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Rising electricity demand in Texas: the canary in the coalmine for the rest of the US?

Conversations from the Gulf Coast Power Association conference

This bonus episode of the Energy Gang was recorded live during the spring meeting of the Gulf Coast Power Association in Houston, Texas. Host Ed Crooks is joined by Beth Garza, President of the Gulf Coast Power Association, Frank O'Sullivan, Managing Director for Clean Energy at S2G Ventures, and Ken Medlock, Senior Director at the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University. The GCPA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a strong energy industry in the Texas and Gulf Coast region.

First up Ed speaks with Beth about the increase in electricity demand in the region. Unlike most of the US, the Gulf of Mexico coastal region has already been seeing growth in demand for electricity over the past couple of decades. But now there are signs that this growth is being kicked into a higher gear as a result of a wave of new data centers, manufacturing facilities and LNG plants. We discuss the challenges and opportunities in this new era.

Increasing strain on the Texas grid is one problem. The catastrophic consequences of Winter Storm Uri in February 2021, in part caused by failures in natural gas supply and gas-fired generation, exposed how the system was unprepared for such an event. Beth Garza discusses the changes that have been made in the three years since then, and how the industry can tackle the new challenges facing the grid.

Plus, Frank O’Sullivan and Ken Medlock join Ed on stage for a panel discussion on strategies for integrating new technologies as the demand for power rises. They debate the key trends in electricity demand growth, and the ability of Texas as a deregulated competitive market to respond to these new opportunities and difficulties.

Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts or Spotify so you don’t miss the next one, out every second Tuesday. Join the discussion on X – we’re @theenergygang.