The news that a small city in Texas is going to be powered by 100% renewable sources has sparked surprise all over the United States. Georgetown is going to be the first city in Texas to be powered entirely from renewable sources of energy.
It’s incredible to see how the idea of renewable energy is gaining momentum in the United States. Popular Science says “Renewable energy is having its moment in the sun…and wind, and water.” Burlington in Vermont was the first city in the history of the U.S. to power the entire city on 100% renewable electricity. Now the trend continues and soon the small city of Georgetown, Texas will soon use 100% renewable energy sources to power their city as well.
Texas on 100% renewable energy source – Surprise?
A city in Texas to be powered by 100% renewable energy – is kind of a surprising news. This is because Texas is an oil rich conservative state, where fossil fuels are the king. But Texas has been participating in renewable energy for a while, according to a report found on triplepundit.com, – “Texas has 10,367 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, and generated 21,594,278 megawatt-hours of clean electricity in 2009.”
Currently most of renewable energy of Texas, almost 99% of it, comes from wind. Some of the country’s best wind resources are found in West Texas. BC Upham of Triple Pundit believes that ever since the signing of ERCOT’s renewable energy program into law back in 1999 by then-Governor George W. Bush, the state has experienced remarkable progress in wind power technology. This act allowed customers to have access to a variety of renewable energy providers.
What has been really surprising is that, because wind has proved so inexpensive in Texas, demand for wind energy has exceeded what the law requires.
Roy McCoy, who directs the renewable energy program for ERCOT, was once asked why this Texas renewable energy program has been so successful. McCoy answered, “The one big thing is everybody is ready to go for this renewable energy stuff, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” (Source: triplepundit.com)
Texas opts to save cash not the planet
Jim Briggs, who played a key role in making Georgetown the first city in Texas to be powered by 100% renewable energy and had worked for the city extensively for 30 years, has pointed out that they didn’t do it to save the planet, but to be more competitive in the market.
In many cities of Texas, consumers can choose from a variety of different programs and plans. For example, Houston has more than 70 plans that offer entirely renewable energy sources. That makes the energy market of Texas extremely dynamic, where consumers can easily switch their services.
When energy providers focus on immediate future, the energy facilities that require long term investment to become profitable may get discouraged. But in Georgetown, the city electric company has a monopoly.
When the utility companies examined their options, they made a remarkable discovery. They found out that renewable energy was cheaper than non-renewable. “We didn’t do this to save the world – we did this to get a competitive rate and reduce the risk for our consumers.” – said Jim Briggs
The city officials signed a contract and finalized a deal with a giant multinational solar energy company called SunEdison. This could mean by 2017, all energy within the service area of Georgetown, Texas will come from either solar or wind power. (Source: The Guardian)
In the future, all energy will eventually come from renewable sources, anywhere in the United States. With the latest developments in renewable technology, it’s becoming more and more viable and practical. We are no longer dependent on dirty fossil fuel. There are so many alternative ways of producing energy today that it doesn’t make sense depleting our environment and natural resources to generate energy.
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Related articles and resources:
- 9 Renewable Energy Sources of the Future | Nourish The Planet
- Soon A Texas Town Will Run On 100 Percent Renewable Energy
- Texas Meets Renewable Energy Goals 15 Years Early
- Renewable Energy Credit
- Texas city opts for 100% renewable energy – to save cash, not the planet | Environment | The Guardian
- Renewable And Clean Sources Of Energy To Tackle Global Energy Crisis | Environmental Professionals Network