While Texas is number one in U.S. wind production, wind power supplies only about one percent of the nation’s electricity. Partly this is because “big wind” farms with huge turbines need billions for new transmission lines. Enter the concept of “small wind”—tiny vertical-axis wind turbines placed on utility poles across miles of farmland, deserts, and plains. By using existing utility poles on existing rights-of-way and existing distribution lines, Texas rural electric co-ops could quickly and cost-efficiently generate clean, homegrown, locally used renewable energy. A Texas company is already working on this. Start watching for “linear wind farms,” y’all.
Mauro was the Texas land commissioner from 1983 to 1999. He lives in Austin.