Why Texas lags in rooftop solar

Texas is generally big in all things energy (including wind, where it is top in the nation), but the Dallas Fed has an interesting note about why the state is lagging in rooftop solar deployment. “Solar energy, while experiencing robust growth in recent years, still only provides 0.5 percent of Texas’ total electricity generation, with residential solar supplying a meager 0.1 percent of total generation.”

The note says a variety of forces explain why residential solar is such a small slice of the pie (check out the chart above on capacity per million residents). They include:

1. Texas is among just 2 states that don’t force power companies to buy surplus power from residential projects (also called “net metering”).

2. Electricity is just cheap in Texas. “The comparatively inexpensive electricity translates into a relatively longer repayment period to recoup an initial residential solar investment,” the report notes.


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