TCCEA Looks at Water and Energy in Texas

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As the state weighs its options for dealing with capacity and reliability concerns surrounding the state electricity grid, water management has added an extra layer of complexity to the challenge.

The Texas Chamber of Commerce Energy Association has published a series of commentaries addressing the water energy nexus and the impact it is having on Texas electricity. As the state weighs its options for dealing with capacity and reliability concerns surrounding the state electricity grid, water management has added an extra layer of complexity to the challenge.

Increasingly, energy experts are recognizing the tight link between energy and fresh water; a conundrum sometimes referred to as the Water/Energy Nexus.

Most common methods of producing energy require large amounts of water. At the same time, managing water infrastructure requires a great deal of energy. Texas, like many other parts of the world, finds itself in short supply of both precious resources.

Due to a number of factors including, low taxes, business friendly regulations, and a strong energy sector, the Texas economy has fared better than most other parts of the country. This will lead to potential shortages in both electricity and water in the years to come.

The shortage in electricity comes down to the fact that very little new generating capacity has come online in recent years. Cheap electricity rates and tight capital markets have caused power producers to be skittish on the Texas market. At the same time, increasing demand for water coupled with drought has also made water less abundant in the state.

When energy producers do return to the state it will most likely result in mostly natural gas burning power plants being built. While not nearly as thirsty as coal burning power plants, natural gas plants require a great deal of water to cool equipment during operations. This will add additional strain to Texas’ limited water resources.

To see the full posts visit Water and Energy: A Texas Nexus and Water And Energy: A Double Dilemma In Texas

About TCCEA

Member chambers of the Texas Chamber of Commerce Energy Association represent businesses of all sizes throughout Texas. Using the negotiating leverage this provides TCCEA is able to obtain favorable electric rates for members. TCCEA is also a resource for news and information on the Texas electricity market. If your local chamber is not a member of TCCEA have your chamber leadership reach out to TCCEA.

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Devon Bass
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