. Even though “fracking” has opened up new and massive reserves of oil in Texas, solar and wind turbines generated an unimaginable level of power into the Texas electrical grid. In February of last year, renewables contributed 50 percent of electrical power to Texas electrical requirements.
The Lone Star state has moved to the forefront in renewable power generation. In spite of a debate among climate-change scientists over just how bad fossil fuels are affecting the United States’ climate, Texas has quietly moved forward with renewable power generation. In an article in the “Wall Street Journal” concerning Texas use of renewables columnists Bill Spindle and Rebecca Smith noted that Texas has taken an approach that works within the state’s free market based electricity system.
The article continues, “State officials say wind and solar are almost certain to play a significant role in the state’s energy future even when federal subsidies decline in coming years.” We all know that federal subsidies never end once implemented.
Some states are not having success with renewable projects. In Colorado the Bureau of Land Management has struggled with local leaders and officials over attraction of solar companies to the San Luis Valley which has an elevation in excess of 7,000 feet. This elevation should make the San Luis Valley a prime candidate for solar energy companies. The “Wall Street Journal” reported “an auction in 2013 attracted no bids from renewable-energy companies.”
The Bureau of Land Management is in the process of streamlining permitting and management process for renewable energy companies in order to accelerate the use of wind and solar. The millions of acres of federal lands with low populations of people are excellent venues for wind and solar power generation.
Environmentalists worry about how construction of windmills and solar panels will affect wildlife and natural resources. This is a problem for environmentalists because they favor both renewable energy and wildlife protection. The Bureau of Land Management has designated 285,000 acres of federal land in the West as possible sites for wind and solar power systems.