Wind power is not only bringing cheaper electricity; it is bringing jobs too — as many as 26,000 jobs in 2019 in Texas alone. For comparison, in the entire United States, there are under 45,000 jobs in the coal mining industry.
As of Q3 2020, Texas had a total installed capacity of 30,904 MW of wind power, according to AWEA. Texas leads the country with 15,359 wind turbines installed, which have a value in excess of $53 billion. These assets generate $285 million in state and local taxes annually. Additionally, they pay landowners $192 million in lease payments.
As of Q3 2020, there were 5,324 MW of wind power under construction, and that is a tiny fraction of what is possible. Across the state, there is the potential for another 1,347,992 MW of wind power to be tapped, and that does not include offshore. Texas has an offshore wind potential of 215,979 MW.
While onshore wind continues to be cheaper, offshore wind is more reliable and adds the necessary variety of time of production. According to The Solutions Project, Texas can become 100% renewable by 2050, with wind power leading the way. The Solutions Project calls for 50% onshore wind and 13.9% offshore wind.
In 2010, wind power made up less than 8% of the Texas power, and now it is at 22%. Hopefully, it will reach 63.9% before 2050. Of course, Texas has the awesome potential to export power to other regions. Texas’s robust combination of renewable energy gives it an incredible economic advantage, which is why many tech companies and other industries are pouring into the state.