Texas issues additional warnings regarding electricity supply this winter.

“In Texas, the risk of reserve shortage is greater than last winter mostly because of the robust load growth that is not being met by corresponding growth in dispatchable resources, the report says. Electricity demand in the state rises sharply as extreme cold weather adds to winter operating challenges and energy shortfall risks.”

Texas issues additional warnings regarding electricity supply this winter

I am getting tired of all the electric grid warnings that we have had to endure in 2023. Unfortunately, I am afraid that in 2024 I will look back at 2023 and long for the good old days, since things are likely to continue to get worse. What is happening?

3 primary issues:

  1. Load growth.
  2. Winter cold weather.
  3. Lack of base load dispatchable power.

Solar is exploding in Texas and that is a good thing, except when you fail to recognize that solar is not dispatchable and production falls substantially in winter. Texas is unique in that winter heating is almost exclusively by electric heat pumps. While this is indeed more efficient than other forms of heating, it puts additional strain / load on the grid during the year when solar production declines by 30-40%, leaving the grid precariously close to failure.

The energy transition must be well planned and orchestrated to ensure that while we move towards a zero carbon future we don’t reduce our standard of living, or worse reduce the living. I am afraid to acknowledge however we are barreling towards the future without a plan.