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Texas is Big on Economic Growth - and Has the Numbers to Prove It

Mark Crawford (Apr/May 10)
(page 4 of 4)
• Energy - Texas, of course, is known for its oil and gas exploration and production, including the use of innovative new hydro-fracturing technologies to release trapped oil and gas from shale deposits. Texas leads the nation in production and reserves for crude oil and natural gas and boasts one of the most efficient electric markets in the world. Texas companies are also at the forefront of developing new alternative-energy technologies, especially for wind and solar.

The Texas Emerging Technology Fund recently invested $1.5 million in SolarBridge Technologies in Austin to help develop and commercialize a new technology that provides more reliable distribution of solar energy through the energy grid. The company's unique microinverter attaches directly to solar panels, improving energy production efficiency and providing better distribution of electricity. "We have succeeded in creating a module-integrated microinverter like nothing else on the market," says SolarBridge President and CEO Ron Van Dell. "By making this investment in SolarBridge, the state of Texas recognizes the impact that our technology will have on making solar installations significantly more reliable and affordable."

A Strong Economic Future
Experts expect to see economic growth in Texas that continues to exceed the U.S. average, stronger international trade, and a younger and more ethnically diverse population. A pro-business climate, low taxes, strong research incentives, and a talent work force continue to attract new expansions and relocations.

"When people across the nation look at Texas, they're discovering we've fostered an environment that encourages people to pursue their dreams, build businesses, and create jobs," says Governor Perry.

In fact, several Texas metro areas have taken top spots in the 2009 Milken Institute/Greenstreet Real Estate Partners "Best Performing Cities Index." The index ranks U.S. cities according to job creation, short- and long-term measurements of employment and salary growth, and technology output growth. Texas claimed four of the top five spots, including number one (Austin-Round Rock), and nine of the top 16 spots.

"Texas's strong position in this study demonstrates that a favorable business climate, combined with a low-cost/low-tax environment, is highly supportive of job creation," states Ross DeVol, senior economist at the Milken Institute and lead author of the report. "The state has diversified its economy by fostering several key high-tech clusters, and the passage of Proposition 4, allocating $500 million in funding for research universities, will make Texas an even more formidable competitor in the future."

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