Back in the summer of 2008 T. Boone Pickens became the nation's biggest booster of wind energy. He spent a fortune on advertising, carried his whiteboard wherever he went, and promised to build the biggest windfarm ever, in Texas. Then the credit market seized, and natural gas boomed, and the wind part of the Pickens Plan went flat.
But the Pickens Pullback has not kept Texas from continuing to grow its wind capacity. Texas continues to lead the U.S. in installed wind capacity, with 9000 MW.
Wind accounted for 6 percent of the electricity produced in Texas last year, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), up from 4.6 percent in 2008 and well above an estimated 2 percent nationwide.