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United States

The Texas secret

The Texas Renewable Portfolio Standard is one of the most successful state-initiated policies for increasing renewable energy generation, says a new report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. According to co-author Ryan Wiser other states are likely to use the Texas example as the basis for their own renewables legislation.

"The Texas RPS is exceeding even optimistic projections," Wiser says. "Texas has rapidly emerged as one the leading wind power markets in the United States." With the federal production tax credit, much of the Texas wind generation is reportedly coming in at costs of less than $0.03/kWh, he says. "Perhaps the most intriguing element of the Texas RPS is that it has obliged electricity suppliers to deal with wind power and other renewable energy sources on a large scale and in a proactive fashion."

The report identifies ten states with a RPS, but only the Texas version is resulting in significant additions of renewable generation. "No other state yet has the same combination of an aggressive renewable energy target, an effectively implemented policy, and an outstanding wind power resource." Among the reasons Texas is successful where other states are not are: strong political support and regulatory commitment; predictable long term purchase obligations; credible enforcement; certificate trading to track and verify compliance; and favourable transmission rules.

"Emerging experience from Texas shows that a well-crafted and implemented RPS can deliver on its promise of strong and cost-effective support for renewable energy," says Ryan.

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