Texas’s Next Energy Boom—Wind and Sun

The colorful story behind the latest energy bonanza in this red state is the story of entrepreneurs, environmentalists, ranchers, and politicians of all stripes who developed public policy that unleashed Texas’s renewable growth. Long known for oil and gas, Texas is dominated by a conservative legislature and governor’s office. But politics is local, business is business, and perception is not always reality. In fact, Texas currently leads the nation in wind development—with more than three times the installed capacity of California, plans to develop more utility-scale solar in the next 15 years than any other state, and is likely to achieve the goals of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, even if the plan is repealed. Abundant resources, economics, cheap natural gas, water scarcity, and clean air mandates will combine to keep Texas on its renewable path, irrespective of state politics. This session will feature players who were there at the beginning of this latest Texas energy boom, and they’ll share the lessons learned in Texas that are applicable for other states and the country.

Festival: Aspen Ideas 2017

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