Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Shining Rewards

Solar energy is on the rise in the United States. Through September 2016, more than 31 gigawatts of solar electric capacity had been installed around the country, enough to power more than 6 million homes. The rapid growth of solar energy in the United States is the result of forward-looking policies that are helping the nation reduce its contribution to global warming and expand its use of local renewable energy sources.

One policy in particular, net energy metering, has been instrumental in the growth of solar energy, particularly on homes and small businesses. Net energy metering enables solar panel owners to earn fair compensation for the benefits they provide to other users of the electricity grid, and makes “going solar” an affordable option for more people. Net energy metering works by providing customers a credit on their electric bill that offsets charges for energy consumption. As solar energy has taken off in recent years, however, utilities and other special interests have increasingly attacked net metering as an unjustified “subsidy” to solar users.

News Release | Environment Texas

Counter to utility claims, solar users provide net benefits

AUSTIN – Solar panels provide pollution free energy that delivers far reaching benefits to the environment and the electric grid, said a new report released today by Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. The report outlines how solar panels on homes, schools and businesses often provide more benefits than they receive through programs like net metering, counter to utility claims that solar owners don’t pay their fair share.

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Lighting the Way IV

News Release | Environment Texas

Texas solar capacity grew 62% in 2015

AUSTIN – Texas installed 207 megawatts (MW) of solar electric capacity in 2015 - a 62% increase – and ranked 10th in the nation for cumulative solar installed, according to a new report released by Environment Texas and the Sierra Club. Electric grid operator ERCOT projects Texas will add as much as 27,200 MW of solar in the next fifteen years, but the groups said anti-solar policies and efforts to prop up failing coal-fired power plants could jeopardize this growth.

On May 19th, the PUCT sent El Paso Electric’s bid to increase utility rates back down to administrative law judges after determining that El Paso Electric did not provide adequate notice of their rate increase to residential solar customers under Texas law. Earlier this year, El Paso Electric (EPE) and the City of El Paso had reached a settlement on a $37 million rate increase to fund the public utility’s infrastructure improvements. EPE executives claim this deal represents the best interests of the utility and its customers, but some customers are being hit harder than others. 

News Release | Environment Texas

San Antonio ranks 7th in nation for solar

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio experienced major growth in solar capacity in 2015, going from 88 megawatts (MW) to 108 MW in one year, an increase of about 23 percent. The Alamo City ranked 1st in Texas and 7th nationally for solar capacity, just behind Indianapolis and ahead of New York, thanks in large part to continued investment by local utility CPS Energy. 

Report | Environment Texas

Shining Cities 2016

Solar power grew at a record-breaking pace in 2015. The United States now has more than 27,000 megawatts (MW) of cumulative solar electric capacity, enough to power more than 5.4 million American homes. Hundreds of thousands of Americans – especially in our cities – have invested in solar panels on their roofs or solar projects in their communities, and millions more are ready to join them.

Headline

Target, other major retailers asked to go solar

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Texas continues to create more solar energy, one environmental group in Austin is calling on big box retailers to install even more solar panels.

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Solar on Superstores

Solar energy is expanding rapidly across the United States – increasing more than 100-fold over the past decade. But, there are still many untapped opportunities to harness the nation’s nearly limitless solar potential. The United States has the technical potential to produce more than 100 times as much electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) installations as the nation consumes each year. Given our abundant solar resources, America must take advantage of untapped opportunities to install solar technologies – like using rooftops of large superstores and “big box” retail stores as hosts for clean electricity generation.

News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Green groups call on Target to go solar

AUSTIN - Target has pledged to put solar panels on a quarter of its stores, but the company could cut pollution dramatically and even save its customers money by putting panels on all of its nearly 2,000 rooftops in North America, advocacy group Environment Texas said today.

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