LITTLETON, Colorado, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Power generated by Texas wind farms dropped by 22% in January 2024 from the same month in 2023 as low wind speeds continue to stifle output across the main power system in Texas, the largest power market in the United States.

Wind generation in January was 356,000 megawatts (MW), compared to 455,000 MW in January 2023, data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) compiled by LSEG shows.

As wind power is the second largest source of electricity behind natural gas in Texas, the drop in wind output so far this year has forced utilities to sharply increase generation from fossil fuels to balance system needs.

Combined output from natural gas and coal was close to 50% greater in January 2024 than in January 2023, underscoring the enduring importance of fossil fuels within the ERCOT system despite the ongoing build-out of renewable generation capacity.


Month-on-month swings in wind generation are normal, so utilities across the United States are becoming increasingly adept at deploying other forms of dispatchable power onto system grids whenever wind or solar power output slumps.

But the drop in Texas wind output in January from a year ago follows a disappointing wind generation total for 2023 as a whole, and suggests that even with steep increases in wind generation capacity the ERCOT system may remain unable to rely on wind to supply a steady share of Texas’ power needs.

Cumulative wind power output in 2023 was 4,500,000 MW, compared to 4,400,000 MW in 2022, LSEG data shows.

That 2.4% climb in annual wind output is less than the roughly 3% rise in wind generation capacity within the system in 2023, according to ERCOT.

Unusually low wind speeds were the main cause of the stunted growth, with output in April, May and June all falling sharply from the prior year totals.

Source: ‘‘Wind woes persist for Texas power system in 2024’’ REUTERS


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