The following article was reported by the Dallas Business Journal
Reporter: Nicholas Sakelaris

Ernest Moniz

Ernest Moniz, the U.S. Secretary of Energy.

Texas got high praises from U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz during his visit to Austin Thursday.

He echoed many of the same ideas his boss, President Barack Obama, raised during the State of the Union address last week while also announcing a grant to research more advanced solar technology.

Texas is “the perfect example of how President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy can go hand in hand with combating climate change,” Moniz said during a visit to the University of Texas.

“This state is the number one producer of oil and gas in the country,” he said. “Texas has also been a national leader in clean and renewable energy production. And Texas has the highest wind-powered generation capacity of any state in the nation.”

Moniz announced the DOE would award $30 million toward FOCUS, (Full-spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight) program, an advanced solar system that uses the full spectrum of sunlight and includes a new storage system so it can provide a steady stream of power, even at night.

Today’s photovoltaic cells can fluctuate based on weather conditions, making it harder for grid planners to rely on them. Often, they use quick-fire natural gas plants to make up the difference when renewable energy such as solar and wind drop off.

Moniz also credited Texas for allowing its propane to be sold out-of-state where the freezing cold has caused a shortage in recent weeks. Gov. Rick Perry extended the emergency declaration to allow Texas propane to be trucked out.

“This is a very, very dire situation right now in the upper Midwest. We are in fact on the phone a lot across the administration making sure we do all that we can. Texas plays a very big role here.”