Much of the focus on the newly released census data surrounds the population shift to the sunnier parts of the United States, but it also may mean a shift in political power when it comes to energy sources.
For good reason, Texas is thought of first and foremost as an oil state, and while that's certainly true, the state also is stacked with wind power. With a capacity of 9401 megawatts, Texas has more than triple the amount of wind power capacity of the next top-capacity state, Iowa. Florida, which is also gaining in population and congressional representation, may not only be a huge source of offshore wind power in the future, but the Sunshine State is an obvious growth center for solar power. The same can be said for Texas, Nevada and Arizona. And anyone who has ever driven through Utah knows the wind blows steadily enough there for wind power to continue to grow in megawatt numbers.
So perhaps this is another consideration of the new census. With Texas getting four more congressional seats, Florida getting two and the sunny and windy states of Utah, Nevada and Arizona all picking up a congressman each, suddenly an infusion of congressional power for renewables is possible. Now, of course these states also have interests in coal, natural gas, oil and a few other areas. But as long as the sun keeps shining, the wind keeps blowing and people keep moving to where that happens, Congress will have to keep thinking about renewables.