Chuck Devore on Texas blackouts and renewable energy

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Nearly 3.4 million utility customers around the U.S. were still without power Wednesday in the aftermath of a winter storm that overwhelmed power grids and another blast of snow and ice threatened to impede the efforts to restore service.

More than two dozen people have died in the extreme weather this week, some while struggling to find warmth inside their homes. In the Houston area, one family succumbed to carbon monoxide from car exhaust in their garage. Another perished as they used a fireplace to keep warm.

Texas Public Policy Foundation Vice President, Chuck Devore, joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss the possibility of renewable energy being primarily to blame for power outages.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid, said in a press conference Tuesday that failures in natural gas, coal and nuclear energy systems were responsible for nearly twice as many outages as frozen wind turbines and solar panels.

ERCOT said Tuesday that of the 45,000 total megawatts of power that were offline statewide, about 30,000 consisted of thermal sources — gas, coal and nuclear plants — and 16,000 came from renewable sources.

While Texas has ramped up wind energy in recent years, the state still relies on wind power for only about 25% of its total electricity, according to ERCOT data.

The agency confirmed that wellhead freeze-offs and other issues curtailing supply in natural gas systems were primarily to blame for new outages on Tuesday, after severe winter weather caused failures across multiple fuel types in recent days.

Categories: Good Morning San Diego, National & International News