A Solar Affair: Beats and Beers for Solar Power

Environment Texas is throwing a SXSW party tomorrow called: A Solar Affair: Beats and Beers for Solar Power.

Check out the flyer and blog below by Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas — hope to see you there!

In Texas, we have enough sun to power the entire state, and enough beats and beer to power Environment Texas’ unofficial SXSW party A Solar Affair: Beats and Beers for Solar Power. Friday’s party – which features music by Daedelus and a short talk by state Representative Mark Strama – comes amidst a major push for Texas to go solar.

Our state has the most solar radiation in the country, we are home to the world’s largest supplier of solar-grade silicon, and we are great innovators in the high-tech industry. Texas would be a natural home for the nation’s solar industry.

But we need leadership to get us there. By providing incentives to help Texans put solar panels on the roofs of homes and businesses and by building large-scale solar farms, we can clean the air, create good manufacturing jobs and become a national leader in solar power.

The best way for Texas to ensure that this happens is by committing to a 10-year market development program that includes financial incentives and new construction design policies. With even a modest investment, we can help create economies of scale to make solar affordable for everyone and create a major economic engine for the state.

As a first step, the Public Utility Commission should use its authority to implement a 500-megawatt “non-wind” 2015 goal in our state renewable energy law and include a 100-megawatt program for distributed renewable energy generation.

Additionally, we should ensure that retail electric providers offer fair buyback rates to electric customers who produce a surplus of electricity and are able to put electricity back on the grid. These policies would be an important down payment for solar that we can improve on in the 82nd Legislature as we look ahead to 2020 and beyond.

According to a survey done by the governor’s own pollster, “There is a statewide consensus to ‘require’ electric companies to provide a certain percentage of their product from renewable sources such as wind and solar. Support crossed party, racial and gender lines — 86 percent of Democrats, 59 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Hispanics, 84 percent of females under the age of 55 and 61 percent of males over the age of 55.”

Texas should adopt a solar program and make sure we don’t miss out on what is sure to become a major economic driver for the 21st century.

So this Friday, meet some of the leaders in Texas’ solar movement over beers and hip hop and electronic music and learn what you can do to help Texas Go Solar.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.