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riparian buffer zones

This Houston nonprofit is paying coastal landowners to store CO2 in their marshes

By Michael J. Coren & Dan Kopf


Highlights

  • Houston based nonprofit the Texas Coastal Exchange (TCX) has awarded grants to local landowners with marshlands on their property in order to prevent development on lands that help sequester carbon dioxide
  • Jim Blackburn, the President of TCX, explains that by paying landowners for this service, they may in turn put in additional effort to protect the marshlands over time
  • James Broussard from LaBelle Ranch, a grant recipient, says the grant gave him funds to maintain the property as is since the marshlands don’t provide any income for the ranch
  • In order to pay landowners, the TCX  uses a carbon offset fund with donations from people and corporations and raised $35,000 in their first year
  • Each acre of coastal marshland can absorb about 2 tons of CO2 per year
  • TCX also plans to expand to include grants for owners of coastal prairies and bottomlands

Implementing bold and equitable policies that will catalyze carbon sequestration through building healthy soils and restoring healthy habitats will be key to achieving drawdown greater than emissions (net-negative emissions) by 2030 for a climate-safe California.


Read more: https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/energy-environment/2020/05/21/370252/this-houston-nonprofit-is-paying-coastal-landowners-to-help-fight-climate-change-by-storing-c02-in-their-marshes/

Oil-soaked Texas turns to solar for economic reasons

by Brian Eckhouse and Chris Martin, Bloomberg

Texas, home to the world’s largest oil reserve and America’s biggest source of coal-fired power, is on the verge of a clean-energy boom.

Wind already supplies about 15 percent of Texas’s electricity, and now developers are about to quadruple the state’s solar capacity, adding enough panels by 2022 to light up all of Dallas. But they won’t just power homes. Solar developers are responding to demand from oil and gas drillers, whose booming operations are gobbling up electricity and pushing prices spiking above $1,000 a megawatt-hour.

The fact that Texas is turning to solar for help when it’s home to some of the cheapest energy resources in the world is the best evidence yet that the technology can compete head on with fossil fuels. Solar is getting built based purely on economics in the state, which isn’t offering the types of incentives that have spurred clean-energy booms elsewhere.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-04/solar-is-going-to-keep-oil-flowing-in-the-texas-shale-patch?srnd=climate-changed&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=energy&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&cmpid%3D=socialflow-twitter-energy

Texas grid operator reports fuel mix is now 30% carbon-free

by Jeff St. John, Greentech Media

Texas may be the center of the U.S. oil and gas industry, but the latest data shows that the state’s competitive energy market is increasingly favoring clean energy over fossil fuel alternatives.

New information from state grid operator ERCOT shows that carbon-free resources made up more than 30 percent of its 2018 energy consumption, and a slightly larger percentage of its 2019 generation capacity. In both cases, the largest share of credit goes to the state’s massive wind farms, which provided 18.6 percent of 2018 energy and make up 23.4 percent of 2019 capacity, followed by nuclear power, which served 10.9 percent of last year’s needs and will provide 5.4 percent of this year’s capacity.

Solar, meanwhile, only made up a sliver of the 1.3 percent of last year’s energy use served by “other” resources such as hydropower, biomass and fuel oil. But solar will make up 2.1 percent of this year’s generation capacity, in a testament to the small but fast-growing utility-scale solar market developing in the state.

Read more: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/a-snapshot-of-texas-growing-appetite-for-wind-and-solar-power#gs.jYcyVZYx

Renewables reduced wholesale power costs by $5.7 billion in Texas

by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

A recent report puts numbers to the power of wind and solar to reduce wholesale prices in ERCOT. And there is a lot more coming.There is a lot to chew on in The Economic Value of Renewable Energy to Texas, a new report by the Wind Solar Alliance. In addition to numbers on jobs, reduced pollutants and projected numbers for economic development, there are also figures for revenues to local governments and landowners, all in the cornucopia of economic benefits brought by these two resources.

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