Yahoo News reports:
As Texas on Tuesday entered its third night with sub-freezing temperatures and 3.3 million customers without electricity, the operator of the state’s unique power grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), urged Texans who still have electricity to turn off lights, unplug appliances, and turn down the thermostat.
People without power took shelter elsewhere, if they could, or resorted to sometimes deadly means of generating heat.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and state legislators called for investigations — and Abbott and other prominent GOP politicians wrongly blamed frozen wind turbines and other renewable energy sources for the failures of the Texas energy grid.
The Washington Post reports:
What has sent Texas reeling is not an engineering problem, nor is it the frozen wind turbines blamed by prominent Republicans. It is a financial structure for power generation that offers no incentives to power plant operators to prepare for winter. In the name of deregulation and free markets, critics say, Texas has created an electric grid that puts an emphasis on cheap prices over reliable service.
Fossil fuel groups and their Republican allies blamed the power failures on frozen wind turbines and warned against the supposed dangers of alternative power sources. Some turbines did in fact freeze — though Greenland and other northern outposts are able to keep theirs going through the winter. But wind accounts for just 10 percent of the power in Texas generated during the winter.
Here is the latest timing & expected snow/ice accumulations for the winter storm arriving today. A crippling amount of ice and sleet is forecast to occur east of I-35 and south of I-20. Additionally, significant snowfall is expected across much of North Texas. #txwx #dfwwx #ctxwx pic.twitter.com/yKfz1APnXg
— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) February 16, 2021
I got no defense. 🤷🏻♂️
A blizzard strikes Texas & our state shuts down. Not good.
Stay safe! https://t.co/kBPGrGHmvI
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 17, 2021
This is what happens when you force the grid to rely in part on wind as a power source. When weather conditions get bad as they did this week, intermittent renewable energy like wind isn’t there when you need it.https://t.co/glCm3K0xyp
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) February 16, 2021
1. Wind turbines can be operated in -22 degree temperatures if properly equipped. Apparently, ERCOT decided to not to buy the equipment.
2. Texas’ electrical grid is not connected to the national grid. Other states can’t help you with your temporary loss of capacity.
— Donald J Corleone 🇺🇸🇮🇹🖕 (@vito_andolini12) February 16, 2021
We are ordering an investigation into ERCOT and immediate transparency by ERCOT. pic.twitter.com/Mt2GPlaFuE
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 16, 2021