What does the future of Texas energy look like?

This is a preview of our Texas 2036 newsletter taking a look at the three big questions answered by the Future of Texas Energy dashboard. To receive this weekly look at our work, sign up here.

Your guide to the Future of TX Energy 💡

TX 3 big questions lead image

With energy executives and thought leaders in Houston for CERAWeek, this newsletter takes a look at three big questions answered by our Future of Texas Energy dashboard.

Will Texas continue to be an energy leader?

TX 3 big energy questions pump jack

The choices Texas makes today on which technologies to pursue will have a large impact on our state’s energy future. Continuing with the current mix of energy technologies — the status quo — will lead to a 26% increase in energy production by 2050.

Compare that, though, to the 59% increase in energy production if Texas commits to an energy expansion program that delivers on an “all-of-the-above” approach supporting innovation that drives down costs and improves technologies associated with fossil fuel and renewable production over time.

Energy expansion: Can it meet rising demand?

TX 3 big questions H2 fuel image

Picture this: A future where energy markets optimize use of the most promising fossil fuel and renewable technologies.

With demand for electricity projected to double over the same time period, Texas needs to act now to power the next Texas Miracle.

Pursuing such a strategy would increase Texas’ energy production to 44,378 petajoules* by 2050. That’s enough energy to power 850 million homes for a year!

Summertime creates unique demands on the nation’s energy systems as electricity production must ramp up to meet the demand for air-conditioned spaces.

The New York Times projects that peak summer demand for electricity in the U.S. could grow by as much as 38,000 megawatts in the next five years. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas forecasts a 5,500 megawatt increase in the state’s summer peak demand — to 89,100 megawatts — by 2028.

The number of 100-degree days has tripled in Texas over the past 40 years and is expected to continue increasing in frequency. It’s clear that the energy sector must work hard to meet that demand for electricity.

Texas 3 big energy questions petajoule explainer image

Oil and gas is Texas energy. What if continued expansion doesn’t happen?

TX 3 big energy questions Houston skyline

If Texas doesn’t incorporate major advances in renewable, hydrogen and fossil fuel energy technologies, our models suggest that the state’s energy output will grow by just half as much as it would under an expanded energy scenario.

Why does this matter? Texas’ growing economy needs more energy and jobs to supply a growing population, now forecast to grow by 10 million to more than 40 million Texans by 2050.

A $6.2 billion investment in clean energy.

TX 3 big energy questions renewable energy graphic

Texas has long led the nation in wind production and is now No. 1 in solar energy.

After attracting $6.2 billion in federal tax incentives and grants for clean energy and transportation last year — the third most of any state — Texas is well positioned to continue its role as a national leader in these emerging energy technologies.

Explore the data in our energy dashboard.

TX 3 big energy questions desktop

The Future of Texas Energy dashboard is an interactive online resource that allows the user to track the relationship between the state’s energy markets and the state’s economy and its impact on the goal of lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The dashboard models four scenarios, reflecting the emerging energy technologies that are the focus of discussion at CERAWeek:

  • Status Quo: A “business as usual” energy future without major advances in renewable, hydrogen or fossil fuel energy technology.
  • Advanced Fossil: An energy future focused on fossil fuel production with carbon capture, utilization and storage.
  • Energy Transition: An energy future focused on renewable energy, decarbonization and electrification.
  • Energy Expansion: An energy future where the costs and technologies associated with fossil fuel and renewable production improve over time.

What about nuclear? ☢️

Our energy dashboard focuses on market-based scenarios given existing regulatory and technology costs. As a result, nuclear energy, which continues to be a promising technology, was not selected.

For Texas to pursue a future with more nuclear in the energy mix, the state must adopt new policies to address the high costs and regulatory burdens that make nuclear uncompetitive today.

The latest advancements in nuclear technology, particularly Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and Microreactors, are drawing attention for their potential to revolutionize energy production.

These new technologies offer:

  • scalable, factory-built solutions that can be rapidly deployed,
  • safer and more efficient technologies, and
  • use in remote or off-grid locations.

Learn more:

Energy and the Bayou City: A few key facts

Futuristic Houston CERAWeek image

With #CERAWeek happening this week, here’s a quick look by the numbers at what’s driving growth in the global energy capital.

  • 1 million: Expected population growth of Houston by 2050, leading to a possible tripling of demand for electricity.
  • $1.5 billion: Port Houston’s investment in capital enhancements over the next five years to build capacity and improve efficiency.
  • 900,000: Jobs created in the Gulf Coast region by 2050 under the Energy Expansion scenario.
  • 60%: Projected rise in regional real earnings by 2050 as the regional economy swells to over $1 trillion.

What choices would you make to secure the energy future in Texas?
Let us know in our short survey!