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United States

Good chance for extension of Texas renewable energy mandate

Texas is set to expand the state's renewable energy goal from 2000 MW by 2009 to 5000 MW by 2012 and 10,000 MW by 2020. After six months of deliberation, the Texas Energy Planning Council, a task force formed by Governor Rick Perry, says the state needs to move forward on oil and gas exploration, clean coal technologies and renewable resources. The chances are good for an extension to the state's renewables portfolio legislation and "something pretty creative on transmission," but it will be challenging in Texas, says Mike Sloan of Virtus Energy Research Associates in Austin, Texas' capital. "Key is to get state officials to recognise that wind is such a clear cut winner these days." The task force lays out eight general recommendations. Other than the renewables mandate, the proposed Energy Contract with the People of Texas includes taxes on oil and gas revenues to fund education, reduced taxes on oil exploration, and money for fossil fuel research. Texas, which with a renewables mandate backed by trade in green power credits boasts one of the most successful market frameworks in the US, now has 1293 MW of installed wind capacity and three projects with a combined capacity of 367 MW under construction. Those are FPL Energy's 114 MW Callahan Divide Energy Center, a 93 MW project of GE 1.5 MW turbines by RES North America in the Texas panhandle for the City of Austin and Cielo Wind Power's 160 MW Wilderado Wind Ranch, also in the panhandle.

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