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Even as we continue to make strides toward greener energy alternatives, one fact that remains is fossil fuels aren’t going the way of the dinosaurs anytime soon. But there are options. The shale boom has been the most effective counter to coal use in the United States in a century, and holds promise as an effective supplement to solar and wind power. The latter still face significant challenges in terms of reliable and cost-effective power storage to use when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing — and even that assumes you live in an area where solar and wind power are even options.

If you’re in a place that has shale production and solar and wind, you are probably in Texas. A quirk of geology, geography and climate grants, the Lone Star state is the world’s densest footprint of solar intensity and wind potential and shale petroleum deposits of any populated zone anywhere in the world. Already the world leader in wind and shale, Texas is likely to become the top spot for solar power generation as well within a decade.

For more on the future of wind power and other green technologies, see Appendix I of The Absent Superpower.

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