Don’t blow it : engagement and thoughtful regulation for the next era of Texas wind energy

Date

2019-06-19

Authors

Puente, Alec Robert

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Abstract

Despite the state’s generally conservative political orientation, Texas has fostered staggering growth in wind energy by taking a thoughtful, market-friendly approach to regulation and providing important incentives and policy supports to ensure the industry’s competitive viability. As the industry has matured, however, new issues have emerged that pose risks to wind energy’s future growth in Texas. Concerns over reliability, competitive pressures from other renewables like solar, falling wholesale electricity prices, and other factors have the potential to derail the Texas wind success story should lawmakers and regulators respond unfavorably. I argue that the wind industry and advocates of renewable electricity more generally should be willing to take leadership engaging with these issues to ensure the industry’s continued involvement in policymaking and secure opportunities to push for ambitious, fair, and technology-neutral solutions. Specifically, I propose (1) ERCOT grid reliability and (2) wind turbine siting and decommissioning as two policy areas that the wind industry would be wise to take the initiative in addressing, and with potential to lead towards constructive policy for Texas’s wind energy future

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