Energy

‘The wild west of wind’: Republicans push Texas as unlikely green energy leader

The most oil-rich and fracking-friendly of states has found itself with the improbable status of being a national leader in a wind energy boom

SWEETWATER, TX — “Texas has 11,592 turbines and an installed wind capacity of 20,321 megawatts, according to the American Wind Energy Association: three times as much capacity as the next state, Iowa. (California is third.) For the 12-month period ending in October last year, wind provided 12.68% of Texas’s electricity production – equivalent to powering 5.7 million homes.

…Texas is just one of the Republican-leaning states that dominate wind energy in the US – the top three producers by percentage of state electricity supply are Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas. Like Texas, these states all voted for Donald Trump, who has made clear his dislike of clean energy such as solar and wind. ‘To begin with, the whole push for renewable energy is being driven by the wrong motivation, the mistaken belief that global climate change is being caused by carbon emissions,’ the president wrote in his 2015 book Crippled America. ‘If you don’t buy that – and I don’t – then what we have is really just an expensive way of making the tree-huggers feel good about themselves.’

…But while the president and many Republicans in Congress have been disdainful of renewable energy and dismissive of climate change, support for wind in conservative areas has been quietly noted. In 2015, Congress extended a tax credit for wind production until 2020. With many rural communities feeling the benefits of wind energy, it’s unlikely that Trump would find much backing if he attempted to pull away this support.”

— by in Sweetwater, Texas, and in New York, The Guardian

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