The Growth of Solar in Texas


Texas, known for its abundant natural resources, is home to the second-largest solar industry in the United States. Texas is also the leading producer of crude oil and natural gas in the US, but in recent years, there has been a shift towards renewable energy. The state’s significant shift towards solar power has been driven by various factors, including government policies, advancements in technology, and corporate demand for clean energy.

The solar industry in Texas has experienced remarkable growth in the past few years. Ranked second in the country for installed solar capacity, Texas has over 17,000 megawatts (MW) of solar power currently installed (as of Q4 in 2022), according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). In just three years, Texas has added the solar equivalent of 12 nuclear reactors, putting it on the cusp of surpassing California as the top producer of electricity from solar farms, according to Bloomberg.

The falling cost of solar panels is one of the key drivers of this growth. Since 2010, the cost of solar panels has decreased by more than 80%, making solar energy an increasingly attractive option for both residential and commercial customers. Additionally, the state and federal governments have offered a variety of incentives and tax credits to encourage the adoption of solar energy.

Another trend driving solar growth in Texas is the increased demand for renewable energy from corporate customers. Many companies, including Facebook, Google, and Amazon, have pledged to become 100% renewable in the coming years and are investing in solar power to meet this goal. This has led to the development of large-scale solar projects in Texas, which can provide clean energy to multiple customers at once.

However, the growth of solar power brings about new challenges such as grid stability during periods of high demand. According to a recent Reuters article, Texas is turning to battery storage to help address these challenges. The article notes that the state is investing in energy storage infrastructure to help smooth out the fluctuations in solar production and to provide power during periods of high demand. At the start of 2022, only 27% of all solar projects in Texas were coupled with storage–by the end of the year this number had already risen to 42%.

The future of solar power in Texas looks bright, with many experts predicting continued growth over the next decade. In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts Texas will install 7.7 GW of solar this year, a quarter of all U.S. installations. In the next five years, an additional 36 GW in new capacity is expected in Texas according to the U.S. Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA).

This growth is being driven by several factors, including the declining cost of solar technology and the increasing demand for clean energy. Additionally, advances in energy storage technology are making it possible to store solar energy for use during periods of high demand or when the sun is not shining. This could help to address some of the challenges associated with solar energy, such as intermittent production and variability.

However, not everyone is on board with the growth of solar power in Texas. In some rural areas, residents have expressed opposition to large-scale solar projects, citing concerns about the impact on local wildlife and landscapes. Some have also raised concerns about the potential for solar projects to drive up property taxes and reduce property values.

In response to these concerns, the state government has introduced a variety of measures to encourage solar development in a responsible and sustainable way. For example, some local governments have established guidelines for the siting of solar projects and require developers to consult with local communities before beginning construction.

While the majority of Texas’ solar capacity comes from these industrial-scale projects in rural areas, residential and commercial solar projects can also make a big impact. That’s where NATiVE comes in. We’ve been installing and servicing solar arrays across Texas for over 15 years, and our expertise allows us to tailor projects to our clients’ specific and unique needs. If you’re interested in getting on board with the energy transition that’s currently taking hold of Texas, reach out to us for a consultation or receive a complimentary quote. Our experts are happy to answer any questions or address concerns you may have about going solar.

Solar is currently the cheapest it’s ever been. With rising utility costs and inflation, locking in your electricity rate is a pragmatic way to save money long term, all while making a positive impact on the environment. Go solar with NATiVE to #TakeYourPowerBack and experience the freedom that comes with energy independence!