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Texas Wind Energy Gaining Ground At Expense Of Coal

Texas has set yet another record wind generating day in a long string of such days, reaching 12.97 GW on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), wind turbines in Texas set a state-record for wind generated electricity of 12.97 GW. The record was one of many set recently and represents wind’s continued growth in the state.

IEEFA-1

Texas, though long thought of as an oil gold mine, is the sixth-biggest producer of wind electricity globally, sitting just behind India and just ahead of the UK. This places Texas as the United States’ leading generator of wind electricity by a long margin, outshining even the golden child, California.

The record follows in the wake of an October 22 record of 12.24 GW, which itself broke the record set only a day earlier.

Maybe even more impressive is that on Thanksgiving Day itself, wind power in Texas provided 43.55% of the state’s total electricity demand. In fact, thanks to favorable conditions, wind energy generated more than 40% of Texas’ electricity demands for 11 hours each day from November 24 to November 26, and more than 30% during the rest of the hours over that same timeframe.

So the race is on, as coal use falls in the great Lone Star State and wind energy continues to grow.

IEEFA-2

Texas’ wind capacity now sits at 15.9 GW (as of this past September), with another 5 GW expected to be added to the grid before the end of 2016. On the flip side, coal has simply been relegated: during 2005 to 2011, coal would normally have provided more than 33% of the state’s electricity demand, and sometimes as much as 45%. In 2015, however, coal’s share of the generation was less than 33% for 7 of the 9 months through the first three quarters of 2015, dropping to a dismal 25% in March and April, replaced by the near-continuously spinning wind turbines.

Time is running out for coal across the globe, but even a cursory glance at Texas’ electricity make-up shows that that time is running out much quicker in Texas than elsewhere.

 
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