Texas’ demand for electricity continues to increase. At the same time, there is an expectation that increased heat and extended or repeated drought will continue for many years. This combination requires Texas to explore ways to ensure we continue to have enough water and power to maintain and expand our vibrant economy.
As Texas develops and implements plans to address near and long-term power and water needs, there are a number of solutions that not only benefit the state’s competitiveness, but also help keep our power costs low even as our population and demand for electricity continue to grow.
- Energy efficiency is the improved use of electricity that reduces demand or consumption but provides the same or higher level of end-use service, while frequently increasing comfort and productivity. Energy efficiency benefits Texans by reducing waste in energy, reducing energy bills for Texas businesses and residents, reducing emissions, and reducing water use in electric generation.
- Demand response is the capability to temporarily reduce or shift load in response to a particular signal, either from a coordinating entity like ERCOT or from a market price. Demand response can benefit both retail and wholesale participants in the market by reducing consumption during periods of high wholesale and, potentially, retail prices.
- Distributed renewable energy resources, such as solar photovoltaic panels, not only reduce demand on the grid, but also reduce the amount of water used to generate electricity.
- Water conservation has the benefits of reducing waste of this precious resource, reducing water bills for businesses and consumers, and reducing energy requirements for water and wastewater treatment and pumping.
All of these strategies cost-effectively reduce economic risks associated with increasing electric demand relative to available generation capacity and water stress. There is increasing global concern with water and power availability, which in turn is driving a growing global market for leading technology solutions. Programs that spur energy efficiency and other clean tech solutions also have the effect of reducing emissions and supporting strategic economic development.