Economic fallout from the extreme winter weather that caused widespread blackouts is continuing to have a ripple effect even as power is restored. “The current energy crisis is much bigger than most people realize. This is a global crisis,” Paul Sankey, an oil analyst at Sankey Research, wrote in a note. “The largest energy outage in U.S. history.” To learn more, read “Texas Power Crisis Moves Into Fourth Day With Millions in Dark.” Reading this article may require a subscription.
- While Texas’s grid operator was able to restore power to 1.8 million homes by Wednesday February 17, 1.2 million homes remained without electricity.
- Generation capacity on the grid reached 52 gigawatts Wednesday evening, the highest level since Monday morning. Electricity load climbed to 49 gigawatts, indicating that power had been restored to some customers.
- As of February 17, 43 gigawatts of the state’s generation capacity remained offline, including 26.5 gigawatts of thermal generation that shut due to frozen instruments, limited gas supplies, and low gas pressure.
- Frozen turbines and icy solar panels shut down nearly 17 gigawatts of renewable energy.
- Gas production has plummeted to the lowest level since 2017.
Path to 100% Perspective:
The recent Texas power crisis impacted millions of people in Texas and neighboring states. One reason these blackouts occurred is that many power plants are not designed to handle extreme ambient temperatures. Limited natural gas supply and low gas pressure also posed a challenge for power plants across the state. Winterizing gas supply and power plants is a must to avoid similar situations in the future. Although it is more expensive to winterize the gas supply and power plants, this is required to ensure reliability when extreme weather occurs.
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