ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Juan Ontiveros manages the University of Texas at Austin's energy system, which generates electricity, heating and cooling for the entire campus — independent of the state's electricity grid. The campus burns less fuel than it did 40 years ago, a time when it enrolled thousands fewer students.
Juan Ontiveros manages the University of Texas at Austin's energy system, which generates electricity, heating and cooling for the entire campus — independent of the state's electricity grid. The campus burns less fuel than it did 40 years ago, a time when it enrolled thousands fewer students.

UT-Austin gets bigger, but its energy bills and emissions are shrinking

UT-Austin’s energy system operates as an island, outside of the electricity grid that covers most of Texas. It's getting more efficient over time, avoiding millions of dollars in fuel costs.

 

Lasse Kjærgaard Larsen manages district heating in Marstal, the biggest city on the Baltic Sea island of Aero. The utility's solar thermal farm — once the world's largest of its kind — meets 55 percent of this city's heating demands.
Lasse Kjærgaard Larsen manages district heating in Marstal, the biggest city on the Baltic Sea island of Aero. The utility's solar thermal farm — once the world's largest of its kind — meets 55 percent of this city's heating demands.

This energy technology gets no respect at all — but it's cutting carbon

Sometimes called the "Rodney Dangerfield" of the energy industry, the district energy concept has fueled Denmark's shift from fossil fuels. Energy efficiency advocates want to encourage more district energy projects in Texas.

A wind farm generates electricity off the coast of Copenhagen. Wind energy accounted for 42 percent of Denmark's generation last year. Four decades ago, the country depended almost entirely on imported oil.
A wind farm generates electricity off the coast of Copenhagen. Wind energy accounted for 42 percent of Denmark's generation last year. Four decades ago, the country depended almost entirely on imported oil.

1 energy crisis, 2 futures: How Denmark and Texas answered a challenge

Facing the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, Denmark shifted from fossil fuels. Texas responded differently. Here's a look at how things went for each.

UT-Austin gets bigger, but its energy bills and emissions are shrinking

Juan Ontiveros manages the University of Texas at Austin's energy system, which generates electricity, heating and cooling for the entire campus — independent of the state's electricity grid. The campus burns less fuel than it did 40 years ago, a time when it enrolled thousands fewer students.
Juan Ontiveros manages the University of Texas at Austin's energy system, which generates electricity, heating and cooling for the entire campus — independent of the state's electricity grid. The campus burns less fuel than it did 40 years ago, a time when it enrolled thousands fewer students.

UT-Austin’s energy system operates as an island, outside of the electricity grid that covers most of Texas. It's getting more efficient over time, avoiding millions of dollars in fuel costs.

 

This energy technology gets no respect at all — but it's cutting carbon

Lasse Kjærgaard Larsen manages district heating in Marstal, the biggest city on the Baltic Sea island of Aero. The utility's solar thermal farm — once the world's largest of its kind — meets 55 percent of this city's heating demands.
Lasse Kjærgaard Larsen manages district heating in Marstal, the biggest city on the Baltic Sea island of Aero. The utility's solar thermal farm — once the world's largest of its kind — meets 55 percent of this city's heating demands.

Sometimes called the "Rodney Dangerfield" of the energy industry, the district energy concept has fueled Denmark's shift from fossil fuels. Energy efficiency advocates want to encourage more district energy projects in Texas.

1 energy crisis, 2 futures: How Denmark and Texas answered a challenge

A wind farm generates electricity off the coast of Copenhagen. Wind energy accounted for 42 percent of Denmark's generation last year. Four decades ago, the country depended almost entirely on imported oil.
A wind farm generates electricity off the coast of Copenhagen. Wind energy accounted for 42 percent of Denmark's generation last year. Four decades ago, the country depended almost entirely on imported oil.

Facing the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, Denmark shifted from fossil fuels. Texas responded differently. Here's a look at how things went for each.

Houston Hurricane Protection Plan Still in Limbo

An aerial photograph of the Stolthaven Oil Tanking facility along the Houston Ship Channel on Nov. 10, 2015. Shell's Deer Park facility can be seen in the upper right.
An aerial photograph of the Stolthaven Oil Tanking facility along the Houston Ship Channel on Nov. 10, 2015. Shell's Deer Park facility can be seen in the upper right.

Researchers and scientists are at odds about how to protect the Houston Ship Channel, and Texas legislators will try again to reach a consensus in 2017.

The Meadows Foundation and the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation have supported energy coverage, and the Burdine Johnson Foundation has supported coverage of the environment.

How will Texas energy — and environment — fare under Trump?

Donald Trump rallies a crowd of veterans at Drake University on Jan. 28, 2016, while other Republican presidential candidates hold a final Des Moines debate prior to the Iowa caucuses.
Donald Trump rallies a crowd of veterans at Drake University on Jan. 28, 2016, while other Republican presidential candidates hold a final Des Moines debate prior to the Iowa caucuses.

President-elect Donald Trump may be seen as a boon for fossil fuels and a burden for renewables. But energy experts and clean energy groups say his victory may not be a win for Texas oil and gas — or a totally bad thing for wind and solar.