Texas is generally big in all things energy (including wind, where it is top in the nation), but the Dallas Fed has an interesting note about why the state is a lagging in rooftop solar deployment.
The big picture: "Solar energy, while experiencing robust growth in recent years, still only provides 0.5 percent of Texas’ total electricity generation, with residential solar supplying a meager 0.1 percent of total generation."
What they found: The note says a variety of forces explain why residential solar is such a small slice of the pie (check out the chart above on capacity per million residents). They include:
- Texas is among just 2 states that don't force power companies to buy surplus power from residential projects (also called "net metering").
- Electricity is just cheap in Texas. "The comparatively inexpensive electricity translates into a relatively longer repayment period to recoup an initial residential solar investment," the report notes.
By the numbers: According to Solar Energy Industries Association's data about total capacity (that is, not per capita):
- Texas ranks 5th in the country in installed solar generation capacity, a tally that includes residential, non-residential and utility-scale projects.
- The massive state ranks 9th in residential solar capacity.