Though the desperate conditions that millions of Texans have suffered for days were triggered by a powerful winter storm, the underlying issues are the work of human beings. At least 2.7 million households were still without power on Wednesday, and nearly 12 million faced water quality issues. Hospitals ran out of water. Families have burned belongings to keep their children warm. As bizarre as it may seem that residents of the biggest energy-producing state in the US can be left powerless for so long, these problems were foreseen. While Republican leaders in Texas have blamed a reliance on renewable energy, it was mostly natural gas plants that failed, with a reactor at a nuclear facility also forced offline. The desire to stay free from federal oversight means that Texas has a stand-alone grid, preventing it from importing power.
Guardian 18th Feb 2021 read more »
This week, a blast of Arctic air has engulfed much of the central US, bringing freezing conditions and record low temperatures to many states. Texas, in particular, has been badly affected, with grid operators hit by power outages and struggling to provide electricity to millions of residents. The events have triggered a wave of media reaction – both on the causes of the extreme weather and why the state’s power sector has been unable to cope.
Carbon Brief 18th Feb 2021 read more »