Texas aims for diverse energy mix

State regulator said the No. 1 oil producer is also gaining a reputation for renewable energy.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   April 18, 2017 at 7:13 AM
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April 18 (UPI) -- Texas is displaying national leadership with an energy sector that shows a mix between shale resources and renewables, a state regulator said.

Christi Craddick, the head of the Texas Railroad Commission, the state energy regulator, said the nation's top oil producer is also a leader in renewable energy development.

"We have more wind power capacity than any other state and all but five countries," she said in a weekend editorial. "The solar power market in Texas is also taking off as the manufactured cost of panels has been reduced."

German energy company E.ON in March announced plans to build batteries in Texas that have the ability to store 20 megawatts of power from renewable energy resources. The company said wind farms are becoming more cost-competitive, with the budget for the Texas projects coming in below what similar projects cost in 2009.

Last week, the North American division of Toyota, which has its headquarters in Texas, said it would build an 8.79 megawatt solar installation at the facility, which would make it one of the largest corporate solar systems in the state if completed as designed.

Apart from the No. 1 oil producer in the country, federal analysis found Texas has the most coal-fired electric power capacity of any other state in the country. At 23.6 gigawatts, Texas is home to 9 percent of the national total of coal-fired capacity.

Though recovery is expected to evolve through 2017, data on oil production from Texas show volumes declined year-over-year, based on preliminary figures. Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said the latest industry survey found the outlook is positive, however, especially among companies that serve the exploration and production side of the oil and gas sector.

Nevertheless, the Railroad Commission chairwoman said Texas is committed to showcasing diversity in energy.

"Our commitment to develop renewable sources, to tap the potential of our shale formations, and to develop the technology needed to make our air cleaner and our economy stronger means Texas remains positioned as the nation's energy leader," she wrote.

Her editorial appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.

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