Electricity generated from wind estimated to overtake coal in ERCOT in 2019

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Recently announced coal-fired power plant retirements and planned wind capacity additions will likely mean the total annual amount of electricity produced by wind in Texas’ wholesale market will surpass electricity produced by coal by 2019, based on our grid modeling projections.

Over the past decade, wind generation’s share of overall energy generation has steadily grown in the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Wind passed nuclear as the third-largest generator in 2015, and we expect it to supplant coal in 2019, when it will become the second-largest source of electricity generation, behind natural gas.

While average wholesale market prices are expected to initially rise in 2018 over 2017 levels, our modeling shows prices are expected to be lower in 2019 as more wind generation comes online.

Carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation are expected to drop 4% in 2018 and 7% in 2019 below 2017 CO₂ emissions levels.

Note: 2018 (not shown here) and 2019 scenarios have been adjusted to account for demand growth in 2019 and for additional wind and solar generators coming online monthly between now and the end of 2019.

Special thanks to the Webber Energy Group’s Sam Johnson for help in running the grid models for this analysis.

For more, contact Dr. Joshua Rhodes, research fellow at UT Austin’s Energy Institute:
joshdr@utexas.edu or @joshdr83

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