Clean Energy for Oklahoma’s Future

Natural gas and wind energy are shouldering an increasing share of the power consumed in our state as electric companies work to provide energy in cleaner, sustainable ways and meet the growing need for electricity. A look at some numbers tells this story.

In 2018, natural gas and wind energy each accounted for more of Oklahoma’s net electricity generation than coal.  Natural gas-fired power plants produced more than two-fifths of the electricity generated in the state in 2017 and contributed half of state electricity generation in 2018[1].  Wind energy supplied almost one-third of in-state generation in both 2017 and 2018.  Last year, Oklahoma ranked second in the nation, behind Texas, in electricity generation from wind[2].

A growing number of homes in the United States continue to increase their reliance on electricity.  Twenty-five percent of homes nationwide use only electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey[3]. The increase in the use of electricity over the past decade is especially notable in the Midwest and South.

The use of electric vehicles (EVs) is also increasing. A 2018 study by the Edison Electric Institute estimates that EVs in the U.S. will rise from about one million today to over 18 million by 2030[4].

An innovative, sustainable approach to meeting these growing needs while still maintaining the reliability and integrity of the electric power system has to be part of our collective future. Having a balanced mix of energy resources, including natural gas and renewables, is essential to this equation for our path towards delivering power. A major help in achieving an effective blend of resources here in Oklahoma is the fact that natural gas is abundant and low-priced, with wind energy costs continuing to decline.

PSO customers, residential, commercial and industrial, all have a reasonable expectation of affordable, reliable and clean power.  To go a step further, a growing number of major corporations overall have even established goals for meeting their energy supply needs in whole or in part with renewable energy as part of their obligation toward sustainability.  A state, like Oklahoma, that offers a more attractive portfolio aligned with corporate renewable targets can only benefit through increased jobs and greater business activity.

Oklahoma today is in a great position to thrive as business demands for affordable power produced sustainably continue to increase. Our tremendous in-state natural gas and wind resources and the clean, low-cost power they deliver will help make Oklahoma a very attractive state for business and for our citizens for a very long time to come.

 

Author

Tiffini Jackson, Vice President, External Affairs–Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Jackson began her career with PSO in 1990. She served in various policy and community development related positions prior to beginning her most recent role as Director, Corporate Communications, in 2013.

In her new role, Jackson will have responsibilities for PSO’s External Affairs, Governmental and Environmental Affairs, and Corporate Communications functions.

In this position, she has responsibility for all aspects of external communication for PSO’s more than 554,000 customers across 30,000 square miles of eastern and southwestern Oklahoma.

[1] Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, https://www.eia.gov/state/print.php?sid=OK

[2] Source: U.S. WindExchange, U.S. Department of Energy, https://windexchange.energy.gov/states/ok

[3] Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, https://www.eia.gov/consumption/residential/data/2015/

[4] Source: Edison Electric Institute, https://www.eei.org/issuesandpolicy/electrictransportation/Documents/1_Million_EVs_Website.pdf