Texas energy regulators will need to triple peak wholesale power prices to ward off crippling blackouts that could occur later this decade, as electricity demand is expected to outpace supply in the coming years, Bloomberg reports.
According to the news source, the Brattle Group report, commissioned by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), suggests Texas should adjust its energy deregulation laws to encourage electricity generators to build more plants to keep up with the state's growing economy. If the regulators approve the decision, wholesale electricity prices would rise from $3,000 per megawatt hour to $9,000 during times of "extreme scarcity."
"The Brattle Group’s report confirms that we are moving in the right direction," Donna Nelson, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Texas, said in a recent statement.
The report also recommends that the price rise to $5,000 per megawatt hour when demand is rising, but has not yet hit critical levels.
With wholesale energy prices rising, many energy customers in states with energy deregulation laws, such as Texas, will likely shop around for varying electricity rates, which can be purchased in stable contract periods.