Mon, Sep 18, 2023 6:11 PM
By Bethany Blankley, The Center Square
Texas is not only an energy powerhouse because it is the top producer of oil and natural gas in the U.S., but also because it produces more electricity than any other state, the Texas Comptroller says.
In a new report about the state’s energy industry, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar highlights energy generation economics, infrastructure and production in Texas. The Texas energy industry employs nearly 1 million people and produced over $100 billion in gross domestic product in 2021.
“Texas is not only the top producer of oil and natural gas in the nation, but also produces more electricity than any other state and accounts for 11.5 percent of all U.S. energy jobs,” Hegar said. “And while Texas leads the nation in energy consumption, our state only uses 60 percent of that energy, giving us the largest amount of surplus energy produced after consumption. ERCOT has managed Texas’ very own energy grid called the Texas Interconnection since 1970, ensuring Texans have affordable access to electricity.”
Hegar refers to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the independent, nonprofit corporation responsible for overseeing Texas’ grid
"Texas' tremendous economic growth has been possible because we have continued to invest in our energy sector,” Hegar added. “That growth shows no signs of slowing, and to support it, we must encourage corresponding growth in our generation, transmission and grid management infrastructure.”
The comptroller’s report, “Good for Texas Tour: Energy Edition,” includes information about Texas’ energy sectors, consisting of oil and natural gas, coal, wind, solar, nuclear, hydroelectric and biomass. The report said Texas produced 27% of all the natural gas in the U.S. and 26% of all U.S. wind-powered electricity generation in 2022, more than any other state.
Texas also has 32 petroleum refineries, more than any other state. They produce more than 5.9 million barrels of crude oil a day, accounting for 32% of the U.S. refining capacity.
“This kind of energy diversification promotes economic growth and independence,” Hegar said.
“Texas produces more than twice the amount of energy than any other state,” the report explains. Pennsylvania comes in a distant second, followed by Wyoming, New Mexico and West Virginia. “While Texas leads in energy consumption, the state also has the largest amount of surplus energy produced after consumption,” it states.
The report also provides an overview of ERCOT. The Texas grid provides electricity to over 26 million Texas residents. ERCOT is required by Texas law to maintain system reliability, facilitate competitive wholesale and retail markets and ensure open access to transmission.
The Texas Interconnection – which receives energy from wind, solar, hydro, natural gas, coal, nuclear and other sources – makes Texas the only contiguous state to have its own electric grid. It serves 214 of Texas’ 254 counties.
The Texas grid didn’t fail this summer with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees for roughly two months straight, and after ERCOT issued multiple energy conservation appeals. ERCOT issued the appeals, noting that it still had enough reserves to meet demand due to natural gas production, it said possible emergency operations were due to forecasted low wind and solar generation.
Wind and solar are considered “intermittent” energy sources because neither can produce reserves due to their inconsistent nature. By contrast, crude oil and natural gas are reliable and can be stored in reserve.
The report also notes that “continued investment in Texas’ energy sector will be crucial to support future growth,” not just for Texas as the eighth-largest economy in the world but for other states and countries that rely on Texas energy innovation and production.
If Texas were its own country, it would be the world’s third-largest producer of natural gas and fourth-largest producer of oil.
The Texas oil and natural gas industry broke records in every category in 2022, including leading the U.S. in oil and natural gas production and lowered emissions and ranking first in industry job growth, wages, payroll and Gross Regional Product (GRP) nationwide.
The Texas oil and natural gas industry also broke decades-old production records earlier this year, which drove U.S. oil and natural gas production. Texas now accounts for 43.3% of all oil production and 27.4% of all natural gas marketed production in the US, a recent Texas Oil & Gas Association report points out.