There has been a consistent upward trend for wind-generated electricity in Texas. As the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has recently reported, the industry is continuing to invest in renewable energy for the long haul.
ERCOT states that wind-generated electricity in Texas has beaten coal by 1% so far this year. That means that wind was responsible for 22% of all of the electricity generated in the state. Coal represented 21%.
Of course though, natural gas is still ahead of the pack at 38%. And it accounted for 44% last year, so it’s safe to assume that it will be the leader for years to come while renewable sources like solar and wind continue to rise.
Now, a lot of analysts have chimed in, sensing that wind’s current placement in the rankings is because of uncharacteristic weather. And that could certainly be the case come the latter half of this year. But the data has been consistent across recent years that renewable energy sources like wind in particular are to be viable and robust agents of change in the Texas electricity economy.
As ERCOT pointed out in 2016, wind topped 15,000 MW. That record-setting mark is just a glimpse at how the electricity dynamic is shifting, and will continue to shift as it has since the start of the millennium when wind sources hadn’t represented even 1% of Texas power.
Some Reasons for Wind’s Recent Rise to Power
As Smart Energy International points out, Texas has the most potential for wind generation in the entire United States. A large part of this is the consistent and often chaotic winds that buffet the Texas locale.
As this article states on the wind power of Texas, the state has more than 12,000 wind turbines. This means that “the state’s $40 billion private industry also employs a quarter of the nation’s wind-energy employees.”
Because of these considerable investments in wind energy, it’s no surprise that wind energy has climbed so steadily over the years to just now surpass coal in the first half of this year.
Forecasts for Renewable Energy
CNN states that Texas produced a quarter of the nation’s wind energy in 2017. And as the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) continues to forecast, they think that solar and wind will continue to grow the fastest in the next two years compared to other sources of energy.
As the EIA states in this report, “This projected growth is a result of new generating capacity the industry expects to bring online. About 11 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity is scheduled to come online in 2019.”
So, the future looks very wind-driven for Texas electricity, and by extension, the nation’s power will continue to be built around renewable sources.