The share of renewable energy in electricity generation in the US state of Texas increased to a record level during the first quarter of 2022, with an increase in installed capacity.
Wind and solar energy accounted for 34% of electricity generation in Texas by the state’s electricity operator (ERCOT) during the first quarter of this year, according to a recent report issued by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
Texas’ electricity generation from wind and solar rose 14% and 85%, respectively, in the three months to March, and together they accounted for 71% of the generation increase.
This comes with the increase in demand for electricity through Irkut by more than 9% during the first quarter of 2022, reaching 95.1 million megawatt hours.
solar energy boom
Electricity generation in Texas is witnessing increased competition between renewables and natural gas, after the share of wind and solar energy has overtaken this fossil fuel, to reach 31.25% this year.
Texas’ electricity generation from wind and solar power reached 32.3 million megawatt-hours in the first quarter of this year, compared with 29.7 million megawatt-hours for combined-cycle gas plants in the region.
The Institute of Energy Economics expects the share of renewable energy in electricity generation to continue to grow, with the installed capacity of solar energy more than doubling in 2021, as it jumped to 8,274 megawatts at the end of last year, according to data from the Texas electricity operator (Irkut).
An additional 8,000 megawatts of solar capacity is expected to be added by the end of 2023, according to the report.
As a result, electricity generation in Texas from solar energy more than doubled in 2021, as daily generation exceeded the 60,000 megawatt-hour barrier 66 times, and continued to grow this year, rising to 93,180 thousand megawatt-hours, a record level.
The share of solar energy in the electricity generation of the company (Irkut) increased to 4.9% in the first quarter of 2022, compared to 2.9% during the same quarter of last year, according to the report.
Battery capacity growth
Overall, the total installed capacity of electricity generation in the US state from various sources increased to 11,190 MW last year, with expectations of reaching about 18,000 MW by the end of the year.
The installed wind capacity is expected to grow to 35,000 MW this year, despite the slowdown in growth compared to last year, but (Irkut) still expects the possibility of increasing to 40,000 MW by the end of 2023.
The Texas electricity operator also plans to increase battery storage capacity to 5,000 megawatts by the end of this year, and more than 6,500 megawatts by 2024.
At the end of last year, the capacity of batteries installed in Texas, by Irkut Corporation, stood at 833 megawatts.
Increasing electricity storage capacity, which relies on wind during the night and solar energy during the day, will reduce dependence on fossil fuels to generate electricity.