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Texas emerges as an improbable state for national leader in the US wind energy boom 20th February

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The Republican-dominated and oil rich state of Texas has become an improbable leader in the US wind energy boom, as ranchers take advantage of diversifying their income to maintain land and keep it in the family.

Texas has 11,592 turbines which total over 20,000 MW – three times as much as the second highest wind producing state, Iowa. Last year, Texas provided the equivalent of 5.7m homes and 12.68% of Texas’ total electricity production.

Whilst Republican rhetoric is staunchly dismissive of renewable energy and climate change, conservative areas such as Texas have been quietly backing wind production. In 2015, Congress extended a tax credit for wind production until 2020.

Renewable energy infrastructure has allowed farmers to diversify amidst the uncertainty of floods and droughts, as well as the boom and bust of the oil industry. Indeed, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics note that wind turbine technicians is by far the nation’s fastest-growing occupation.

In this Republican state, green energy is touted as ensuring energy security, national security and good business. Texas spent $7bn on transmission projects, and has its own electricity grid which minimalises federal influence.

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