Texas Wind: A Decade Ahead of Schedule

May 24, 2014

Amazing the great music you can discover playing in a gas station.

Also amazing how the greatest renewable success story can be from the most unlikely place in the world.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas:

“Energy produced in Texas using renewable resources grew by 12 percent in 2013, while capacity increased by about 2 percent [according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)…Generators participating in the state’s renewable energy credit trading program reported producing 38.1 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable generation in 2013, compared to33.9 million in 2012 — a 12 percent overall increase.

At more than 36.9 million MWh in total generation, wind power represented nearly 97 percent of the total. Energy produced from wind generation was up by 13 percent compared to 2012. Solar energy production was up by about a third from last year, based on information from commercial solar resources and aggregators…With more than 10,000 MW of renewable capacity on-line by 2009, the state actually achieved the 10,000 MW goal set by the Texas Legislature more than 15 years ahead of its 2025 target…

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13 Responses to “Texas Wind: A Decade Ahead of Schedule”

  1. MorinMoss Says:

    Let’s hope they don’t back out of the Tres Amigas Superstation project, which will tie ERCOT to both the Eastern & Western grids.

    It’s a pity their deployment of solar is only a very, very small fraction of their build-out of wind energy.

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    Now if they would elect Wendy Davis as governor, we could then believe they’re really committed to progress.


    • A state with a governor who leads prayers for rain isn’t quite ready to elect Wendy Davis. She doesn’t have a progressive energy policy position, but her supporters do – sort of.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      “burgeoning growth”, Christopher? You once again look at growth RATES and new installations rather than the absolute usage numbers involved. I know you don’t like IEA stats, but EVERYWHERE one looks, the same pattern is revealed.

      Fossil fuels are the source of most of the world’s energy, the consumption of FF is NOT declining, but actually increasing in many parts of the world as their economies and cultures become more “westernized”, and we’re simply running out of time. Various estimates float around—-“we must cut CO2 emissions by 75% by 2050, we must reduce CO2 emissions by 2% per year starting yesterday, we have only 10 years left to make the drastic moves required” etc.

      Look at as many graphs of world energy production/usage and projections as you can find from as many sources as you can locate—-I’ve looked at many, and the “stacked” ones are the most visually striking. The “new installations” graphs may make it look like FF is dying, but the absolute world numbers graphs show coal, natural gas, and petroleum in a slow but ever increasing rise (albeit with changes in share among them and variations in rate of increase in different countries) at ~80+%, nuclear at under 10%, and ALL renewables under 10% (and most of that is still hydro). The renewables are just icing on the cake of the graphs, and, although their little part of the wedge IS widening at a faster rate than the FF, you are deluding yourself if you think it will be enough and soon enough to save us.

      We simply aren’t going to make it unless we wake up and launch a massive WW2-Manhattan Project-Get to the Moon kind of effort. You are looking through the wrong end of the telescope, particularly regarding nuclear power (and there you suffer from cognitive dissonance—-I will address that on the other thread where you have made many comments).

      PS One “burgeoning growth” stat that everyone seems to ignore is the export of energy use to other countries. How much of the US decline and China’s growth in energy use is buried in the stuff that is now manufactured there and imported here and in Europe?


      • No amount of renewables will help until exponential consumption ends. Otherwise sustainability can never be reached. You will live to see big oil companies profits dry up. Most will be surprised that the big, bad, dragon, is dying. But it is. Coal is dying. And oil is dying. It only remains to be seen if they die soon enough, no thanks to our corrupted economic system. On that we agree. And that an all out effort is needed. Just how the massive sociopolitical change happens is not clear. Nobody sees the changes – they are too great and too fast. They don’t look like revolution, but the older generation is still stuck in its ways and thinking. The new generation, not so much. When one considers that US driving and oil consumption are flat despite massive drilling, those are undreamed of only a decade ago. The whole game is China now. They are going all out with renewables. Thing is, they are only lowering growth slightly. They have absorbed the mistakes we made and are repeating it. It’s a little like waiting for the computer in the movie War Games to figure out that thermonuclear war is useless and has no positive outcome. Same with growth and FF.
        Take a look at this:
        http://cleantechnica.com/2014/05/24/electric-utility-industry-gets-stinkeye-from-barclays/
        That’s massive change nobody would have dreamed of only ten years ago. So far US citizens have not awakened to CC. This next El Niño or some other event(s) will kick them over the edge. When that happens and people figure out that their institutions have betrayed them, there will be hell to pay. Chinese are already pissed at their government. It always gets worse before it gets better. Quiet before the storm. Meanwhile the pressure keeps growing. As Peter pointed out, the first place you see it is from inside the institutions. For one, insurance. When Wall Street finds out their oil stocks are breezy, there will be a sudden and permanent shift.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Gilding’s Great Awakening is surely approaching, and he sees some hope for a few humans to survive. Lovelock inplies it is all too complex and the human race is collectively too stupid to ever figure it out in time—-that we are likely doomed as a species and will take the biosphere with us I myself kind of blend those two—-Lovelock’s likely reality leavened with a bit of Gilding’s hope.


  3. It’s easy to pick at renewables, being the new kid on the block. A lot of renewables future depends on political will and votes. With PTCs bobbing like a yo yo and competitors lobbying for to kill renewable support while increasing their own subsidies, there is a battle. It’s not an academic matter. Clearly FF are becoming less viable, and more costly. While some argue other scenarios, there appears to be no rational alternative.

    http://www.renewablesinternational.net/worried-about-carbon-emissions-forget-nuclear/150/537/78404/

    • dumboldguy Says:

      This link is a nice piece of anti-nuclear propaganda. Somewhere in there they state something like “….any rational person would…” (agree with their premise) as they proceed to make irrational arguments like giving stats for how many nuclear plans would have to be built to provide for ALL of our energy needs, which is a straw man if ever there was one.

      Read it again, Christopher—closely and several times—-you are being misled.


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