Wind Turbines and Solar Panels
  • It Takes More than Gas to Run a Nation

    Since the discovery of the Spindletop Oilfield in 1901, Texas has embodied the production of energy. The energy cluster is made up of three sub-clusters: oil and gas exploration and production, electric/coal/nuclear power generation and renewable and sustainable energy generation. Texas' geography and natural resources, excellent transportation systems, skilled labor force and leadership in environmental research give the state an energy advantage.

    An independent grid: As the only state with its own grid, Texas' electrical transmissions and new energy development are free from federal regulation.

    5,000 megawatts with reduced carbon footprint: Texas is a major nuclear power generating state, with almost 5,000 MW of installed nuclear power.

    Harnessing the wind: Texas leads the nation in installed wind capacity (16,000 MW), and is home to two of the largest wind farms in the western hemisphere.

    Net power gain: The energy sector contributes more than $172 billion to the Texas economy.

    #1 total energy: Texas is #1 in total energy production, biodiesel production capacity, and solar energy potential.

    Additional industry information:

  • Diverse Energy Production

    5.1 million barrels a day: Oil and gas exploration and production is one of Texas' most established industries. New oil and gas reservoirs continue to be discovered, adding significantly to the output of existing reservoirs. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Texas' 27 refineries lead the nation in both crude oil production and refining. With the capacity to process 5.1 million barrels of crude oil a day, Texas accounts for over 28.8 percent of the country's total refining capacity. Texas also leads the nation in crude oil and natural gas reserves, accounting for 26.4 percent of the nation's oil reserves and 29.4 percent of the nation's natural gas reserves.

    Extracting new supplies of gas: The natural gas production industry is booming in Texas, due in large part to the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas and the Barnett Shale in North Central Texas. Drilling activity, extraction and production in the Eagle Ford Shale has expanded rapidly since the first well was drilled in Hawkville Field of LaSalle County in 2008. That year, only 26 permits were issued for drilling in the shale, while 4,416 drilling permits were issued in 2013. 

    $80.7 billion economic boost from North Texas: The Barnett Shale is a large natural gas reserve covering more than 5,000 square miles across North Central Texas. Many experts believe the Barnett Shale may be the largest onshore natural gas field in the United States, containing more than 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Significant amounts of natural gas have been extracted from the Barnett Shale in recent years due to advances in hydraulic fracturing methods and horizontal drilling. Because large portions of the Barnett Shale lie beneath highly populated areas of Tarrant, Johnson and western Dallas counties, there are unusually high levels of urban drilling involved in the area. The Perryman Group estimates that the cumulative economic benefits of the Barnett Shale from 2001-2011 include $80.7 billion in output for the state.

    Texas sustains energy independence: Texas is the only state with its own power grid, making it completely independent from other national networks, where one state's decisions may affect electricity markets in all other states. Additionally, the Texas grid is not subject to federal regulation over electrical transmission, which expedites the regulatory process for new energy development. Texas is also a major nuclear power generating state, with nuclear energy being generated at two plants. The Comanche Peak project in north Central Texas has a 2,300 MW operating capacity and 2,700 MW is being produced at the South Texas Project near the Gulf Coast.

    America's largest renewable energy production: The Lone Star State enjoys the largest renewable energy potential in the nation with abundant wind, solar and biomass resources found across the state's geographically diverse regions. With over 4,800 companies employing more than 55,600 Texans in clean energy sectors, the state has developed a strong foundation in the growing renewable energy industry. Texas is also pursuing solar, geothermal, wave/tidal, biomass, methane gas and hydropower renewable energy technologies.

    Harnessing the wind: Although historically better known for its oil wells than its wind turbines, Texas leads the nation in installed wind energy capacity (12,335 MW as of June 2013) (Click here for a national comparison map.) Texas' dominance in the wind industry is also demonstrated through six of the ten largest wind power projects in the nation and two of the three largest wind farms in the western hemisphere, Roscoe Wind Farm and Horse Hollow Wind Farm. From the Texas Panhandle to the Gulf Coast, and along the ridge tops of the Trans-Pecos Mountains, Texas' abundant natural resources provide outstanding wind power potential. Texas ranked 6th in the world for cumulative wind capacity in 2013, behind China, the U.S. (including Texas), Germany, Spain and India.

    Cumulative Wind Capacity

    Country (or State) Installed Capacity (MW)
    China 91,412
    USA (includes Texas) 61,091
    Germany 34,250
    Spain 22,959
    India 20,150
    Texas 12,355

    Source: Global Wind Energy Council 2014; American Wind Energy Association 2014

    Into the future: Texas is also pursuing solar, geothermal, wave/tidal, biomass, methane gas and hydropower renewable energy technologies.

  • The Power of Academic Research

    Engineers drive the future of Texas energy production: The University of Texas's (UT) Cockrell School of Engineering, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering is home to the #1 petroleum engineering graduate school in the nation. The department boasts the largest petroleum doctorate program in the world, graduating more than 20 percent of the world's petroleum engineering Ph.D. recipients. The department is active in many research fields, including: drilling, well completions and rock mechanics, unconventional natural gas engineering, reservoir engineering, carbon dioxide sequestration and fundamental processes. The department is also a strategic partner in the Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security (CFSES) located at UT and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The purpose of the center is to pursue scientific understanding of subsurface physical, chemical and biological processes.

    Houston's new petroleum engineering degree: Houston, the energy capital of the nation, is home to an expanding higher education petroleum engineering program at the University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering. The college's long-standing graduate program in petroleum engineering has recently been complemented by the addition of two additional programs: Master of Science in Well Design Engineering and Master of Science in Petroleum Completion and Well Intervention Engineering. In 2009, UH admitted its first undergraduate students to the newly designed Bachelor of Science in petroleum engineering program.

    Nuclear engineering at A&M: The Department of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M is the largest nuclear engineering program in the nation, and its graduate program ranks 4th in the country. Research facilities include two research reactors: a 1-megawatt reactor operated by the Texas Engineering Experiment Station's Nuclear Science Center and a five-watt AGN-201M reactor operated by Texas A&M. Research initiatives for the department's Nuclear Power Engineering Group include reactor safety, subchannel analysis of advanced fuel designs, HTR thermal hydraulics and reactor physics and the effects of climate change on power plant operations.

    A wind science Ph.D.: Texas Tech University's (TTU) Wind Science & Engineering Research Center offers the first Wind Science and Engineering doctoral degree program in the country. Faculty and students research the efficient harvest of wind energy and mitigate wind-related damage. Some of the TTU's wind energy research goals include assessment of the risks and effects of wind turbine exposure to extreme wind events, improvement of wind turbine design codes and analysis and testing of utility-scale wind turbines.  TTU is partnering with the National Institute for Renewable Energy, which will support the National Wind Resource Center (NWRC), a nonprofit organization formed by TTU that focuses on wind power research and education.

  • Workers with the Knowledge and Experience to Sustain Texas Energy

    Texas ranks #1 in the petroleum and coal industry in terms of employees and value added per employee. The growth of the renewable energy industry is evidenced by the more than 55,600 highly skilled clean energy workers found in Texas. The wind industry alone is responsible for nearly 10,000 manufacturing, headquarters, construction and maintenance and support jobs in Texas, according to a study released by the Perryman Group in May 2010.

    Industry Industry Code Firms Employment Average Annual Wage ($)
    Oil & Gas Extraction 2111 4,387 103,838 179,985
    Drilling Oil & Gas Wells 213111 656 46,571 100,854
    Oil & Gas Operations Support Activities 213112 4,442 128,330 85,670
    Power Generation and Supply 2211 812 34,657 103,297
    Electric Power Generation 22111 305 10,280 117,916
    Electric Power Transmission/Distribution 22112 374 8,392 97,441
    Natural Gas Distribution 2212 374 8,392 118,865

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013)

    Workforce Concentration

    Legend for all maps: moderate (yellow), above average (gold), high (darkest color)


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