State Watch

Wind surpasses coal as energy source in Texas for first time: report

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Wind narrowly replaced coal’s spot as second leading energy source in Texas based on data reported by a local NPR station

KUT, the station owned and operated by the University of Texas at Austin, reports data released this month by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas shows wind created 22 percent of the electricity used in the first half of the year. 

The environmentally friendly energy alternative beat out coal by 1 percent, according to the reported data.{mosads}

Natural gas, producing 38 percent of electricity, remains the top source. 

The outlet reports the change may be due to this year’s weather. Many of the coal plants in the state only operate when electricity demand is high; a mild spring and summer may have kept demand low and the plants offline, KUT reports. 

Solar energy accounts for less than 1 percent, according to the data.

Daniel Cohan, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Rice University, told KUT it may increase in years to come as the number of solar farms in Texas grows. 

“For several years in a row now, we’ve had almost a doubling of the amount of solar farms in Texas,” he told the station. “And it looks like we’re set to have a few more doublings ahead. So, Texas is really becoming one of the growth areas for solar after a very slow start.”

Tags Alternative energy Energy Wind power
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