Analysis Shows that Efficiency and Other Demand Reduction Measures Offer Cleanest Short Term Energy Option for Texas

An analysis released today by Environmental Defense shows that Texas can meet future power needs through 2011 — without TXU's 11 proposed coal-fired power plants — and remain safely above the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) target reserve margin.

The analysis can be downloaded at

Through a mixture of efficiency and untapped load reduction techniques, the scenario presented in the analysis could cut in half annual growth in power demand that ERCOT uses to predict whether Texas will have enough power to keep the lights on. The reserve margin represents Texas' available power capacity above and beyond the highest projected peak demand. ERCOT's "safe" margin is 12.5%. ERCOT's status quo scenario — much touted by TXU as proof that its dirty coal-fired plants are necessary — suggests that the reserve margin will drop to 11.4% in 2008, 8.5% in 2009 and 6.8% in 2010.

TXU's proposed coal plants would not be online fast enough to address the 2008 and 2009 reserve margin problem. The Environmental Defense scenario improves those numbers to 14.5% in 2008 and 12.5% in 2009. With the addition of just 700 megawatts (MW) of new clean capacity in 2010 and 2011

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