Praise for the Wildcatters

Austin sunflowers
Austin sunflowers

The December issue of Popular Mechanics magazine spotlights "The New Wildcatters" and "Why Texans See Green Gold in Renewable Resources."

It points to a "curious paradox" in that seemingly more virtuous states enact a wide range of incentives, requirements and restrictions to promote solar and other renewable energy sources while Texas simply sees it as a business opportunity and grabs it.

Michael Webber, a University of Texas at Austin professor and renewable energy advocate (his new book is entitled "Changing the Way America Thinks About Energy") observes, "In Texas, because we don't care about the environment, we're actually able to do things that are good for the environment. It's the most ironic, preposterous situation, if you want to build a wind farm, you just build it."

The article later notes Applied Materials' success in leveraging its chip making wizardry into popular thin-film solar panel manufacturing technology and quotes (ahem ...) yours truly as observing that Texas is "a huge market for solar panels, and we have a lot of empty space to put the panels out there.”

If Texas takes the initiative, watch out. It could be a center of not only solar-panel installation, both rooftop and utility scale, it could also could become “The Silicon Valley of solar manufacturing jobs” for the United States.

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