The Year in Texas Energy: More Watts, More Wind
The numbers are in for electricity use for Texas in 2011 (more specifically, the 85 percent of the state in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas grid), and there are some interesting takeaways. It’s not surprising that with extreme heat and drought, energy demand increased in 2011:
- Energy use was up 5 percent over last year.
- The grid used less coal last year, and more natural gas and wind. Coal was down 0.5 percent, natural gas use was up 2.2 percent and wind use was up almost 1 percent.
- Nuclear power as a percentage of the grid was down 1.2 percent.
- Wind has shown the greatest gains over the last five years, going from 2.9 percent of the grid in 2007 to 8.5 percent in 2011. The only other energy source that has increased as part of the grid’s energy makeup during the last five years is coal, which increased a total of 1.6 percent.
- Surprisingly, given the boom in shale drilling, natural gas use as a percentage of the grid has decreased since 2007, going from 45.5 percent of the grid to 40.4 percent last year.