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Report: Texas Electric Companies May Not Get Enough Electricity by 2020

New federal legislation will likely make it more difficult for Texas electric utilities and alternative retail electric suppliers to meet the electricity demands of their customers, according to a recent report.

The report, “EPA’s GHG and Clean Air Act Regulations: A Focus on Texas’ Economy, Energy Prices, and Jobs,” by the Texas Public Policy Foundation concluded that Texas — now the nation’s leading industrial and manufacturing state — would be disproportionately affected by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new greenhouse gas regulation, as well as nine other environmental rules to be enacted by the agency over the next three years.

The rules, many of which target coal-fired electricity generation, could cost Texas power generators more than $1 trillion, hurt electricity reliability, and result in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, said Kathleen Hertnett White, director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and Environment, and author of the report.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is responsible for electric deregulation in 75 percent of the state, estimated that Texas power generators will need to provide 18,000 megawatts of additional electricity to utilities and alternative retail electric suppliers by 2020 in order to meet the demands of their customers and avoid shortfalls.

However, a National Electric Reliability Council study estimated that the new EPA rules could actually diminish existing capacity in the state by 5,775 megawatts, meaning Texas would need to add 23,775 megawatts of additional capacity by 2020 to avoid shortfalls, according to White.

Sources

“Texas May Face Electricity Shortages Under New EPA Rules,” National Center for Policy Analysis, April 7, 2011.

Texas Public Policy Foundation, “EPA’s GHG and Clean Air Act Regulations: A Focus on Texas’ Economy, Energy Prices, and Jobs,” March 24, 2011.

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