Keeping up with next generation technology and affordable clean energy remains one of the hardest questions behind Distributed Generation interconnections.
The sun and wind are free, but that doesn’t make their energy easy to store or transmit.
Distributed Energy Resources, such as solar panels, wind turbines and microgrids, have seen robust localized growth in recent years. Eventually, the hope is improved policy will boost integration and deployment of renewables to consumers.
Today, much of the success that Texas experiences with clean energy is primarily driven by a few fundamental early endeavors.
Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger says it first started with the 1999 deregulation bill and Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). This was followed by a push in 2005 by then-Governor Rick Perry that doubled the renewable mandate to less than five percent.
“That really kicked into high gear,” Metzger explains, noting that Perry, current United States Energy Secretary, initiated the authorization that spurred $7 billion in investments in new transmission lines.
“Now, there is more wind producing power than coal for the first time. With the interconnection queue for ERCOT, there is a lot more wind planned,” he says.
Solar PV is also rapidly expanding in Texas, projected on pace for second place behind California for total installed capacity within the next two years. Still, further transmission is needed in order to achieve 100 percent renewables, which is what scientists warn is needed to mitigate climate change.