If you try to imagine the state of Texas, you probably just envision miles upon miles of desert. While that's a bit dramatic — with major cities like Houston, Austin, and Dallas taking up major real estate, and more evolving all the time — parts of Texas really do look a bit like something out of a Spaghetti Western. (I say this having spent 18 years in the state myself.)
That arid, flat terrain is exactly what makes wind production a brilliant investment for Texas. What's more, you probably think of The Lone Star State as "oil country" — and you're not wrong. Oil is a major contributor to the its livelihood, but the liquid gold capital of the country is actually leading the charge in renewable energy — even beating eco-friendly California.
Texas has just passed a renewable portfolio standard, which requires increased production of renewable energy (e.g. wind, solar, biomass, geothermal) making it the second state to do so — Iowa was the first.
More importantly, the state is already putting its money where its proverbial mouth is. Texas is investing billions in high voltage power lines to connect urban areas with wind-farms, as well as in other infrastructure modifications that support the renewable energy standard.
As of December 20, 2015, Texas set a new all-time record for wind-produced energy, "with wind providing 45 percent of the state’s total energy needs at its peak. That amounted to 13.9 gigawatts of power."
The wind-farms are so efficient that some utilities in the state are actually giving consumers power, gratis.
Looks like Texas is taking "the land of the free" to a whole new level.