Renewable Energy Bill Passes Senate

Yesterday afternoon the Texas Senate passed through SB 541, a bill authored by Senator Kirk Watson (D-Austin) to create a non-wind renewable portfolio standard.  If passed through the House, SB 541 would put Texas on course to have 1500 MW of renewable energy from non-wind sources such as solar, geothermal, and biomass.

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Thanks to Senator Watson’s SB 541, Texas could become a national leader in solar energy just as are in the wind industry. Along with Senator Fraser’s 545, which will provide $500 million in solar incentives over the next 5 years, SB 541 will ensure that incentives are provided for both the large, utility scale solar and small-scale distributed solar that Texas needs.

While we would have preferred a larger renewable portfolio standard, Public Citizen is delighted that this bill has passed the Texas Senate.  This is a major step forward for Texans that will create tens of thousands of new clean green jobs within the state and lead to lower electric bills by hedging against the price of natural gas.

Hopefully the Texas House will see the light on solar power and pass an even stronger set of renewable energy goals that will make the grass grow greener, our air cleaner, and the green economy stronger.