The state of Texas has a long history of energy production, starting with the discovery of oil in Beaumont, Texas in 1901. As technology has advanced, so has the variety and availability of energy sources used in the state. Today, the Lone Star State is a major producer and consumer of energy. As such, it is important to understand the main source of energy in Texas.
Fossil Fuels: Natural Gas, Oil, and Coal
Fossil fuels are the main source of energy generation in Texas, accounting for approximately 80% of the state’s energy production. Natural gas is the primary source, representing approximately 44% of total energy production according to EIA data. The next largest component is oil, representing around 33%, followed by coal at 3%.
Renewable Sources: Wind, Solar, and Hydropower
In Texas, renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower are becoming an increasingly important part of the state’s energy mix. The wind is today the leading source of renewable energy in Texas, accounting for the majority of electricity generated in the state from renewable sources. If you want to switch to green energy, look at Gexa which has a variety of green energy incentives and programs.
Hydropower has also been essential for increased renewable energy sources in Texas, providing reliable, clean baseload power with minimal environmental impact. Currently, it accounts for 2-3% of total electricity generation in the state; however, this could increase as awareness and investments in hydroelectric projects increase.
With a total capacity of more than 8,000 megawatts, Texas has the fifth-highest amount of nuclear energy production in the United States. Nuclear power plants in the state employ about 4,800 people and contribute over $650 million to the state economy through property taxes and employee wages.
Texas currently has seven operational nuclear reactors across its nine power plants, which have generated over one-third of the electricity consumed by Texans since 2010. Since that time, investments have been made to ensure that these reactors are able to continue producing reliable and affordable electricity while also meeting new safety regulations. In addition, there are plans for a new reactor at South Texas Project Unit 3 that would be capable of producing up to 1,700 megawatts of electricity when it comes online in 2036.
Nuclear energy is a clean source with no emissions or waste associated with its production and consumption. It is also very efficient — one kilogram (approximately two pounds) of uranium can produce as much energy as approximately two tons of coal or 1.2 million cubic feet (34 thousand cubic meters) of natural gas.
Despite these advantages, some have raised concerns about safety and waste management practices at nuclear power plants. The industry continues to work hard to address these issues head-on by promoting safe operations and developing better methods for handling spent fuel rods so as to minimize environmental impact both now and in the future.
In conclusion, energy in Texas is predominantly provided by several sources. The primary source of energy is natural gas, followed by nuclear, coal, and wind. Renewable sources such as hydroelectric, solar, and biomass are also playing an increasingly large role in the state’s overall supply. As awareness of the need to transition to cleaner forms of energy continues to grow, it is likely that renewable sources such as solar and wind will continue to increase their share of Texas’ overall energy mix.