- Energy efficiency and demand response can deliver up to 7,000 MW of load reduction in Texas, according to a new report from the Brattle Group for the Texas Clean Energy Coalition.
- The report looks at various future scenarios to help Texas meet its EPA-mandated 39% CO2 emissions reduction target by 2030, finding that even a "moderate carbon policy" could cut statewide emissions by 35% by 2032.
- A growth in demand response resources by 20-30% could cut peak demand levels by up to 50% by 2032 if combined with a dynamic or time-variable rate structure and automation technology from the plant to the plug, according to the report.
Currently, Texas is the largest carbon emitter in the U.S. but the EPA's lofty emissions reduction target aims to put a dent in that. In its draft proposal, the EPA bases its 39% CO2 emission reduction target on an accomplishable 19.9% reduction through natural gas to coal fuel conversions, a 9.2% reduction due to renewables, a 5.5% reduction from end-use energy efficiency and a 3.8% reduction due to greater system efficiency.
While Texas Governor Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbot have both said the EPA targets will damage the state's economy and raise electricity rates, the Brattle study found that that will not necessarily be the case. In their moderate carbon policy-driven 35% CO2 emission reduction by 2032 scenario, Brattle found rates would go up 10% at most. Even the most aggressive scenario detailed in the report -- an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions -- found rates would only increase by about 20% compared to the "business-as-usual" scenario.