A few weeks back, I teased that I wanted to take a bit of a look at Texas Rooftop Solar in the Sunday Train (which is, recall, focused on Sustainable Transport & Energy, and so both not just about trains, and also not in favor of trains when the trains are advancing climate suicide) ... and then the California budget passed and I went on a two week binge on California HSR.
But now its time to take that glance over at Texas Rooftop Solar. After all, you'd think that Texas would be an ideal state for rooftop solar, and for years we've been seeing articles about how Lone Star State Rooftop Solar would hit big "real soon now". For instance, this, from 13 Jan, 2013: Solar Power Could See Explosive Growth in Texas over Coming Decades:
Still, solar is just a tiny sliver—less than 1 percent—of Texas’ electricity mix, which is dominated by coal (34 percent) and natural gas (45 percent). Wind, with a 9 percent share, is a giant compared to solar.
Yet, the economics are becoming increasingly favorable for solar to take off in a big way. The question is probably when, not if. And a recent analysis by ERCOT—the industry-funded, technocratic grid operator—has some very rosy projections for the future of the solar industry in Texas. (And some very sour news for nuclear, coal and maybe even natural gas.)
The analysis, first flagged by Colin Meehan of Environmental Defense Fund of Texas, looks at potential transmission needs in the next two decades. But, as Meehan wrote, ERCOT "found that if you use updated wind and solar power characteristics like cost and actual output to reflect real world conditions… wind and solar are more competitive than natural gas over the next 20 years."
But if the future doesn't start arriving, it might never get here, brought crashing down by the catastrophic impact of runaway climate crisis. So, what are the prospects that rooftop solar might really start hitting its stride really soon now? Read more about Sunday Train: Is There A Beam of Hope for Texas Rooftop Solar?
Well, what do you know? I look around, and see a story saying Solar power gains momentum after long struggle in Texas. And not in "Grist" or "Solar Energy News!" or any such ... but in the Dallas Morning News Business section from Wed, 4 June 2014.
According to the story,
Recurrent announced plans last month to build a 150-megawatt solar farm in West Texas after signing a 20-year power purchase deal with Austin Energy. That comes just months after First Solar, one of the world’s largest solar companies, began construction on a 22-megawatt farm near Fort Stockton with plans of eventually expanding to 150 megawatts.
And an even more dramatic acceleration could be ahead. Solar developers have been flooding the state’s grid operators with applications for more solar farms, close to 2,000 megawatts worth, said Warren Lasher, director of system planning for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. “It’s hard to say how much will actually get built,” he said. “It’s been this way for more than a year. But it’s a significant increase from before.”
Join me for utility scale solar PV, utility scale solar thermal, onshore wind, offshore wind, and grid integration ... below the fold. Read more about Sunday Train: The Solar Fight, Is Going Right, Deep in the Heart of Texas ...
From Booman of all people:
When I think of an ideal Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, the commander of U.S. troops in Iraq during the Abu Ghraib scandal doesn't immediately leap to mind. But it looks like that is who DSCC Chairwoman Patty Murray has recruited to run for the open Senate seat in Texas.
A federal three-judge panel heard an appeal by a Latino civil rights group Thursday against the Texas Democratic Party, charging that its delegate selection process dilutes the Latino vote and should be subject to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Evercare of Texas was supposed to coordinate medical and long-term care for more than 80,000 elderly, blind or disabled North Texans. "We help make it easier to get the care you deserve," the company promises on its Web site.
For many Texans, it hasn't worked out that way.
AUSTIN, Texas - Affirming that “every person deserves access to affordable, quality health care” and noting that area residents are not getting it, the Austin City Council called today for the enactment of a nonprofit, single-payer national health insurance program.
That bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, sponsored by John Conyers (D-Michigan), would create a nation-wide single-payer health care system.
Contact: Jane Lee Cantu (janelee [@] satx.rr [.] com)
The Dallas Morning News says
When Mr. Perry learned the fire was arson, he said, his emotions "went from heartache to pretty damn mad." This was his family's home, he said, and a place where children have "slid down banisters and chased pets in the yard" for more than a century.
Mr. Perry didn't say whether he was disappointed with the Department of Public Safety, whose troopers are responsible for safeguarding the mansion.
The mansion wasn't just home to Perry, or W before him. Read more about Rick Perry: Arson Won't Erase Texas Governor's Mansion
Challenger Dr. Ludwig Otto endorses universal healthcare, but does not specifically endorse HR 676 or single payer. If you live in Texas’ sixth CD, you might ask him.
Al Green is committed to fighting for affordable, comprehensive coverage for all Americans.
Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee regards health care as one of the most pressing issues facing this country and the world. Read more about Today's single payer post: Texas Reps for HR 676