By Elias Hinckley and Clair Austin

Texas both produces and consumes more energy than any state in the U.S. It controls one-quarter of U.S. proven oil reserves. Energy companies looking to grow or to establish a U.S. presence set up operations in Texas. The primary electricity transmission system in Texas is independent of the rest of the country (a long-time source of pride). The Electric Reliability Company of Texas, or ERCOT, is responsible for regulating the generation and supply of power to 85 percent of the state, except the extreme eastern and western portions.

The fundamental challenge of a closed system is that it must meet its own needs, and that has not happened.  There are increasing concerns about rolling blackouts in America’s “energy capital.” NRG Energy reported that by 2016, Texas could experience four rolling blackouts a year, and strongly recommended that the state build more power generation reserves to improve grid reliability.