Solar energy gets push in Texas legislature

For the last decade, when most people have thought of renewable energy in Texas, they have usually thought of wind.

But this year, solar and other forms of renewable energy are starting to get a place at the table at the Legislature.

Legislation including incentives and rebates could pave the way for individuals and businesses to afford solar panels and spur a boom similar to the one that started with wind a decade ago.

Jim Duncan, owner of North Texas Renewable Energy in Fort Worth, said boosting incentives could jump-start his industry.

"If these incentives get passes, business is really going to take off," said Duncan, who has been installing solar panels for six years.

State Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, believes that some type of solar legislation will be passed this session. Fraser, chairman of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee, helped craft wind legislation a decade ago.

"Before that legislation, it wasn’t cost-effective in Texas," he said. "Now, we’re the largest producer of wind energy in the United States — that’s exactly what we’re trying to do with solar."

Read more on this story in the Star-Telegram.