The Texas Anomaly

While former Texas governor George W. Bush was busy as president belittling the dangers of climate change and doing everything he could to help the coal and oil industries, Texas itself was moving into the forefront of states aggressively building out wind generation capacity. Now itâ''s getting set to go even greener, with a bill its senate passed this week that would provide a half billion dollars in solar subsidies over the next five years. If enacted, the bill could result in as much as 500 MW in new solar generation in Texasâ''almost as much as the total solar generation deployed at present in the United States.

An online analysis in Barronâ''s says that for residential customers, the Texas solar rebates would be even more generous than Californiaâ''s. They will cut the cost of a 3 KW photovoltaic installation by about $5,000 and cut the payback period from 14 to 9 years, Barronâ''s estimates. This will be good news for leading PV manufacturers like First Solar, SunPower and Suntech, it concludes.

Separately, a Texas senate committee has approved a bill that will require that the state get 3,000 MW of power from solar. Texas already has a mandate in place requiring 5,000 MW of wind power.

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