Written By: Mike Straub
Everything is bigger in Texas… including their willingness to embrace renewable energy on the largest possible scale. At least, that is the case in the state capital of Austin. While cities and towns try to utilize even small amounts of renewable energy, Austin, Texas receives 100% of its power from renewable energy sources. Yes, the capital of Texas, a state that’s made fortunes from oil, is home to America’s cleanest energy-consuming city.
The power comes from wind farms, providing 400 million kilo-watt hours to one of the most rapidly growing cities in the country. Residents now share a sense of pride knowing their power comes without emissions and fossil fuels. The city also committed to a 10 year ‘green-rate,’ so there can be no surprise hikes in price. Living “green” benefits many – but what matters most to consumers across the board is energy-price stability.
Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell said, “We are setting an important standard for U.S. cities. We hope other American communities will join us soon.” Austin offers similar opportunities to many other places when it comes to available renewables. Spend an afternoon in Central Texas and you’ll recognize the potential of wind – and harnessing wind into power fits perfectly for that region. With no plans to slow down, Austin will more than double the available power from wind by 2020 and also expand its solar power solutions over the next decade.
The mayor’s message resonates with people across the country and with governments around the world. No more energy purchasing from oil-producing countries – you can create clean power with your own resources. A key technology making this possible is Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion. Any place you have warm surface water, and cold deep water, you can create an endless supply of clean power. The Bahamas are on-board, recently committing to build two OTEC plants and resulting in energy stability for the region. OTEC means stable costs for customers, and a stable environment in which to live.
So maybe that old saying about the Lone Star State is true. Now, if we can just get the rest of the world to think as big as they do in Texas.