How green is the power grid? An expert breaks it down

Electric vehicles are known to reduce tailpipe emissions. However, these cars are still using electricity to charge their batteries.

EVs can only be as green as their power grid. KPRC 2 asked an expert, Dr. Harish Krishnamoorthy with the University of Houston Engineering Department just how green the Texas grid is.

Dr. Krishnamoorthy says the Texas power grid is very green.

Krishnamoorthy told KRPC 2 that based on Feb. 7, solar, and wind combined were supplying 70% of energy needs and coal is only 10% to 15% of the energy production.

While the other 20% to 30% is fueled by natural gases. Krishnamoorthy says these numbers change daily, but extreme weather events bring the most change.

When extreme cold or extreme heat hits Texas, this requires higher demands on the power grid. Therefore, renewable sources of energy would not be enough to compensate for the demands on its own.

Q: So, with the grid not being 100% green, are EVs still a good option for cutting greenhouse gas emissions?

A: Yes, EVs still provide significant benefits, benefits compared to the other, types of vehicles like gas-powered.

Krishnamoorthy says a medium family size car from manufacturing to the end of its life cycle will emit around 25 tons of CO2. In comparison, an EV from manufacturing to the end of its life cycle will emit 18 tons.

While the difference might seem small now, with continuous improvements in battery production for EVs CO2 emissions could be cut even more by the year 2030.

Emerging technology like renewable resources on the energy grid to the production of environmentally friendly batteries will determine the future of how much EVs can decrease a driver’s carbon footprint.

About the Author

I am grateful for the opportunity to share the captivating tales of weather, climate, and science within a community that has undergone the same transformative moments that have shaped my own life.

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