Texas renewable energy and energy efficiency

Texas has many policies promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency. The state has energy efficiency goals and requirements for various types of public and publicly supported entities. Texas also adopted a Renewable Portfolio Standard early in 1999 and has already surpassed the goal set for 2025 due to the excellent wind resource in the state. Texas is one of the top states in total wind power generation, and it continues encouraging the development of wind energy throughout the state.

A history of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Texas

Texas has restructured its electricity portfolio, partially due to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) adopted in 1999. The RPS encourages Texas to take advantage of the state's wind resource, which is abundant. In 2001, the Texas legislature enacted public building energy efficiency standards to help the state comply with federal Clean Air Act requirements. In the same year, the Texas Public Utility Commission established a renewable energy credit (REC) trading program to ensure compliance with the RPS.

From 2001 to 2002, wind energy developed quickly, reaching 900 megawatts in total capacity1. To support the development of renewable energy throughout the state, Texas decided to expand transmission infrastructure. In 2005, Texas passed the Texas Utilities Code to designate Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) in the state. The CREZ policy allowed new transmission to be built to wind-rich areas before interconnection commitments were signed with specific developers2.

Texas's Renewable Portfolio Standard

Texas first adopted the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in 1999, setting a rule called the Goal for Renewable Energy. The RPS requires the state to install 5,000 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy capacity by 2015 and sets a target of 10,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The RPS applies to all retail entities in Texas, and the share of the mandate for each entity is determined by that retailer's pro rata share of statewide retail energy sales.

As stated in the annual compliance report prepared by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Texas had already reached the 2025 goal in 2009 and had 26,045 MW of additional renewable energy capacity (24,381MW of which was wind) in 2017 relative to 1999.

Important renewable energy organizations in Texas

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) was created in 1975 by the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA). PUCT is responsible for the regulation and operation of the state's electric, telecommunication, and water and sewer utilities. It also ensures the implementation of legislation on these utilities.

State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) help the state to maximize energy efficiency through a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs that significantly reduce energy cost and consumption in the institutional, industrial, transportation and residential sectors of the Texas economy3.

The South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER), established in 2011, is a regional energy efficiency organization (REEO) which devoted to accelerating the adoption of energy efficient products, technologies, and services in Texas and Oklahoma.

Texas Renewable Energy Industries Alliance (TREIA) is aimed to increase renewable energy across Texas as well as grow the state economy. They help to advance renewable energy integration and diversify the renewable energy solutions across the state. The target of TREIA is to achieve 50% renewable energy by 2030.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is the independent system operator in the region, which manages 90 percent of the state's electric load and schedule power on an electric grid4. ERCOT is also the administrator of the Renewable Energy Credit (REC) trading program in Texas.


  1. Maria C. Faconti, “How Texas Overcame California as a Renewable State: A Look at the Texan Renewable Energy Success,” Vermont Journal of Environmental Law 14, no. 3 (2013): 411,
  2. Maria C. Faconti, “How Texas Overcame California as a Renewable State: A Look at the Texan Renewable Energy Success,” Vermont Journal of Environmental Law 14, no. 3 (2013): 411,
  3. State Energy Conservation Office. “About Us.” Accessed May 30, 2019.
  4. ERCOT. “About ERCOT.” Accessed May 30, 2019.

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