Many people assume that the next President will greatly influence the energy landscape in the U.S. In reality, no matter who wins this election, clean energy will continue to win due to its strong fundamentals.
As the CEO of a large solar company based in Houston, I spend time talking about energy with fellow Houstonians, many of whom are in the oil and gas industry. There is an assumption by many of these people that I am pulling for one candidate over another because one of them would be better for clean energy. But nothing could be farther from the truth.
Over the past ten years, renewable energy has been on a meteoric growth trajectory. We've seen this firsthand in Texas, which produces more wind power than any other state. In the past year, wind power accounted for more than 10 percent of the electricity generated in the state.
And now, Texas has the fastest growing utility-scale solar market in the country. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has estimated that going forward, solar will make up nearly all of Texas' new power capacity.
Texas isn't unique in this regard. Utilities around the country are shuttering their expensive coal plants in favor of cheaper alternatives like wind and solar. In fact, last year, renewable sources accounted for nearly one-third of all new electrical generation built.
Renewable energy sources now account for nearly 20 percent of generating capacity in the U.S. Demand for residential rooftop solar continues to be incredibly strong too. The industry recently hit the 1 million solar installation mark earlier this year. It's expected that it will only take two years before we reach 2 million solar customers.