One Lesson from the Texas Energy Crisis: We Need a More Flexible Grid
- Mar 4, 2021 11:23 am GMTMar 3, 2021 11:58 pm GMT
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New federal leadership offers hope for progress toward more flexibility and greater resilience
Last month, millions of people in Texas were hit with a six-day energy crisis. A historic cold snap triggered a perfect storm of failed supply (mostly from fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, but from some wind resources as well) and historically-high demand that caused huge portions of the Texas grid to fail. Grid operators implemented power cutoffs to avoid more widespread failures and monthslong outages that were just “minutes” away at the peak of the crisis. When we look to solutions, more supply or resilient supply alone are not the answers. Texas’ grid, as well as the other regional grids that cover the U.S., need more flexibility to avoid catastrophic failure and adapt to more frequent storms and other major events. Crucial support for that enhanced flexibility will need to come from the federal government, and the recent arrivals in the Biden administration have shown signs of delivering it.