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The Cautionary Tale of Wind Energy in ERCOT

August 22, 2018
By Charles McConnell

Wind energy in Texas doesn't supply reliable power when its needed the most, in daytime during the summer.

Citing Texas as a successfully example, recently a wave of cities, companies and even one state have been claiming they are or soon will be  “powered by 100% renewable energy.”  Those making these claims or pledges miss two important cautionary points concerning wind energy in Texas; “First, when Texans’ demand for energy is the greatest, in the heat of the summer days, wind energy nearly disappears from the grid. The result is that the grid depends on the continued reliability of the fuels that have powered the Texas success story—natural gas and coal. The second reality of the Texas grid is that state and federal subsidies for wind energy have eroded the Texas generation fleet of valuable baseload generation assets and the market structure for generation capacity discourages baseload investment.”