Texas is on track to lose its fifth-largest generator by 2020, as the state gears up for a massive drought.
A growing number of power plants are on the chopping block, and the nation’s fifth-least-polluting state could be forced to rely on more expensive fossil fuels to power its booming population.
The power sector is poised to be the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and is expected to surpass coal by the end of the century, according to a new report from the Energy Information Administration.
In total, the U.S. generates nearly half of the world’s greenhouse gas pollution.
“Texas is the poster child for this problem,” said Paul Besser, the EIA’s chief climate and energy analyst.
“The state is already running out of natural gas, and its projected peak demand for natural gas is expected by 2040.”
The state’s energy future is already looking bleak, and this is just the start.
EIA researchers predict the U,S.
will peak its emissions in the 2030s, when about 80 percent of the nation is expected not to use electricity.
That will mean Texas will need to rely more heavily on cheap, dirty coal, according a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
That’s especially true in Texas, which relies on the gas-fired power plants that have been struggling for years.
Texas will need a mix of renewable, natural gas- and nuclear energy to meet its energy needs.
To meet that, Texas’ governor, Greg Abbott, announced in June that he will end his state’s use of fossil fuels by 2023.
Abbott, a Republican, has repeatedly warned that the U will run out of gas and oil.
But that hasn’t stopped him from trying to force lawmakers to support the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
He recently signed an executive order calling on Congress to approve the pipeline’s construction, which would bring up to 570,000 barrels of oil a day to Texas.
The EIA estimates that if Texas can only make good on its energy promises, the state will need as much as 6 billion barrels of additional fossil fuel reserves to meet the growing demand for electricity.
In fact, the energy sector could account for as much energy demand for Texas as all of the state’s transportation and other services combined, the report said.
The country could be using as much oil as the entire U.K., Canada and Japan combined.
With so much uncertainty about what to do about the power sector, the world is going to need more renewable energy, said Tom Loomis, the president of the Energy Institute, a nonprofit environmental group.
The U.N. has said that it’s looking for ways to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, and that a climate change deal reached in Paris last year will be a major incentive.
But the agreement’s terms haven’t been announced, and President Donald Trump hasn’t formally ratified it.