Expanding Texas Wind Expensive for Reducing Emissions

Texas already has the highest penetration of wind in the nation, and now the state has embarked on a significant expansion of its electric transmission network in west Texas to support new wind farms. How cost-effective is this expansion for reducing emissions, compared to other alternatives? My research concludes that expanding west Texas wind is expensive for reducing greenhouse emissions.

My research, recently presented at the Rice University Department of Economics, offers a glimpse of a possible Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) future. I make a very rough estimate of the all-in cost of using west Texas wind to displace fossil-fueled generation. I then go on to estimate the implicit cost of using wind to reduce greenhouse emissions.

My conclusion: Using wind costs about $50 to reduce one ton of carbon dioxide, while displacing coal by natural gas can cost significantly less (in some cases, zero) per ton.

Click here to read “Wind and Energy Markets: A Case Study of Texas.”


About Ross Baldick

Electricity is an increasingly complex industry in the midst of transition to renewables and decarbonization. Using my 25 years’ experience as an engineer, policy analyst, and academic, I help my consulting clients think through their toughest technical challenges and formulate their best business strategies.
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