The year long drought faced by Texas in 2011 created a great amount of strain on the state’s power grid. The drought resulted in a short supply of water required to cool the gas, coal and nuclear power plants. The situation was so bad that ranchers and farmers had to give up their water, to provide water to cool the power plants and keep them in operation.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) warned Texans of possible blackouts during the drought but this was eventually averted. The wind power that the state produces was one of the major factors that kept the power going and averted the blackout. This renewable energy provided between 10% -18% of power during that time. In parts of Texas such as Dallas and Houston, electricity rates are so low that renewable resources of energy aren’t competitive with natural gas as a power source.
Natural gas power plants use a lot of energy but the use of water in the sector can be reduced through the wind and solar energy and substituting gas for coal. The state is already the leading producer of wind energy.