Texas Energy Quick Facts
- Texas is the leading crude oil-producing state in the nation.
- The State's signature crude oil type, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), remains the major benchmark of crude oil in the Americas.
- Texas’s 26 petroleum refineries can process nearly 4.8 million barrels of crude oil per day, and account for more than one-fourth of all U.S. refining capacity.
- More than one-fourth of all U.S. natural gas production occurs in Texas, making it the nation’s leading natural gas producer.
- Texas is also rich in renewable energy potential, including wind, solar, and biomass resources.
- Texas areas including the Panhandle, the Gulf Coast, and the Trans-Pecos have some of the nation's greatest wind power potential. Texas leads the U.S. in wind-powered generation capacity and is building substantial new capacity. West Texas alone has more than 2,000 wind turbines, and their numbers continue to increase as development costs fall and wind turbine technology improves. At 736 megawatts, the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Central Texas is the world's largest single wind power facility.
- Texas solar power potential is also among the nation's highest, with direct solar radiation suitable for large-scale solar power plants in West Texas.
- Due to its large agricultural and forestry sectors, Texas has an abundance of biomass energy resources.
- Although Texas is not a major hydropower state, substantial untapped potential exists in several river basins, including the Colorado River and the lower Red River.
Texas’ Energy Consumption
Texas produces and consumes more electricity than any other state, accounting for more than one-tenth of total U.S. energy use. Texas’ energy use is tied to its large population, hot climate and extensive industrial sector. Compared to the U.S., Texas has a high concentration of energy-intensive industries, including aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass, and petroleum refining.
Industry accounts for 50 percent of all energy used in Texas, compared to a 32 percent share for the U.S. as a whole.
Much of Texas’ energy consumption, then, fuels industries producing products used across the U.S. and around the world.
Texas' total energy consumption has risen by an average of 2.2 percent annually since 1960. Residential and commercial consumption both increased gradually, while the demand for transportation fuel rose more rapidly, a trend reflecting a growing population and an expanding economy. Industrial consumption fell by 13.3 percent from 2003 to 2005, due to higher energy prices and greater investments in efficiency.
Texas energy use per person has fallen in recent years and today is at its lowest level since 1965. Texas per capita residential use of electricity is significantly higher than the national average, however, due to the high demand for air-conditioning during hot summer months and the widespread use of electricity as the primary energy source for home heating during typically mild winter months. Despite large net interstate electricity imports in some areas, the Texas power grid is largely isolated from the integrated power systems serving the eastern and western U.S., and most areas of Texas have little ability to export or import electricity to and from other states.
Energy efficiency can help meet our energy needs by reducing our demand for energy. Better power plants, advanced auto technology and energy-saving lighting and appliances have proven that economic growth can be achieved with lower energy consumption. More efficient technology under the hood can stretch a tank of gas by many miles. Actions to reduce customer demand and consumption are the quickest and often the lowest-cost options for meeting short-term energy needs.
A growing economy and population will require more energy than can be saved with improved efficiency. But Texas has a great assortment of energy options available to power its future. As the supply of traditional fuels become less certain and more costly, advanced technology will play an increasingly important role.
The Comptroller's Energy Report provides in-depth detail on the wide variety of energy sources to meet future demand.
Energy production and consumption obviously can have an effect on our environment, including air and water quality and land use. Government action to limit negative impacts can affect the cost of energy by making various fuels more expensive.
While current federal regulations deal primarily with pollutants contributing to ozone and other public health threats, the present debate concerning energy and the environment is focused on greenhouse gas emissions, which most climate scientists believe contribute to global climate change. The emissions of some greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxide, are restricted under the Clean Air Act, though not because of their greenhouse gas effects. Some greenhouse emissions, such as carbon dioxide, are not regulated at all.
As the nation’s leading consumer of energy, due in part to its large industrial sector, Texas could face a significant economic impact from any policy that caps greenhouse gas emissions. If the federal government imposes limits on emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, it will inevitably shape the decisions made by Texas business, investors and policymakers as they develop the state's energy infrastructure.