Renewables have been the saving grace of Texas' energy grid throughout the summer months and wind and solar just broke another record amid Texas' record-breaking heat.
The two clean energy sources are providing roughly one-fourth of the energy the state is using on Tuesday, another record for renewable power.
That's twice in the last month that Texas has been saved from potential rolling blackouts by solar and wind.
“We’ve got twice the solar we had last summer, and something like three times what we had eighteen months ago,” energy consultant Doug Lewin told the outlet Texas Monthly last week. “Renewables throughout most of May and June, as we’ve been experiencing extreme heat, really were the difference between [having] a whole lot of conservation calls and potential rolling outages and not having them.”
There's even more renewable power available that the state could use to make its grid more reliable and resilient, according to Andrew Dessler, director of the Texas Center for Climate Studies at Texas A&M.
“Almost anywhere in the U.S. Southwest, starting at I-35 and running west toward California, is great for solar, and West Texas is also great for wind,” he said. “Texas could be the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy—we got rich selling hydrocarbons, but for whatever reason, the politicians in Texas don’t want to get rich selling electrons.”
What's more, the renewables, which have no marginal costs associated with them, are actually keeping home energy prices down in a global energy market that's seen oil and gas prices skyrocket.
Those costs are outrageously high,” Lewin told Texas Monthly. “I shudder to think about what this would look like if we didn’t have zero marginal cost fuel like wind and solar on the system at the scale we do.”
With a bit more political will, the state could develop enough renewables to power... Texas forever.