News Release

May 13, 2011

Texas posts 30 percent increase in energy from renewable sources

Voluntary participation in renewable energy credits up 32 percent* 

Texas posted a 30 percent increase in energy generated by renewable sources in 2010, according to the state’s renewable energy credits registry administered by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of the state.   

The renewable energy recorded in the state’s renewable energy credit program was 28 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in 2010, compared to 21.6 million MWh in 2009 – a 30 percent increase – as reported in the Texas renewable energy credit program annual report, filed today at the Public Utility Commission. 

Wind generation represented the largest share at 26.8 million MWh.  Solar energy increased the most, by percentage, going from 4,492 to 14,449 MWh.

RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCED IN TEXAS

Fuel
Type

2010
(MWhs)

2009
(MWhs)

Increase
(%)

Biomass

97,535

73,364

33

Hydro

609,257

507,507

20

Landfill gas

464,904

412,926

13

Solar

14,449

4,492

221

Wind

26,828,660

20,595,989

30

Total

28,014,805

21,594,278

30

Competitive retail electric providers must annually acquire and retire renewable energy credits based on their load-ratio share of the state’s renewable portfolio standard mandate.  Any electric provider may voluntarily retire renewable energy credits to substantiate “green energy” claims.   

A renewable energy credit (REC) is a tradable instrument that represents one megawatt-hour of renewable energy produced.  

For the third consecutive year, the RECs retired in the voluntary market exceeded the mandatory retirements:

  • 11.83 million RECs were retired in the voluntary market – a 32* percent increase over 2009’s record of 8.94 million;
  • 9 million RECs were retired by the state’s 168 competitive retail electricity providers in compliance with the state renewable portfolio standard;
  • 20.86 million total RECs were retired in 2010 compared to 15.7 million in 2009 and 13.5 million in 2008.
RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDIT RETIREMENTS
 

2010 (millions)

2009 (millions)

2008 (millions)

Retired for mandate

9.03

6.79

6.73

Voluntary retirements

11.83

8.94

6.77

Total

20.86

15.73

13.50

Since 2008, the program has also awarded compliance premiums in conjunction with a REC that is generated by a non-wind renewable energy source.  For the purpose of the renewable portfolio standard requirements, one compliance premium is equal to one REC.  Last year, 11 companies were awarded a total of 275,910 compliance premiums, representing

COMPLIANCE PREMIUMS – NON-WIND RENEWABLE SOURCES

 

2010

2009

2008

Number of companies

11

10

5

Compliance premiums awarded

275,910

200,570

155,006

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 Texas Public Utility Commission implemented the renewable energy credit program in 2001 and established ERCOT as the administrator.   

The program currently includes 107 generation accounts representing a total of 10,515 MW of new renewable generation added in Texas since 1999.  (An additional 298 MW registered in the program is from six renewable generation resources that were in service prior to September 1999 for a total of 10,813 MW.)  Texas exceeded 10,000 MW of renewable capacity last year, which achieved the Texas Legislature’s goal of 10,000 MW of renewable generation by 2025 – 15 years early.

CAPACITY REGISTERED IN TEXAS REC PROGRAM

Fuel
Type

2010
(MWs)

2009
(MWs)

2008
(MWs)

Biomass

108

40

37

Hydro

33

33

33

Landfill gas

88

80

72

Solar

21

1

1

Wind

10,265

9,915

8,158

Total

10,515

10,069

8,301

Does not include generation in service prior to September 1999. 

The megawatts of capacity reported in the REC annual report may not align with total renewable resources registered in ERCOT planning reports and other reporting agencies because it includes renewable generation throughout Texas, not just ERCOT. In addition, the program is voluntary and only tracks renewable resource generation registered in the program. 

Online:

Renewable Energy Credit Program - Annual Report, 2010
Texas Renewable Energy Credit Program website
PUCT Substantive Rule 25.173: Goal for Renewable Energy
ERCOT Protocols, Section 14: State of Texas Renewable Energy Credit Trading Program

*UPDATE: Reflects correction in percentage error on original release.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 25 million Texas customers -- representing about 90 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 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 650+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for nearly 8 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. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.

Contact

media@ercot.com

512-275-7432