Industry News

Texas tops nation in energy creation and use, but who knew coal was on the rise here?

By Laurie Joseph and Jeff Mosier

Texas is the nation’s largest — and one of the world’s top — oil producers. A result is that Texas also leads the nation in energy consumption by a wide margin.

Texas uses a little more energy than California in the commercial, residential and transportation sectors. In the industrial sector, Texas uses more than double the energy of number two Louisiana.
Both states dominate the oil refining and chemical industries.

Meanwhile, Texas has expanded its electric distribution system to account for growth and an evolving mix of electricity generation.



“Our open, competitive wholesale market has led to a significant amount of new technologies and resources in the ERCOT region over the past 18 years. We have seen new developments for natural gas, coal, wind and, more recently, solar power. In 2016, wind accounted for 15.1 percent of the total energy produced in ERCOT.” 
— Warren Lasher, senior director of system planning at grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas

“We use energy to produce energy…somewhere around 40 percent of the nation’s petrochemical complexes are located between Corpus [Christi] and Beaumont. This is an area rich for manufacturing … We’re an industrial powerhouse.”
— Ed Hirs, economics lecturer at the University of Houston and managing director of Hillhouse Resources

“Texas’ electricity market and system is complicated now but will only get more so. More renewables, cheap natural gas and aging coal plants [although coal usage surged this year] will keep power companies, energy distributors and grid operator ERCOT busy trying to ensure air-conditioning works during the August peak or the heat comes on during ice storms.” 
— Jeff Mosier, 
energy and environment writer, The Dallas Morning News