- Q1 GDP Growth Jumps 1.1% on Strong Personal Consumption
- A Strong March Leads to a Surge in Chinese GDP in Q1 2023
- Durable Goods Retail Sales Suffer from High Interest Rates and Wary Consumers
- Choppy GDP Means UK Should Avoid Q1 Recession
- Japanese Consumer Confidence Jumps to Highest Level in Over a Year
- The End of Summer Sees the End of Disinflation in Europe
- Labor Market Indicators are Starting to Unify on Easing in Hiring
- Inflation and Tight Financial Conditions Weigh on the German Consumer
- Euro Area Money Supply Contracts for the First Time Since 2010
- Dismal Economic Data Out of Germany
- Core Durable Goods New Orders See Gentle Uptrend in July
- More UK Data Pointing to Q3 Decline
- Whispers of a UK Contraction in Q3
- Japan's Core Inflation Resumes Uptrend in July
- Early July Economic Data Leads to a Sharp Increase in Q3 Growth Expectations
- UK CPI: Energy Inflation Crashes but Services Inflation is Still Sticky
- China's Weak Start to Q3 Means More PBoC Easing
- A Breather for the Eurozone as Inflation Hits Two-Year Low
- Germany's September CPI Report: A Clearer Picture of Inflation Trends
- US Manufacturing Demonstrates Resilience Amidst Volatility in August
- The ECB Prepares to Address Excess Liquidity Through the MRR
- Bank of Japan is Too Optimistic on Inflation
- The Bank of England Pauses in a Near Split Decision
- UK Inflation August Update: A Precursor to the Bank of England's Announcement
- Housing Starts Tumble in August Amid Rising Mortgage Rates
- US Retail Sales Grow at Fastest Monthly Rate Since the Start of the Year
- US Consumer Prices Surge in August Driven by Energy Costs
- August NFIB Survey Showed a Tough Environment for Small Businesses
- All Signs Point to a Weaker Labor Market in August
- Chinese CPI Trying to Buck the Deflation Trend
- Energy Prices Rise but the Core Disinflationary Trend is Maintained in September
- PPI's Quiet Rise and the Energy Elephant in the Room
- Small Businesses Grapple with Inflation and Financial Strain in September
- A Wacky September Jobs Report Shows Strong Labor Market
- A Look at the Fragile US Labor Market Ahead of the Nonfarm Payrolls Report
- Thoughts on GME and This Week in the Stock Market
- Record Home Price Levels Point to Strength in Post-Pandemic Economy
- The Stock Market Looks Overvalued, but It's Probably Not
- China GDP Growth Surpasses Expectations
- President-elect Joe Biden Introduces His "American Rescue Plan"
- Political Polarization Intensifies with Another Impeachment Along Party Lines
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- Civil Unrest, A Rising Threat to the 2021 Economy
- What's in the $900 Billion Relief Plan?
Renewable Energy Under Fire in Texas
February 16, 2021
A winter storm has descended upon Texas, and the weather has made headlines as the state's unpreparedness leads to a crisis. Millions of Texans are without power amidst the freezing temperatures that are making history. The outages shut down communities and left families in the cold with snow and ice making roads undrivable. While the crisis has been a natural one, politics have crept in. Debates have started over the blame for the blackouts as some suggested frozen wind turbines had let the Texas power supply down. This claim is doubtful, but it does bring up the question of if the US power generation is reliant on renewable energy.
A good place to start actually is Texas which is a state known for energy. This is not just because it is home to most of the oil and natural gas production in the United States but also because of its power production. The state is 1st in total energy production, producing 21.3% of all energy in the US, holding the tops spots in crude oil, natural gas, and electricity. It also is the 6th largest energy consumer.
Despite its major natural gas industry, it accounts for only 52% of total electricity generation at 19,890 MWh a month. Renewables come in next at 23% of total electricity generation, 8,766 MWh a month, edging out coal at 17%. Wind-powered generation in the Texas renewable sector is actually quite large since it "produced about 28% of all the U.S. wind-powered electricity in 2019" and has even out-supplied both nuclear power plants in the state since 2014. Major outages in wind turbines, if they were to occur, would no doubt be the largest in the country. Wind energy is also set to grow in 2021 with the state having the most wind energy units to come on online by November 2021.
Texas renewable generation is actually pretty similar to the greater US. In 2020, the share of renewables in US energy generation was 21% and is expected to increase to 42% by 2050. By 2030, renewables will pass natural gas as the leading source of electricity generation, a trend that Texas' oil and gas industry may have difficulty digesting. Wind turbine installations, in particular, were high in 2020 at 21 GW, surpassing the previous record of 13.2 GW in 2012. This year is also expected to be high at 12.2 GW planned. These high rates of installations were likely a result of the extension of a US production tax credit for wind energy through December 31, 2021.
At just over 20% of all energy generation, renewables do play an important part in the US electric grid, but they certainly aren't a source that the country relies on. Instead, their importance is in the growth that the industry can provide in the future from the creation of new jobs, new innovations, and a cleaner environment. The fragility of these systems may come into question, but it cannot be an excuse to dismiss them.