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In a recently released report compiled by Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research, Texas has been predicted to become the fastest growing utility-scale solar market in the USA in the coming future. If it happens, it would be a milestone in the checkered history of the Lone Star State, a reminder of its erstwhile status as the only independent republic and its struggles against colonizing powers like Mexico.
According to the US Solar Market Insight, Q2 2016, Texas has secured a top 10 ranking in the US for its efforts to install solar power capacity to the tune of 566 mega watts (MW). As per estimates, the amount of solar energy produced by Texas is enough to supply electricity to 61,000 homes.
The US Solar Market Insight report for the 2ndquarter of 2016 has also forecasted that the solar power output would go up in the state by a whopping 100%. It presaged that Texas could produce almost 4600 MW of solar energy by the end of 2020 which would bring it in the 2nd spot, just behind California, the largest producer of solar power. In another five years, it could well push past California into the leading position. The report has also said that out of the aggregate generation of 4600 MW, Texas would produce 4000 MW of utility-scale solar power.
A statement issued by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) states that it feels Texas is slowly entering into an unprecedented growth stage for solar power. The golden phase is just round the corner and it would continue well into the future. The most notable aspect of the development is the huge growth that is expected in utility-scale solar power. It will have a major impact in further industrialization and also create hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs in the state. In Texas, there are already over 500 companies operational in the field of solar energy, which have created almost 7000 jobs in different levels of the value-chain.
The growth in generation of solar power would provide the consumers with a clean, alternative energy resource and save millions of dollars for the state exchequer that is spent on service of old, worn-out conventional power grids. It would also reduce carbon footprint in the state and the country and play a major role in the fight against environmental degradation and global warming. It is hoped that the terrific growth in renewable solar power in Texas would inspire other lagging states to look at it objectively and draw up plans to invest more in solar power. This can unlock trapped potential in the US economy and revolutionize the economic front and path of development. It would also reduce over dependence on fossil-fuels like coal and petroleum which create a lot of pollution.
ERCOT or the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages almost 90% of the total electricity produced by Texas, has recently posted a roadmap for the next one and a half decades. My merging the positives from the predicted increase in utility-scale solar power in the state and by extrapolating power purchases in the state over the next 15 years under various scenarios, ERCOT has shown that solar energy could not only be competitive in terms of pricing but overtake other new energy resources to create the highest amount of value. ERCOT has also predicted that by 2031, solar energy could command 17% of the total energy production in the state.
If you are a Texan, it is indeed a moment of pride for you. Your state is indeed in an enviable position and is going to reap economic benefits because of the foresight the people in the state had to invest in solar power. Growth in solar energy in Texas is a success story that other states and countries should also emulate.
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