Last month, the Houston Chronicle published an important editorial about how different energy industries must “coexist, adapt, and evolve” to lower energy bills, preserve Texas’ energy leadership, and protect the grid. To read the entire article, you will need to subscribe (an excellent investment for anyone concerned about Texas energy). Here’s a sample:
All fossil fuel boosters and purveyors seem to agree that renewable energy will be here to stay. The number of renewable electricity sources has quadrupled in the last ten years, and its share has increased from 8 to 25% to 25%. Texas is the nation’s leader in clean energy production, but it’s not very close. Texas was the nation’s leader in clean energy capacity, bringing 7,352 megawatts worth of new solar, wind, and storage projects online in 2015. Another 20,000 megawatts are in development. This puts Texas far ahead of California, which is runner-up in both categories.
Despite our grid becoming more dependent on renewable power, there will be a short-term need for dispatchable thermal energy, mostly from natural gas, that can fill in the gaps in the generation when the weather isn’t favorable.
Texas is a large state. The Chronicle points out that Texas has a large number of energy sources. Solar is playing a bigger role in helping people live more effectively by keeping them from being stranded with high bills or blackouts.
These roles will benefit Texas’ economy as well as its citizens. It will help Texas to continue its leadership in energy for the 21st Century.
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