It turns out Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry isn’t strictly an oil man. Perry embraced wind power during his October 28, 2011 interview with the Manchester, New Hampshire based Union Leader:
And I’m kind of an all of the above fellow. Texas is now the number wind energy producing state. You know that people think, “Oh, Texas. Yeah, it’s easy to be governor of Texas. You’ve got oil and natural gas.” We’ve only had 2 percent increase in our oil and gas production in the last decade.
As Governor of Texas, Perry has been a big advocate of wind power. Here he is announcing an $8.4 million investment in wind energy research and development on July 26, 2010:
This is a big day for Texas Tech for Texas and for everyone who dreams of energy independence.
As we pursue that goal, which is so essential to our nation's economic health and security people sometimes ask me, what's the best energy strategy for Texas?
Is it wind? Solar? Biomass? Clean coal? Next generation nuclear?
My answer is four simple words: "all of the above."
That's exactly the strategy we're pursuing in Texas, and it's working which shouldn't surprise anyone because Texas knows energy.
So I am here today to announce a groundbreaking partnership between the public and private sector that will continue our state's reign as America's energy producer.
Since the first gusher at Spindletop, Texas has powered the nation.
Thanks to a new generation of hard-working visionaries, Texas is leading the way in renewable energy as well.
Since this room is full of experts, I'll spare you a lengthy discussion of wind energy's benefits but I do want to mention a few highlights of our state's success.
I'm proud that we lead the nation in installed wind generation capacity, because it took some serious work to reach first place.
Of course, there's no shortage of wind in Texas, but it took a lot of bold entrepreneurs to make it a significant source of our power.
Partnered with some of the brightest minds in the energy business from the public and private sector and the experts at world-class universities like Texas Tech these folks have achieved remarkable success in a relatively short time.
Way back in 2005, I signed legislation that set some lofty goals 5,880 megawatts of renewable production capacity by 2015 and 10,000 megawatts by 2025.
In true Texas style, we've already hit those marks and are building out capacity faster than any other U.S. state.
In just the last three years, about half of the 10,000-plus megawatts of renewable energy that is providing power to our energy grids...came online.
This effort and the accompanying $18 billion in investment have helped us meet our state's energy needs while helping to lower electricity prices for all Texans.
The work continues as we add wind capacity and work to connect these wind farms to the grid and our major cities.
That's a daunting task on its own but Texans don't back down from a challenge particularly one that means so much to our future. That future includes the expanding energy needs of a population that grows by about 1,000 people per day and an economy that has already added more than 166,000 new jobs this year more jobs than any other state.
Fortunately, this new partnership between the National Institute for Sustainable Energy and the National Wind Resource Center will strengthen our position as America's wind power leader and keep us moving toward energy independence.
This partnership will help speed the integration of our massive wind resources with our power grid and set standards other states can follow in pursuit of our success.
The regional support for this partnership is unprecedented with communities spanning over 80,000 square miles from Dumas to San Angelo and Abilene to Odessa.
This partnership also represents unparalleled education and training opportunities for our future energy workforce. Texas Tech is home to the nation's first PhD in Wind Technology and Texas State Technical College established the first wind technician certification in the state.
This partnership is based on exceptional collaborations merging the resources and expertise of universities up and down the U.S. wind corridor with wind industry experts from all over the globe and key international wind associations.
The state of Texas is also onboard, investing $8 million through our Emerging Technology Fund which was created to accelerate ideas formed in our universities into the marketplace.
Since its founding, the ETF has invested nearly $154 million in 111 early-stage companies throughout Texas and leveraged an additional $161 million in university and industry investments.
With this research superiority investment, this partnership will take renewable energy research and commercialization to the next level while attracting additional investment from the private sector.
The result of all this hard work, collaboration and investment is a "game changing" model for industry in Texas and across the nation.
As this project reaches critical mass, I am confident it will draw even more bright minds yield a better-trained energy workforce and keep Texas moving forward as America's energy leader.
Congratulations on this initiative and Godspeed.
May God bless you, and, through you, may He continue to bless the Great State of Texas.