Dispatchable Energy Will Help Texas Meet High Electricity Demand 

Published 8:55 am Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) recently suggested that the state needs to double its energy supply within the next decade to keep up with increasing demand. With more money being invested in solar, wind, and natural gas power plants, Texas will be able to keep on top of its high energy usage. 


Electricity needs are forever increasing in Texas due to the state’s large industrial sector, the adoption of electric cars, and the enduring popularity of crypto mining. 

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The popularity of crypto activities has also created further energy demand. For example, crypto casinos, like the ones listed by Sergio Zammit, have become popular in Texas thanks to the security, fast payments, and game variety offered by each. 


Texas hasn’t experienced a major energy blackout since 2021. However, the power grid has been strained on several occasions in the years since. While the adoption of wind and solar power has helped sustain the state’s power when oil and gas become unreliable, these green energy solutions can still undergo drop-off periods. 


In response to this, state regulators are hoping to encourage more natural gas plants to contribute to the power grid. This push, which was approved by the Public Utility Comission (PUC) in January 2024, would completely restructure Texas’ energy framework and ensure that blackouts are avoided in the future. 


Clean energy resources such as natural gas would be held in reserve as “dispatchable energy” for when wind and solar energy sources experience drop-off periods. This way, the state will have a consistent energy supply that’s better for the environment than oil and gas. 


Wind produced 28.6% of Texas’ energy in 2023, according to Texas Comptroller. However, like solar, wind is a weather-dependent energy source. This presents several issues when it comes to maintaining energy consistency. Dispatchable energy would be able to make up for energy lost at night or when the wind isn’t blowing. 


This need for more dispatchable energy was realized last year when Texans voted in favor of the $10 billion Texas Energy Fund. Energy companies can apply for grants from this fund and money awarded can be put towards building natural gas power plants. 


Texas is already one of the nation’s largest natural gas energy producers. The state accounts for more than one-fourth of total production, according to the US Energy Information Administration. 


Several natural gas power companies throughout Texas have been looking to modernize their plants to increase production. For example, the Montgomery County Power Station in Willis will receive $2 billion from the plant’s owners, Entergy Texas, in 2024 to replace old equipment and boost power output.  


In addition to supplementing renewable energy with dispatchable energy, it will also be important for Texans to practice energy conservation as much as possible. This involves investing in energy-efficient appliances, turning off electrical devices when not in use, and using programmable thermostats to control energy usage. 

With several reliable sources of energy working together, Texas can support electric vehicles, data centers, and online casinos without overwhelming the state’s energy supply.