Houston Energy Report

Climate Impact on Houston Energy

Houston has limitless green energy potentialHouston is classified as a humid subtropical climate. The peak energy demand months are during the summer in June – August and residents can occasionally experience brownouts and rolling blackouts due to the strain on the power grid in these months. High electric bills during the summer are very common due to extensive air conditioner usage. The mild Houston winters typically keep home heating costs below average.

Houston is located near the Gulf of Mexico and can frequently be subject to tropical storms and hurricanes, the most recent being Hurricane Ike in 2008. Although Houston is outside of “Tornado Alley” it is susceptible to tornado strikes also. Both hurricanes and tornado’s possess the potential to disrupt the electric grid and leave residents without power for extended periods of time.

Solar Power Potential – Houston

ECA Energy Savings Rating – #NR “Solar Potential” Market

While the state of Texas is generally an above average solar production market, Houston is surprisingly average when it comes to solar potential. The metro area averages 4+/- kilowatt hours per day per square meter (kWh/m²) of solar panels. According to statistics, the Houston area averages 2,577 sunshine hours per year with the peak month being July.

Wind Power Potential – Houston

ECA Energy Savings Rating – #NR “Wind Potential” Market

Houston is surprisingly average when it comes to solar potential. The metro area averages 4+/- kilowatt hours per day per square meter (kWh/m²) of solar panels. According to statistics, the Houston area averages 2,577 sunshine hours per year with the peak month being July.

Hydrogen Power Potential – Houston

Houston shows minimal hydrogen production potential from its green renewable resources in the near future. The NREL has proposed a new hydrogen fueling station to be built along I-10 in Houston as part of a plan to develop US hydrogen infrastructure. There is high demand for hydrogen in the Houston market compared to the rest of the US and it appears to be growing steadily. Due to the high concentration of oil & gas energy companies in the Greater Houston area, it appears very likely that much of the future hydrogen research and development could be based here.

Geothermal Power Potential – Houston

Houston has very limited geothermal energy production currently but there is a high potential belt to the west of the city that extends up in to East Texas. In 2010 the SMU Geothermal Laboratory published research that confirms the viability of using pre-drilled oil & gas wells in this region for production of geothermal energy.

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