Clean Energy Has Saved Texas Consumers $27.8 Billion Since 2010
Solar and wind energy saved Texas consumers at least $27.8 billion in electricity costs between 2010 and last August — and $7.4 billion through the first eight months of this year alone — according to a groundbreaking analysis released Tuesday.
The study, led by Dr. Joshua Rhodes, the Chief Technology Officer of IdeaSmiths LLC and a Research Scientist at The University of Texas at Austin, quantifies some of the economic benefits that clean energy has delivered to Texas consumers and the state’s primary electricity market, managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Researchers compared the ERCOT market’s actual performance, including Texas’ significant and fast-growing solar and wind resources, with how the market would have performed without this clean energy.
The results were striking. Solar and wind power reduced wholesale electricity costs by about $27.8 billion between early 2010 and August 2022 — savings that accrued to customers’ benefit by cutting bills for individuals, families and businesses.
Already in 2022, solar and wind saved Texas consumers $7.4 billion, or $925 million per month, through August. Energy savings increased dramatically this year as Texas endured an especially hot summer, and natural gas and coal prices were the highest they have been in more than a decade.
At this pace, the state’s clean energy resources will save Texans more than $11 billion in 2022 alone.
“Texas is the nation’s leader in wind power, and we’re among the leading solar states as well. This study demonstrates the vast savings that leadership has delivered to Texans,” said Sandie Haverlah, president of the Texas Consumer Association. “Texas needs to double down on these benefits, growing consumers’ savings by increasing solar and wind resources. By investing in solutions such as energy efficiency, the state can help consumers save even more money while fortifying the state’s power grid.”
The study also found:
- Wind and solar power reduced wholesale electricity market prices, on average, by $20.60 per megawatt-hour in 2022, offsetting higher-cost power plants.
- Renewable energy is providing a valuable, needed price hedge against volatile natural gas and coal prices, helping reduce Texans’ electricity costs even as those prices spike.
- Solar and wind plants, which do not require water to generate electricity, saved 244 billion gallons of water over those nearly 12 years, compared to what would have been required to run coal, gas and other thermal plants.
- Emissions reductions from solar and wind facilities saved Texans between $10.2 billion and $76.4 billion total in healthcare and environmentally related costs.
- All told, wind and solar power provided at least $38.3 billion — and as much as $105 billion — in benefits to Texas residents between 2010 and August 2022.
For more information, please contact:
Steve Scheibal, 512-762-8808, firstname.lastname@example.org