Houston to Buy Half of Its Electricity From Renewable Sources


The city of Houston has agreed to purchase half its electricity from renewable energy sources, a step that makes the Texas city the nation’s largest municipal buyer of green energy.

In a contract signed with Reliant Energy, Houston committed to buying more than 140 megawatts of renewable power from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015, locking in nearly 623,000 megawatts of clean power annually. According to city officials, the government committed $2 million — less than 1 cent per kilowatt-hour — through the purchase of renewable energy credits that will be used to fund alternative energy projects.

“Houston is already known as the energy capital of the world, but we are committed to becoming the alternative energy capital of the world as well,” Mayor Annise Parker said in a statement. In addition to investing in wind energy, the city touted major solar projects at municipal sites and efforts to streamline its solar power-permitting process.

A recent study said that efforts in the Houston metro area to promote the installation of solar power and improve energy efficiency could by 2030 save or generate enough electricity to power 627,000 homes.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.


  1. Sabrina Hill on

    You people know that Ateyo and I are totally powering our home out in the far west Texas desert with solar power, but NOW you see, that it CAN be done by cities for their Suburbanites IF the city governments WANT TO. Just vote in people that WANT TO, and VOTE OUT people that DON’T.

  2. Great news for the people of Houston. Wish, if our government could also wake up and invest some money in generating electricity from renewable sources.