How Green Energy Bailed Out Texas
It’s great when the underdogs end up saving the day. And in Texas electricity news, the underdogs have been wind and solar energy lately. But renewables saved the Texas grid during the last week of June when demand soared to a record high. Hopefully, this taught leaders a good lesson on the reliability of green energy vs. fossil fuels. Here’s what happened last week and how it may help to get you cheap electricity.
A Record-Breaking Heatwave
It’s so hot in Texas right now you could fry an egg on your driveway. To make matters worse, a climate change-exasperated heat dome looms over Mexico and South Texas. This causes extreme heat and humidity in the state.
And on June 27, the demand for electricity was at an all-time high. The 80,828 MW needed to power the air conditioning of 26 million Texans tested ERCOT’s reliability to its limits.
Putting All Faith in Fossil Fuels
When the electricity grid’s pushed near the limit, catastrophe can happen. In February 2021, a winter storm caused blackouts that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Texans.
Since then, ERCOT and lawmakers made considerable steps to prevent blackouts like that. But, some may have bet on the wrong horse.
So far, reliability has been maintained by dispatchable power sources. These are the natural gas, coal, and nuclear power plants the state has at its disposal that have been weatherized. ERCOT can turn these on and off when needed. And there’s a major political push to invest more into these dispatchable sources, purely run on fossil fuel. However, these failed during the last week of June amid record-breaking demand.
Due to unplanned outages, 8,000 MW of natural gas capacity went offline. And the unexpected loss of 2,300 MW from coal power made the situation even worse.
Renewables to the Rescue
But thanks to wind, solar, and utility-scale batteries, the Texas energy supply went on as normal. The 31,000 MW generated by green sources powered 3.6 million Texan homes. Solar, in particular, rose to a challenge. On June 27th, solar power was generating at 62% of its installed capacity. Surprisingly, the very rays that make Texans turn the AC on are the same that saved the grid.
Renewables Are The Future
The energy created from green sources isn’t just environmentally friendly. It’s also a lot cheap to make and gives customers low electricity prices.
The Texas power grid will need to prepare for more high-demand days this summer. The estimated peak demand is currently at 82,739 MW. But, with the rising Texan population and global warming, this is just the start.
Luckily, there are plans to invest in more renewable dispatchable power in Texas too. Apart from wind and solar, these plans involve geothermal, hydro, and biomass. However, the roll-out of these is very slow without proper political support.
Shop a Green Plan in Texas
Historically, the price of electricity is always the highest when the demand is high. So, buying in the summer isn’t ideal. But, having a fixed-rate plan is often still better than going month to month.
The best way you can support renewable energy is by getting a 100% green plan. They’re often cheaper too. Visit www.texaselectricityratings.com to find the best green deals for your home.