Texas rocks the carbon world! say the Brits

Just in case you forgot that everything is bigger in Texas, the good people at U.K.-based The Climate Group have put out a little report (most likely related to the conference being held in Houston Wednesday:Business and Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities in a Carbon Constrained World).

• Texas leads the nation in crude oil consumption, accounts for more than 10% of US energy use, and the state’s per capita residential use of electricity is significantly higher than the national average
• Texas also leads the nation in greenhouse gas emissions: The US Energy Information Administration estimates that Texas emitted 670 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2003
• If Texas were a country, it would rank seventh in the world in greenhouse gas emissions

But, before you get depressed…

Installed wind energy capacity in Texas climbed over 280% in seven years, helping Texas overtake California as the nation’s top wind-power producing state, avoiding over three million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually and reducing the carbon footprint of every Texan by more than 250 pounds of CO2 per year
• The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) expects to have 4,500MW of installed wind generation capacity – roughly 7% of peak demand – by mid-2008
• The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that by 2025, the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard could create 20,000 new jobs (3.7 times more than the fossil fuel industry in a business-as-usual scenario), and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in capital investment, land leases, and property tax revenue
• The potential for solar power is also among the highest in the country, with high levels of direct solar radiation (suitable to support large-scale solar power plants) concentrated in West Texas
• Due to its large agricultural and forestry sectors, Texas has an abundance of biomass energy resources: A report by the University of Tennessee’s Department of Agricultural Economics says the state could reap $22.8 billion producing renewable fuels

Feel better?
And while Austin never tires of telling the rest of us it’s the happy-little-green-city-in-the-center-of-the-state (the city council plans to make all facilities, fleets and operations carbon neutral by 2020 and plans to get 30 percent of its power from renewable resources by 2020 for example) Houston isn’t exactly standing still on the green front. The Point Group Notes:

• Using solar-powered pumps in Lake Houston, which provides about 30% of the city’s drinking water, cut water treatment costs $500,000, reduced electricity consumption 219,000kWh per year and avoided 148 tons of CO2 emissions
• Retrofitting vending and beverage machines in city facilities and buying 50 new ENERGY STAR ones cut electric use 40-50 percent – and saved $34,712 per year and 277 tons of CO2 emissions
• Switching incandescent light bulbs in 62 city buildings to T-8 lamps saved a whopping $464,253 per year in electricity costs

Well, it’s a start.
A full copy of the report can be found at The Climate Group web site.