The Lone Star State leads the nation in wind-generated power. With an installed capacity totaling more than 10,000 megawatts, Texas boasts a wind generation fleet dwarfing that of most countries. This wind power bonanza can improve our air quality, but it also potentially impacts utility bills and the reliability of the state’s power grid. To help sort through these interrelated and often complicated issues, the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power has released a new snapshot report, Understanding Texas Wind Power: A Policy Guide. It can be found at http://texaswindenergy.tcaptx.com.
Although brief, the online report includes plenty of key statistics, important facts and historical context. Readers will find spotlight discussions of the wind power’s impact on the environment, electric reliability, and prices. There are even digital links to outside reports for those wanting to learn more.
The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, the sponsor of the new report, is comprised of more than 160 cities and other political subdivisions that purchase power in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. As a matter of policy, TCAP supports the use of wind power, but urges regulators, lawmakers and other decision makers to remain mindful of its potential impact on utility bills and system reliability.
As such, Understanding Texas Wind Power assesses both the costs and benefits of wind power, and references the opinions of a number of experts with divergent and often opposing viewpoints. “We offer this report as a background policy guide — as a resource to help stakeholders explore these issues,” said TCAP executive director Randy Moravec.
In compiling the new report, TCAP reviewed academic and engineering journals, sorted through expert testimony and reviewed journalistic accounts. Understanding Texas Wind Power can be found both at the TCAP website, tcaptx.com, and at TCAP’s sister site, rechargetexas.com. Readers also can find TCAP’s other informative reports at those websites, including The Story of ERCOT, and Deregulated Electricity in Texas.
Because high energy costs can impact municipal budgets and the ability to fund essential services, TCAP, as part of its mission, actively promotes affordable energy policies. High energy prices also place a burden on local businesses and home consumers. TCAP periodically provides information regarding the electricity market in Texas to empower consumers to make informed decisions.