ERCOT Report Shows Continued Cut Backs on Coal Reliance and Increases in Natural Gas and Renewables
- July 19, 2014
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In an extensive report put out by the Brattle Group, natural gas and renewable energies will continue to make up the bulk of the energy portfolio that serves Texas.
Over the next 20 years the role that coal plays in providing power to Texas will continue to diminish, perhaps just not as fast as experts had hoped. Rising prices of natural gas have slowed coal’s reduction putting it’s numbers at about 23% of the Texas energy generation capacity.
But, as the report details, we cam expect these percentages to fall further as natural gas and renewables continue to be expanded and developed over the next twenty years.
While the report is quite exhaustive, some of the main findings are detailed below:
- Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Could Mean Lower Energy Costs
The proposed reduction of 3 giga-watts during peaks looks to be achievable by the new enegry efficiency programs. This in addition to the 2 to 4 giga-watts created by new programs could be music to the ears of Texas residents.
- Natural Gas and Renewables Play the Biggest Part
Pulling ahead with the biggest percentages is natural gas and renewables. These two sources dominate the supply picture with natural gas in the lead and secondary energy sources like solar and wind not far behind.
- CHP Units Have the Potential To Save, But the Savings are Relative to the Size
The report cites a simulation of both large and small CHP (combined heat and power) units and their impact on costs and effectiveness. The report showed that when these units were larger, the impact was more favorably noticeable. However, smaller CHP units were shown to not be as effective due to the large upfront costs and rapid payback required.
- Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Slightly Reduce Carbon Emissions
By compiling the effects of higher gas prices, a lower load growth, improvemtns in demand response and the uptake of combined heat and power unit installations, CO2 emissions are projected to fall a modest 4% by 2032.