AUSTIN, Texas – Peak electricity demand in sweltering Texas this summer already has surged past levels that were not expected until 2014, exposing a shortage of generating capacity likely to persist for several years, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

For the second year in a row, the organization responsible for the stability of Texas’ electrical grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), has grossly underestimated summer demand in its forecasts. Last week, demand was so high across Texas that some large energy users had power disruptions, and Ercot narrowly avoided instituting rolling blackouts.

Ercot’s forecasts are based on an average of the past 10 summers, but the past two years have been unusually hot, pushing up energy use for air conditioning. Electricity demand in July was 12 percent higher than for any prior July.

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