Governor Signs Fraser Renewable Energy Legislation
Austin -- Governor Rick Perry signed legislation authored by Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) on Monday which will increase energy produced by renewable resources in Texas. Senate Bill 20, passed during the first called Special Session, will expand the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and gives Texas the second-highest renewable energy standard in the nation.
"This legislation moves Texas to the forefront in the nation for renewable standards," Fraser said. "As energy costs continue to rise, it was important for the Legislature to pass legislation that will help Texas become more energy independent."
The Renewable Portfolio Standard requires the State of Texas to install a specific amount of generating capacity by 2015 from renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar energy. The RPS allows a combination of federal and state incentives for the development of renewable energy to private companies.
Fraser's bill expands the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard and requires Texas to use renewable energy technology, such as wind or solar, for a certain amount of electric-generating capacity. State law calls for 2,880 megawatts of installed renewable capacity by 2009, but the state is currently on track to surpass this goal. SB 20 boosts the total installed renewable capacity to 5,880 megawatts by 2015.
The legislation would also direct the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to identify competitive renewable zones that would be used to facilitate the construction of transmission infrastructure and promote the development of other renewable energy resources.
"This is a good public policy decision for the state," Fraser said. "SB 20 will create more jobs, less air pollution and more tax revenue for our schools as we find ways to ease our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil."
Senate Bill 20 comes from recommendations compiled by the Texas Energy Planning Council. The Council was created by Governor Rick Perry in 2003 to develop a plan that will fuel Texas' future economic growth and prosperity. The council is made up of 22 members who represent a diversified interest in the Texas energy sector.