In January 2012, natural gas accounted for about 49 percent of electric power generation in Texas.
An Underutilized Resource
Despite its vast abundance in Texas, natural gas is underutilized. In 2010, natural gas made up 57 percent of our generating capacity — more than any other energy source— yet it actually was used to generate only about 38 percent of our power.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the nation will need an additional 250 gigawatts of new generating capacity between 2008 and 2035 to meet our growing electricity demand. We have the capacity to generate 407 gigawatts burning natural gas, but only 28 percent of our country’s generating capacity is being used.
That means there are tremendous opportunities to increase the use of natural gas in existing power plants without building capacity, which is good news for our air quality and economic health.
University of Houston professor Dr. Michael Economides recently assessed the impact of the underutilization of natural gas power generation in Texas from 2005 through 2011 – it translated into a loss of $7.7 billion in potential revenue to the state in just one year.
Read more about how we can better take advantage of this source for cleaner electricity by Building Capacity.