Nov 4, 2020 - Energy & Environment

A look at Texas' energy complexities

Data: EIA; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios
Data: EIA; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Texas went fairly comfortably red again, but it looked quite close for a while, and so now seems as good a time as any to look at the state's energy as well as political complexities.

The intrigue: Texas is increasingly no longer seen as only the oil patch, and it's a fascinating state to watch. That's especially the case at a time when the future of oil demand remains a question mark and more and more countries are vowing new steps on climate — regardless of U.S. policy.

Where it stands: Oil production there has surged over the last decade (though it dropped amid the pandemic) and it's the heart of the derailed-for now-or-longer oil boom.But as that chart above shows, Texas is also the nation's largest wind power producer — also by a lot.

Why it matters: That prominence in wind is nothing new, but its growth helps to show how the nation's oil-and-gas capital is, more and more, also a clean energy and tech hub.

What we're watching: More broadly, the state is increasingly becoming a hotbed of energy innovation.

  • Consider that Greentown Labs, the big Boston-area incubator of clean technology startups, this year chose Houston for its second location.
  • And just yesterday the big Houston-based oilfield services company announced the acquisition of the firm Compact Carbon Capture.
  • It's part of a wider movement within the oilfield services sector to expand their activities in "energy transition" overall.

The bottom line: Keep your eyes on Texas, and not just the politics.

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