Renewable Portfolio Standards – Texas

The 1999 Texas renewable energy mandate requires utilities to acquire 1280 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity from renewable technologies by January 2003; increasing to 1730 MW by January 2005, 2280 MW by January 2007, and 2880 MW by January 2009 (equal to 3% of total capacity). Out of the total amount, 2000 MW of generating capacity will come from new installations in Texas. Renewable energy technologies include solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, wave or tidal energy, and biomass or biomass-based waste products including landfill gas.

UPDATE: In July 2005, the Texas Legislature boosted the renewable portfolio standard so that it will double the goal for the amount of wind power, solar power and other forms of renewable energy in the state’s energy mix [Senate Bill 20]. The new goal calls for the state to obtain 5,880 MW, or about five percent of the state’s electricity, from renewable energy by 2015. Of the total, 500 MW must come from renewable energy sources other than wind energy. The law sets a long-range target for the state to get 10 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025. The legislation also streamlines the ability of the Public Utility Commission to order construction of new transmission lines to meet the state’s renewable goal.