There has been some discussion about the possibility of passing legislation that would make it possible for households and businesses equipped with solar panels to sell any excess power they create back to the local power system.
According to the findings of a study conducted by the UH Hobby school, Texans want state lawmakers to invest some of the state's $33 billion budget excess in alternative energy sources.
This study was conducted two years after problems occurred with the electricity grid in Texas as a result of Winter Storm Uri.
64% of Texans questioned are in support of increasing the United States' reliance on solar power plants, 59% are in favor of increasing the United States' reliance on geothermal power plants, and 57% are in favor of increasing the United States' reliance on wind turbine farms. In comparison, 42% of respondents expressed support for increased reliance on natural gas-fired power plants and nuclear power plants.
According to Renee Cross, Senior Executive Director and Researcher, there is substantial support for allocating part of those monies toward alternate forms of energy overall.
She stated, "Whether we're speaking about solar or wind power, or hydrogen power plants and hydroelectric dams," that this is the case regardless of the energy source. Having said that, we definitely observe partisan disparities, in addition to generational differences.
According to the statistics from the Hobby school, Republicans and voters who are older tend to prefer more traditional forms of energy, whilst Democrats and voters who are younger tend to prefer alternative forms of energy.
With the completion of the state's budget surplus, the university is required to observe and report on seven different Texas legislative topics this academic year. According to Cross, there have been a few concepts offered to promote the increased usage of renewable energy.
She stated that there is legislation that is being considered that would make it possible for homeowners and companies that have solar panels to sell any excess electricity that they create back to the electric grid.
One further concept being considered is the provision of a one-time tax credit or other financial incentives to businesses in order to encourage the building of power plants and additional infrastructure for renewable sources of energy.
According to the 2022 U.S. Energy & Employment Jobs Report, the majority of industries related to renewable energy anticipate an increase in job opportunities over the course of the following year. Furthermore, the same industries continued to experience growth from 2019 to 2021, despite the pandemic. Yet, Cross believed that the epidemic did hold down the installation of renewable energy projects.
"During the pandemic, there was a decrease in demand for electricity, which had an impact on the investments made in infrastructure for renewable sources," Cross explained. "Building the necessary infrastructure for its use typically takes between ten and twelve years to complete. And if, for example, there is a delay in obtaining the necessary parts, then it is going to push the completion date back even further."