The Texas electricity grid is often looked at as the paradigm for wind energy for an electricity grid. And in many ways, that’s absolutely true. Texas achieved another milestone on Thursday night, when 37% of the grid’s electricity was produced by wind energy. And that is awesome, however, I’m not nearly as bullish on the wind energy aspect of the Texas electricity grid as some people. First, let me say that it is outstanding that Texas has done so well with wind energy as our grid. But a couple things I’d like people to keep in mind
1.) Per the article, this milestone happened at 12:30 a.m. Thursday morning. We’re not exactly in the heat of summer, and that’s in the middle of the night…not exactly when the Texas grid is strained for electricity So while that is a great milestone, it wasn’t exactly 3 p.m. mid-August, when Texas needs wind energy the most. Which brings me to…
2.) Wind energy typically flows the most when Texas needs it the least…the fall and winter months. So while it’s great when we can supply much of our grid with wind energy, it would be even better if we could get it when we need it most. The only problem is that it just isn’t all that windy in the Texas panhandle during the summer months, where a bulk of our wind generation energy plants are built.
Now, this isn’t anyone’s fault in the least, and I am certainly not bashing the Texas electricity market’s adoption of green, sustainable wind energy. However, I do have one specific suggestion. I believe it would make sense if we’d look to put some wind energy units where the wind is ALWAYS blowing; along the Texas coast. There are plenty of places from Corpus Christi to Galveston (many of them remote) which would make sense for wind energy plants to be placed, where the wind is always blowing. A number of plants located there might go a long way to preventing the electricity shortages that aren’t that uncommon during the blistering Texas summers.