News Release
May 16, 2014

Statewide renewable energy production up by 12 percent in 2013

Wind power continues to lead, with gains in solar generation and decreases in biomass and hydro

May 16, 2014, AUSTIN, TX – Energy produced in Texas using renewable resources grew by 12 percent in 2013, while capacity increased by about 2 percent.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) provided these updates on statewide renewable energy reporting to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) this week in the 2013 Annual Report on the Renewable Energy Credit Trading Program.

Generators participating in the state’s renewable energy credit trading program reported producing 38.1 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable generation in 2013, compared to 33.9 million in 2012 — a 12 percent overall increase. At more than 36.9 million MWh in total generation, wind power represented nearly 97 percent of the total. Energy produced from wind generation was up by 13 percent compared to 2012. Solar energy production was up by about a third from last year, based on information from commercial solar resources and aggregators that participate in the program.  

Renewable energy reported

Fuel Type

2013 (MWh)

2012 (MWh)

Increase (%)

Biomass

200,564

288,988

̶ 31

Hydro

294,238

389,196

̶ 24

Landfill gas

550,845

537,966

2

Solar

178,326

133,642

33

Wind

36,909,385

32,566,009

13

Total

38,133,358

33,915,802

12


A renewable energy credit (REC) is a tradable instrument that represents one MWh of renewable energy produced. That is roughly the amount of power consumed by an average home in a month. Competitive retail electric providers must acquire and retire renewable energy credits annually based on their load-ratio share of the state’s renewable portfolio standard mandate. Any electric provider may also retire renewable energy credits, on a voluntary basis, to support their own claims regarding renewable power sales.

The Texas Legislature established the renewable portfolio standard as part of the restructuring of the state’s electricity market in 1999 to increase incentives for renewable energy production. The PUC implemented the REC program in 2001,and ERCOT began administering the program at the PUC’s direction. 

Capacity registered in Texas REC program*

The amount of capacity reported in the REC report typically exceeds the total installed renewable capacity reported by ERCOT because the program includes renewable generation throughout Texas, not just the ERCOT region. Additionally, the program is voluntary and only tracks renewable resource generation registered in the program.

Fuel Type

2013 (MW)*

2012 (MW)

2011 (MW)

2010 (MW)

Biomass

232

232

132

108

Hydro

33

33

33

33

Landfill gas

95

95

92

88

Solar

175

81

70

21

Wind

12,824

12,667

10,961

10,265

Total

13,359*

13,108

11,288

10,515

*Does not include generation in service prior to September 1999. Totals differ due to rounding.

The program currently includes 146 generation accounts representing 13,359 MW of new renewable generation added in Texas since 1999. An additional 291 MW of renewable generation comes from five resources that were in service prior to September 1999, for a total of 13,650 MW. With more than 10,000 MW of renewable capacity on-line by 2009, the state actually achieved the 10,000 MW goal set by the Texas Legislature more than 15 years ahead of its 2025 target.

Renewable energy credit retirements

In 2013, voluntary REC retirements — often used to quantify renewable content when marketing renewable energy products to consumers — decreased from 2012. That decrease accompanied increases in the number of RECs that were retired to fulfill mandates in the state’s renewable portfolio standard.

 

2013 (millions)

2012 (millions)

2011 (millions)

2010 (millions)

Retired for mandate*

12.4

12.1

9.03

9.03

Voluntary retirements

7.4

9.5

15.29

11.83

Total

19.8

21.6

24.32

20.86

*Includes adjustments for previous years’ true-ups.

Compliance premiums for non-wind renewable sources

Since 2008, the program also has awarded compliance premiums for certain RECs that are generated by non-wind renewable energy sources. One compliance premium is equal to one REC. In 2013, 26 companies received 626,401 compliance premiums. A total of 262,468 compliance premiums were retired: 194,134 for the mandate and 68,334 in the voluntary market.

 

2013

2012

2011

2010

Number of companies

26

23

16

11

Premiums awarded

626,401

676,480

367,513

275,910

 

For more information about renewable energy in Texas, visit www.texasrenewables.com.

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The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to 24 million Texas customers -- representing 85 percent of the state's electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 41,500 miles of transmission lines and 550 generation units. ERCOT also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for 6.7 million premises in competitive choice areas. ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. ERCOT's members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities (transmission and distribution providers), and municipal-owned electric utilities.

Contact
Robbie Searcy (512) 225-7213
rsearcy@ercot.com