Texas on the Brink of a Major Wind Energy Milestone
Texas is on the brink of a major milestone for wind energy in the U.S.
In 2013, wind accounted for 9.9 percent of the state's generated electricity, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state's grid operator. That mark has nearly doubled in just five years. Wind came in at 4.9 percent in 2008.
The rise in wind energy accompanies an increase in overall electricity consumption by Texas residents. They used about 2.1 percent more power in 2013 than in 2012. ERCOT carries about 85 percent of the state's energy demand, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
"Texas has added coal- and natural gas-fired capacity since 2011," according to the Energy Information Agency, "however, the largest share of capacity growth has been from wind generators, mostly located in western Texas. Texas leads the nation in wind power generation and was the first state to reach 10,000 megawatts of wind power generating capacity."
The most recent figures from the American Wind Energy Association back that up. While Texas ranked first in total megawatts installed, it finished second in amount of utility-scale turbines—7,690—only to California.
Additionally, six of the 10 largest wind farms in the U.S. are in Texas.
Texas is the site of a study where researchers are exploring if micro-windmills could power small electronics like smart phones. The state is also part of a strong month of wind-related developments for Google, which announced that it will invest $75 million in the Panhandle 2 wind farm project near Amarillo, TX.
Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.
Looks like you'll have to trust your map if you want to find the newly designated Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine.
By Steve Horn
After taking heat last fall for destroying sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the owner of the Dakota Access pipeline finds itself embattled anew over the preservation of historic sites, this time in Ohio.
The plan provides billions in subsidies for renewable energy, bans the construction of new nuclear plants and decommissions Switzerland's five aging reactors. There is no clear date when the plants will close.
By Alex Kirby
An ambitious scientific expedition is due to start work on May 22 on Bolivia's second-highest mountain, Illimani. The researchers plan to drill three ice cores from the Illimani glacier, and to store two of them in Antarctica as the start of the world's first ice archive.
Although not on most people's radar here, New York is one step closer to becoming the first state to have genetically modified, non-sterile insects released outside without cages.
The viral video of a young girl snatched off a Richmond, British Columbia dock by a sea lion is another reminder that people shouldn't get too close to wild animals.
Port officials in Canada have sharply criticized the family for putting themselves at risk for feeding the large animal, especially since there are several signs in the area warning people not to do so.
Flooding breached a supposedly impregnable Arctic "doomsday" vault containing a collection of seeds stored for an apocalypse scenario last week, after warmer-than-average temperatures caused a layer of permafrost to thaw.