Texas agrees to study impact of government subsidies on electric reliability - Utility Drive

With natural gas and wind now nearly two-thirds of the Texas energy mix, Texans are beginning to worry about whether the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) can keep the power flowing. And they are looking for someone to blame. ERCOT, the state's grid operator, navigated last summer's record demand spikes with an 11% reserve generation margin, well below the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) 13.75% target. ERCOT expects this year's reserve margin to drop even further, to a historically low 7.4%, as existing fossil fuel generation that has traditionally served reliability is priced out of the market by low cost natural gas and renewables. With the reserve margin falling, anxiety about meeting peak demand is rising for Texas policymakers who will hear from voters if the air conditioning goes off during this summer's demand surges. This reliability anxiety has sparked a debate about which of the state's various energy incentives are causing the grid's potential shortcomings. Read more.