Brace Yourself for Long, Hot Texas Summer
By TERRY JARRETT
Waco Tribune-Herald (May 29, 2019) — Texas is once again at the center of America’s energy sector, thanks to emerging trends in both natural gas production and renewable energy. Not only does Texas lead the nation in both crude oil and natural gas production, but it also generates more renewable electricity than any other state. At the same time, however, Texas is rapidly transforming its electric grid. And that transition — to a greater reliance on weather-dependent and on-demand systems — could have serious consequences for reliable and affordable power statewide.
Texas’ electricity sector has undoubtedly become the envy of the nation, as it produces almost twice as much power as its nearest competitor, Florida. Part of that success comes from Texas leading the nation in wind-powered generation. In 2017, Texas produced one-fourth of total U.S. wind-generated electricity. And since 2014, Texas wind turbines have produced more electricity than the state’s two nuclear power plants.
This sounds impressive. But there may be trouble ahead. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) forecasts a tight margin for the state’s electricity use this summer. Peak demand could hit a new record — and potentially spur an Energy Emergency Alert needed to maintain grid reliability