In December 2013 we completed a series of simulations of the future of the ERCOT electricity marketplace through 2032 on behalf of the Texas Clean Energy Coalition (TCEC). The goal of these simulations was to show how renewable and natural gas-fired electricity sources would develop in the next two decades, and how this development would depend on gas prices, the existence of a capacity mechanism in ERCOT, national carbon policies, and other key market drivers. We found a wide range of 2032 outcomes, from scenarios with over 40% of ERCOT’s 2032 energy coming from renewables to other cases in which nearly all future capacity additions would be gas-fired.
In order to simulate the future ERCOT grid we relied primarily on ERCOT’s own long-term planning and operating data, supplemented by selected additional items from our research. In the areas of electric power demand and sales, the role of demand response and energy efficiency, and the role of distributed sources of generation, we relied almost entirely on ERCOT’s base case forecasts and no sensitivity analysis. In short, our simulations were focused primarily on exercising the large-scale supply side of the marketplace under “reference case” demand-side assumptions.