In a short policy statement released recently, the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA) announced its finding that renewable electricity technologies not only generate clean and reliable power, but they also create local jobs, local economic growth and provide other sustainable benefits."Knowing that the need for new electricity generation in Texas is stronger than ever, TREIA wants to be sure that the sustainable benefits of renewable energy technologies are considered by planners and decision makers," said Steven Wiese, TREIA president and principal at Clean Energy Associates. "Renewable energy technologies like rooftop solar can be deployed quickly, consume no water, reduce transmission and distribution losses, and provide a means for consumers to voluntarily contribute to the production of electricity," he continued. "These technologies have an important role to play, especially now."
TREIA's policy statement addresses both Distributed Renewable Generation (DRG) and renewable energy efficiency technologies. DRG technologies include solar electric (photovoltaics), small wind systems, and small biomass-fueled generators that create power on the customer's side of the electric meter. Renewable energy efficiency technologies such as solar water heating and geo-exchange systems reduce customer electricity consumption."We recognize that consumers, power providers and communities share several goals," stated Russel Smith, TREIA's executive director. "TREIA's statement shows that sustainable, renewable energy can help meet those goals."
Shared goals range from local jobs creation to hedging against the risk of future generating-fuel price hikes and other sustainable benefits. Wind and solar electricity are fuel-free, promising significant fuel-cost savings over the life of the equipment. However, the hardware requires significant up-front investment. Several of TREIA's recommendations are aimed at attracting investment capital and valuing the non-energy benefits of these technologies, such as risk management, local economic development and environmental preservation. TREIA is the oldest renewable energy non-profit trade organization in Texas. For more than a quarter century, it has promoted development of sustainable, renewable resources and their wise use. Its membership includes hundreds of business leaders and energy experts across the state.