Wind and solar beating coal in Texas: and among planned energy projects, 27% (about 30,000 MW) are wind-related generation; yet, solar energy, which generated just 1% of the electricity used in Texas last year, is now the fastest growing renewable energy source (61% of
planned expansions - 68,000 MW).
"Wind energy generated 20% of the electricity used in Texas last year, nearly edging out coal as the state’s second leading source of power, according to new data from the state grid manager the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Coal-fired plants generated 20.3% of power in Texas last year, down from nearly 25% in 2018, according to ERCOT. Meanwhile, wind’s share of generation climbed from 18.5% in 2018. Wind energy will likely overtake coal this year, reflecting a continued decline in coal-fired generation as natural gas prices stay low and more wind projects are in the pipeline, said Ed Hirs, an energy economist at the University of Houston. More batteries on the grid will also give wind power a boost, allowing generators to store the power for periods when wind isn’t blowing. The key is for wind generators to build enough capacity to meet peak demand, especially along the Texas Gulf Coast where the wind blows during the afternoons when demand for power is at its highest, he said. 'Then we can see wind finish the job and push coal off the grid,' said Hirs."