Wind Energy Outpaces Coal in a State You Would Never Guess
Texas -- yeah Texas! Is getting more powerful from renewable wind sources. See how your state measures up.
Texas is often thought of as oil and natural gas country. It is also the largest consumer of coal in the United States. So it may surprise you to learn that so far in 2019, wind power has accounted for more electrical usage than coal in Texas for the first time in history.
According to a report from The Electrical Reliability Council of Texas, wind power generated 22 percent of the state's electrical usage while coal only generated 21 percent in the first half of 2019 .
The numbers reflect a remarkable shift towards renewable energy. In 2003, coal was responsible for 40 percent of the state's electrical needs. Wind generated less than one percent of the state's power.
Compared to other states Texas had the largest number of turbines, with more than 13,000. California is second with 7,600 turbines. According to the US Energy Information Administration, Texas generated roughly 24 gigawatts of wind energy in 2018, which is three times more than Iowa, the second largest wind power state.
While wind energy is becoming a greater source of power for American homes, it still lags behind others. The American Wind Energy Association says wind power fuels 6.5 percent of American energy consumption .
Wind turbines account for just 2 percent of energy consumption in Pennsylvania, however the AWEA points out there are at least 30 manufacturing facilities producing components for the wind industry and providing high quality jobs.
By comparison, New York has taken on an ambitious green energy plan. The state has committed to a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels and promised that 50 percent electricity will come from renewable energy resources. The AWEA says New York has the highest wind power capacity of any East Coast state, and has committed to tripling the state's offshore wind power production by 2030.