LUBBOCK, Texas– Throughout Texas history, coal always topped renewable sources in energy production, until this year.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as of April 2019, renewable energy reached a production level at 23 percent, compared to coal at 20 percent.
“Ten years ago, coal produced electricity at 48 percent,” said Matt Saldana, a professor at the National Wind Institute. “The cost of coal facility is expensive and risky… That coupled with public policy pushing away from fossil fuels like coal.”
Throughout the years, energy consumption among consumers has continued to grow. Matt Rose with LP&L said their company consumes 23 percent in renewable energy.
“The bottom line for LP&L is always going to be purchasing reliable and affordable power and what we have seen over the past few years is the pricing coming out of wind farms and solar farms has steadily been going down,” Rose said. “It has been more attractive for us to engage in these types of contracts.”
As the portfolio for energy diversifies, such as sources like wind, solar, coal and natural gas, Rose said it creates a more competitive environment, resulting in lower prices.
“We will be looking at what is the lowest cost energy we can purchase and certainly that will be beneficial for our customers,” Rose said.
While people have questioned the reliability of wind energy, Saldana hopes this acts as proof that wind works.
“Now you can look at the number and see there’s more wind power than coal power and we can confidently answer the question, yes wind does work,” Saldana said.