There is a change in the wind.
Wind, the stealer of umbrellas, has climbed its way to become a major contender in the energy field.
Gone are the days of skeptics scoffing at the novelty and the choice between good for the environment or good for the wallet.
In the last decade, the use of wind energy has sharpy increased. About 24 million American homes use wind, about 4 million of those in Texas, and many businesses are starting to use wind to power their facilities.
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The wind industry also provides stable job growth.
In 2015, the sector provided about 24,000 to 25,000 jobs in the state, and thousands of Texas landowners were able to get lease payments for allowing wind turbines on their property.
Renewable sources are now financially competitive with traditional coal and are bringing more jobs to the state.
Wind turbines are replacing oil jacks in the west Texas landscape, and coal is slowly becoming a fossil in the energy game.
Texas is the biggest producer of wind energy in the United States and still has untapped potential to explore. It is also the top producer of natural gas energy and the third-largest solar producer in the country.
Clean energy might once have been seen as a gentle breeze, but now wind energy and other clean power sources should be taken as serious forces. .
The Environmental Defense Fund says the state has the biggest potential to lead the clean energy charge.
Coal doesn’t stand a chance.
The state has many advantages appealing to energy producers. Not only is there a lot of land, the state has its own power grid — the Electric Reliability Council of Texas or ERCOT.
This power grid uses the most cost-effective energy first.
That means wind, solar and natural gas get used before coal, and it helps keep the cost low.
Many corporations, like Facebook, Target and Amazon, came to Texas looking for wind-powered opportunities. The H-E-B grocery chain uses clean energy in many of its stores and the General Motors Arlington Assembly plant is already using clean energy.
Even with a legislative push to restrict the placement of wind turbines in the state, future winds look favorable.