Wind power overtakes coal in electricity production in Texas
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Combustion Industry News Editor
In another sign of the times, wind power overtook coal in the annual amount of electricity generated in the US state of Texas for the first time last year. Wind turbines generated around 22% of the electricity consumed in the state, compared to coal’s 18%, a reversal on the 2010 figures of around 8% for wind and almost 40% for coal. Natural gas is the leading source of electricity in the state, however, having provided around 46% in 2020, up from around 38% in 2010. Perhaps surprisingly for a state famous for its sun, solar accounted for only around 2% of electricity generation in 2020, probably a reflection of wind turbines having been more economical at utility scale. In the years to come, wind, solar and batteries are expected to form the vast majority – 95% – of new capacity installed in the state. This suggests that natural gas will retain its absolute contribution in the years to come while renewables will expand, probably faster than demand for electricity, to further increase their share of the energy mix until a point in the medium to long term where grid stability may become more of an issue.