In response to client inquiries, I’ve estimated the rate of growth for electric power consumption in the Eagle Ford area. The client is interested in pipelines running in close proximity to high-voltage AC power lines. By looking at the “Electric Reliability Council of Texas” (ERCOT) website and mining their data for counties in South Texas, here are some interesting facts:
1. For the South Texas region including Maverick, Zavala, Atascosa, Live Oak, Bee, Goliad and Refugio Counties, and all counties south of that line, electricity demand has grown at least five percent a year from 2008 through the end of 2011. The growth from 2010 to mid-2012 has been eight to ten percent a year;
2. The Rio Grande Valley’s general growth in population appears to be about two percent per year. Corpus Christi is growing at about one percent a year; Laredo is probably growing at three percent per year. These estimates come from what appear to be credible internet sources. So more generalized population growth in South Texas may be two percent a year, in the population centers mentioned above;
3. What this leaves, for explanation of recent growth rate, is the Eagle Ford Shale development – which affects all of the counties along the northerly line of this “South Texas” geography, and many more counties southward. And it’s just the southwest half of the Eagle Ford that gets described – I did not gather data on Wilson, Karnes, DeWitt, Gonzales and other prolific Eagle Ford counties to the northeast.