Historically, Texas has been known for coal-generated power, but that’s about to change. For the first time ever, wind power has surpassed coal in Texas. According to the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas, which manages most of the state’s electrical flow, 22 percent of the state’s electrical needs have been generated by wind this year compared to coal’s 21 percent. This is a huge win for wind power, as Texas produces and consumes more electricity than any other state in the country.
In 2003, wind made up just 0.8 percent of Texas’s power, then eight percent by 2010 before finally making the leap ahead of coal in 2019. In contrast, coal use has declined from 37 percent in 2013 to 24 percent last year and just 21 percent this year. Natural gas, however, still accounts for the largest portion of Texas’s energy, generating 44 percent of the state’s power. These trends are encouraging for climate activists who have long advocated a shift away from coal to cleaner, more sustainable energy.
The country as a whole, however, still has a long way to go. According to the Energy Information Administration, wind makes up just 6.6 percent of American energy production, but the agency predicts that renewable forms of energy, like wind and solar, will be the fasted-growing energy sources for the next two years and beyond.