For years I’ve been writing about the folly of the PUC in pushing for huge changes in the Texas electricity model out of fear of running out of energy. The combination of the Texas population boom in recent years and the lack of investment in new energy generation plants has led to plenty of fear mongering and poor decision making, specifically the raising of the market cap. There have also been rumblings about overhauling the Texas electric market into a capacity market, which would be about the worst idea in the history of bad ideas.
However, throughout all of this noise, many people (including myself) have been attempting to stress patience and caution with any major changes to the Texas electric marketplace. And more or less, we’ve been proven correct. The “shortage” of generation has proven to me mostly mythical, with many studies showing that Texas has more than enough energy to meet the market reserve for coming years. There’s many reasons for this, but one of the mostly often ignored ones has been the improvements made in technology. We may be be growing as a state, but every year energy conversion technology gets better and better, and as a result people are actually using LESS energy, or using it much more efficiently, than in years past.
A perfect example of advances in technology would be the new Tesla battery that was announced recently. Sure, it’s a home battery, but what if we’re talking about these batteries on a larger scale? Batteries that efficient could solve much of the problems we have with wind power in Texas…namely that it blows when we don’t need it (the winter) and not when we desperately need it (the summer). Batteries this efficient could be a step in long term storage of solar energy to be used when we desperately need it in Texas. Granted, Oncor is slow to move on these developments, but the technology itself proves that we don’t need to recklessly change an energy market that WORKS, saves people money, and isn’t really in any immediate danger of not being able to keep the lights on for Texans.