With all the benefits to solar energy: less pollution, new jobs and it’s ever lowering cost of production, one might ask what exactly stands in the way of solar becoming widespread in Texas? After all, this drought-proof energy source sounds like the perfect solution to our annual summer energy crises.
Part of what’s holding solar back is the inaction of the Texas Public Utilities Commission. Back in 2005, the Texas legislature passed a requirement that the PUC oversee the installation of 500 megawatts of renewable energy (other than wind) in Texas by the end of 2015. With 3 years left to meet this goal, the PUC has made virtually no progress. Rulemaking sessions on the requirement have been initiated twice but both failed to produce anything.
Solar production in the U.S. saw a recent boom in fourth quarter of 2011 due to the impending expiration of the 1603 Treasury Grant program, which gave solar companies cash grants once their systems began producing electricity. A few weeks ago our United States Congress failed to renew the program and analysts have predicted this could negatively impact the solar market. What better time for the PUC to step in and provide new support for solar? The solar potential in Texas exceeds that of any other state, and yet we are currently dwarfed in solar capacity by unlikely states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The Apollo BlueGreen Alliance has stepped forward with an online petition asking the PUC to do their job and bring 500 MW of renewable energy to Texas.
Please take 2 additional minutes of your time today to sign the petition and support this worthy cause: