Everything is bigger in Texas — including our energy industry!
As the top producer of electricity in the United States, Texas holds a significant position in the renewable energy landscape. With a focus on clean energy sources, the state has made remarkable progress and continues to lead the nation in the adoption of sustainable practices.
1. Texas Renewables Continue to Climb as Coal Declines
Texas has witnessed a gradual decline in coal power over the years, with renewables taking the lead. The U.S. Energy Department predicts a continued decrease in coal production, dropping to levels not seen in the last 80 years. As coal’s popularity wanes, wind and solar energy sources are experiencing unprecedented growth and becoming the go-to options for power generation.
2. Texas Provides Nearly 30% of All U.S. Wind-Powered Electricity
With around 13,000 wind turbines scattered across the state, Texas plays a major role in wind power generation. It contributes nearly 30% of all wind-powered electricity in the United States.
3. Texas Wind has Produced More Electricity than Texas Nuclear since 2014
The vast wind farms in Texas have positioned the state as a prominent player in the wind energy sector, harnessing the power of the strong, consistent winds that sweep across its plains and coastline.
4. The Price of Texas Solar has Dropped 38% Over the Last 5 Years
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the price of solar power generation in Texas has dropped by 38% over the past five years. This significant reduction in costs can be attributed to various factors, including government subsidies, increased support for renewables over fossil fuels, and the surge in demand for solar energy. As solar becomes more affordable, it continues to gain prominence as a clean and viable power generation option.
5. Texas Solar Currently Ranks 4th in the Nation
West Texas gets lots of sunlight, making it the prime location for utility-scale solar farms, like Chariot Energy’s Oberon. According to SEIA, the state currently ranks 4th in the nation for solar power generation.4
We’re close to number one — but we’re not quite there. Hopefully, though, with the addition of Oberon and other big solar projects, Texas will climb the ranks to lead the nation in creating electricity from solar power just like it has for years with wind power.
6. Texas Solar Powers Hundreds of Thousands of Homes
The SEIA reports that Texas has enough solar power capacity to provide electricity to more than 600,000 homes. This figure continues to rise as more residential solar installations take place across the state. As solar power becomes increasingly accessible and affordable, the number of homes powered by solar energy is expected to exceed a million in the near future.
7. Biomass is Small but Mighty
While biomass accounts for less than half a percent of Texas’s energy mix, it plays a crucial role in diversifying the state’s renewable energy profile. Historically, biomass referred to burning wood for electricity production, but it has evolved to include various techniques like extracting fuel from corn and other types of plants.
The biofuels industry in Texas contributes approximately 400 million gallons of ethanol and 375 million gallons of biodiesel per year. Although biomass may not dominate the renewable energy landscape like wind and solar, it significantly reduces reliance on fossil fuels and helps create a more sustainable energy mix.
8. Hydropower is Limited but not Nonexistent
Hydropower represents a small fraction of Texas’s energy mix, making up less than half a percentile. The state’s geographical characteristics limit the potential for large-scale hydropower generation. However, it serves as a supplementary power source during peak electricity demand periods, such as the hot summer months when air conditioners consume substantial energy. While hydropower may not be a major player in Texas, it still contributes to maintaining a reliable and diversified energy grid.
What to Expect from Renewables in 2023
Wind power will continue to dominate headlines, building on its record-breaking performance in recent years. In May 2020, wind generation in Texas contributed to more than half of the hourly electricity demand, highlighting its significant contribution to the state’s power grid. As wind capacity expands and technology improves, wind farms are expected to become even more efficient and capable of meeting growing electricity demands.
Solar energy, too, will play a pivotal role in Texas’s renewable energy future. The state is on track to become the national leader in solar energy generation by installing over 4 GW of capacity in the next five years. This substantial growth in solar power installations will further diversify Texas’s clean energy portfolio and solidify its position as a renewable energy powerhouse.
While wind and solar power take center stage, it’s important to acknowledge the continued contributions of biomass and hydropower. Though their growth rates may be more modest compared to wind and solar, these energy sources play a crucial role in maintaining a balanced and reliable energy grid.
The transition to clean energy sources is not limited to large-scale projects and utility companies. Individuals like you can also make a significant impact by adopting sustainable practices and supporting the growth of renewable energy in Texas. Consider installing solar panels on your home, utilizing energy-efficient appliances, and participating in community initiatives that promote clean energy. Together, we can drive the state’s renewable energy revolution and create a greener and more sustainable Texas for future generations.
At Chariot Energy, we offer all-solar plans designed to meet your energy needs. Join us in the pursuit of a cleaner, more sustainable Texas. Visit our plans page to explore the rates and options available in your area. Together, let’s power the Lone Star State with the abundant resources of wind and solar energy, paving the way for a brighter and more sustainable future.
In February 2021, Texas experienced an unprecedented winter storm that severely impacted the state’s energy infrastructure. The extreme cold weather led to an unprecedented surge in electricity demand as Texans sought to heat their homes. Unfortunately, the state’s electricity grid, managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), struggled to meet the increased load, resulting in widespread power outages.
The winter storm exposed vulnerabilities in the state’s power generation and distribution systems. The reliance on natural gas for power generation proved challenging due to frozen wellheads and supply chain disruptions. Wind turbines were also affected by freezing temperatures, leading to reduced output. Additionally, inadequate winterization measures and a lack of interconnections with neighboring grids exacerbated the crisis.
As a result, the importance of investing in a diversified energy portfolio became apparent. Texas has since taken steps to address these issues and improve the resilience of its energy infrastructure. The Public Utility Commission of Texas has implemented new measures to enhance grid reliability, such as requiring power generators to implement weatherization protocols and establishing a statewide disaster alert system.
Despite the challenges faced during the winter storm, the future of clean energy in Texas remains bright. The state’s vast wind and solar resources, combined with ongoing technological advancements, make it well-suited for renewable energy expansion. The government, energy organizations, and the public are committed to transitioning to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.
Investments in wind farms and solar installations continue to increase, attracting job opportunities and economic growth. Texas’s commitment to clean energy not only benefits the environment but also contributes to the state’s energy independence and economic resilience.
Furthermore, as the demand for clean energy rises, energy storage technologies, such as advanced batteries, are gaining traction. These technologies address the intermittent nature of wind and solar power by storing excess energy for use during periods of high demand or low generation. The integration of energy storage systems will further enhance the reliability and flexibility of the electricity grid.
What you can do to embrace the benefits of clean energy
Transition to renewable energy: Consider installing solar panels on rooftops or joining community solar initiatives. By generating clean energy onsite or supporting renewable energy projects, you can reduce reliance on traditional power sources and decrease your carbon footprint.
Energy conservation and efficiency: Implement energy-saving practices in your daily life, such as using energy-efficient appliances, turning off lights when not in use, and optimizing home insulation. Small changes in energy consumption can add up to significant savings and environmental impact.
Advocate for clean energy policies: Stay informed about local and state energy policies and support initiatives that promote clean energy development and grid modernization. Engage with elected officials and community organizations to voice your support for a sustainable energy future.
Support renewable energy providers: Choose electricity plans from suppliers committed to clean energy. By selecting renewable energy providers, you contribute to the growth of clean energy infrastructure and encourage a transition away from fossil fuels.
Educate and raise awareness: Share your knowledge about clean energy with friends, family, and colleagues. Promote the benefits of renewable energy, highlight success stories, and encourage others to take part in the clean energy movement.
By collectively embracing clean energy, Texans can create a sustainable future with reduced dependence on fossil fuels, improved air quality, and enhanced energy security.
Texas Renewable Energy industry: Summary
The Texas renewable energy industry has made significant strides in recent years, establishing itself as a national leader in clean energy generation. The decline of coal, the dominance of wind and solar power, and the continuous efforts to diversify the energy mix demonstrate Texas’s commitment to a sustainable energy future.
While challenges may arise, such as winter storms and heatwaves, they serve as opportunities for improvement and increased resilience. By investing in grid upgrades, strengthening infrastructure, and leveraging advanced technologies, Texas can ensure a reliable and sustainable energy supply for its residents.
As individuals, we play a crucial role in driving the clean energy transition. By supporting renewable energy, advocating for policies that accelerate clean energy adoption, and making conscious choices in our daily lives, we can contribute to a greener and more sustainable Texas.
Let’s continue to harness the power of clean energy, leverage the abundant resources of wind and solar, and shape a future where Texas leads the nation in clean and reliable energy generation. Together, we can create a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous Texas for generations to come.