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Can Texas Switch To A 100% Green Grid?

Creative Commons

Texas is known for being an energy producing state, but while many still associate the state with oil and natural gas, others are catching up with the state's renewable energy bonanza. Texas is leading the nation in the production of wind power. In fact there's so much wind power being generated at night that one energy company, TXU, has created a program to provide free electricity to consumers who sign up for this particular plan.

But that plan does have considerably higher priced electricity metered during the daytime. 

How does this work and what does this mean for the future of wind? Jeffery Clark is the head of the Texas Wind Power Coalition and he explains that this plan is not for everyone. Nevertheless, it still signals that wind energy is proving to be cheap and dependable for Texas.

So, if wind is so cheap now that it's being given away, why not have more of it? Can Texas switch to a 100 percent green grid? That’s what some experts are urging the state to do. They say along with all that wind – there’s also that sun that Texas has yet to capture and turn into electric power.

Stanford professor of civil and environmental engineering Mark Jacobson has a plan outlining how energy in the U.S. could be carbon free by 2050 and has produced a state-by-state road map of just how to do it. It’s published in the current issue of the National Geographic.

He says the United States could be completely off carbon fuel by 2050 and Texas could lead the way – saving money – creating jobs and doing something serious about climate change.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi