America’s greenest state is deep deep red (Catherine Boudreau, Nov 21, 2023,, Business Insider)
Deals like Davis’ have made Texas — America’s oil capital for more than a century — the top producer of renewable energy in the US. The state has long generated the most wind power and is second only to California as a solar-energy producer. While fossil fuel still reigns supreme in the state’s energy mix, wind and solar account for a growing share of the total. As of October, wind and solar met between 25% and 41% of Texas’ energy demand, depending on the month, according to data from the state’s grid operator ERCOT. Add in nuclear power, which doesn’t produce greenhouse-gas emissions, and green energy met upward of 50% of the state’s demand in some months.
The rapid rise of green energy in deep-red Texas couldn’t come at a better time: The state’s population is growing and the strain on the electrical grid is only getting more intense. But the boom has also triggered a Texas-size showdown: Gov. Greg Abbott and a group of his fellow Republicans in the state legislature launched a campaign to prop up fossil fuels and penalize renewables, arguing it would make the grid more reliable. Critics aren’t convinced that subsidizing fossil fuels will solve the state’s electricity crunch.
The high-stakes battle for Texas’ energy future is a microcosm of how tricky America’s green transition is shaping up to be, especially when politics are involved. Slowing down renewable energy could cost Texas in the long term, both economically and socially. Billions of dollars of public and private investment are pouring into low-carbon industries. Meanwhile, the US is already losing billions to deadly climate-fueled disasters that scientists warn will get worse unless the world rapidly shifts away from fossil fuels.