Texas Power Grid in Need of Reforms as Population Grows

NBC 5 News

Confronting big heat and lingering drought, Texans are being asked to conserve, even though the Texas Legislature made some changes regarding the power grid.

“No matter what we did last session, we weren’t going to be able to create new generation sources in a year,” said State Senator Nathan Johnson, D-Dallas.

In Texas, new homes are going up all of the time, with more people coming to the state. University of Houston Energy Fellow Ed Hirs stressed that more needs to be done.,

“We need more power, we need more generators to provide that power, and frankly we need more generators staying on the sidelines, to be ready. Keep in mind that demand in Texas keeps growing," said Hirs. "We have an increasing population, we have an increasing economic activity, and yet we are not increasing the supply of generators that we need to power the state.”

Now the question is how to get that done, and at what cost to consumers.

“What we need to do is, we need to incentivize the construction of new natural gas facilities to generate electricity,” said Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort G

“Generally people agree we are going to need new generation sources.  But the problem is that energy markets, and financial markets, and energy demand, and climate are all changing very rapidly in an atmosphere of changing technology,” said Senator Johnson.

So while there is agreement more power is needed, the source of where that comes from remains to be seen in our quickly growing state.  But one thing is certain: These are big projects that take time, with lawmakers pointing out the need for conservation now.

“There is conservation, and conservation, and hope the wind blows,” said Rep. Geren.

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