The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a proposed plan to require states to reduce their individual rates of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. The progress that the state of Texas has already made in development and collection of wind power, as well as the plans to continue to cultivate wind energy, mean that Texas is on track to meet the EPA’s requirements.
Texas is already creating and using more wind power than any other state, and has plans in place to increase its wind capacity by 70 percent in the next two years. However, Texas is also by far the nation’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide for power.
Plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Texas are not reliant on wind power only. Experts expect to see significant reduction made by use of natural gas and solar power as well. According to Nathan Daniel, an analyst with TexasElectricity.org, natural gas is the single largest source of electricity in Texas. It has displaced mostly coal as an energy source thanks to cheap prices for natural gas in recent years. Coal will likely continue to lose ground in Texas as cleaner energy sources like wind and natural gas help slow growth in the state’s CO2 emissions.
A team of Harvard scientists have developed a novel battery design that can help to store energy when there are low amounts of wind and solar power to be had. At every turn, alternative energy sources have been helping to bolster and support the massive energy demands in large markets. However, poor weather and massive demands can force the electricity grids near failing status simply because there is not power to be had.
These new battery designs use small and organic carbon-based molecules known as quinones to store energy. These are very similar to the cells that store energy in plants, and they have a high capacity while taking up very little space.
These batteries are only limited by the size of the tank they use, and tanks can be built to massive proportions to store energy if necessary. These fluid-based batteries could be the perfect way to store energy to allow for wind and solar power to be usable year round on the energy grid. Only time will tell if the designs can be built to the right size.
The demand for wind energy in Texas is not expected to wane anytime soon according to a report commissioned by the Texas Clean Energy Commission. The report was done to examine the future of natural gas and renewable energy within the next twenty years.
Experts are predicting that there will be an increase in the amount of power share for renewable energy from 10% to 43% within the next two decades. This is as a result of the continuous demands for power which is fueling the increase of construction of wind farms in the state as well as the introduction of new transmission lines.
The wind farms that are currently being constructed are being estimated to cost over $2 billion dollars and will generate more than a 1000 megawatts of energy. The energy generated is expected to provide electricity to over 350,000 homes across the state.
As energy demands rise, the best sources of alternative energy on the marketplace are directly at odds. With new wind farms going up every year and nuclear power plants struggling to hold their position in the market place, the two could begin to kill each other off if they are not careful.
The two sides are also being pressured by natural gas as a much cleaner alternative to coal. The problem is that these competing forces are causing fluctuation in the markets that are radically altering their prices. The changes in prices have brought electricity prices down as demand goes down due to help from alternative energy. Because of this, alternative energy prices are not soaring, either.
As the alternative energy sources cut into each other's market share, we should look out for trouble in the future as demand and production rise simultaneously in the market.