You wouldn’t think the top energy-producing state in the nation, home to the legendary Spindletop and nearly unfathomable reserves of shale gas and oil, would have an energy shortage.

Yet the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the Lone Star State’s electric grid, is getting ready to issue energy alerts this summer. Its electricity reserves are at a historic low of 7.4%, and new demand records have been set 16 times in the last three years.

We think an extra $2.5 billion a year could help bolster the grid.

Why $2.5 billion? That’s how much Texas taxpayers are charged every year to subsidize wind and solar power. Yet even after being boosted by tens of billions in taxpayer dollars, renewables only provide 18% of Texas’ energy. That’s higher than the national average, but nowhere near enough to power the Texas economy, which outproduces nearly every country in the world, including Russia.

Broken down per unit of energy produced, wind and solar power receive 46 times the subsidies of fossil fuels and 94 times the subsidies of nuclear power:

Just imagine how billions in saved tax revenue could bolster Texas’ electric grid against the state’s famously steamy summers and rapidly growing population. Rather than add regulations and cost to electric generation, Texas state leaders should drop expensive subsidies for inefficient renewable power and let the market choose the most efficient and reliable energy sources to power our economy.

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