Electricity in Texas repeats the tragedy of California, and heat disrupts 6 plants

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  • The high temperature stops the work of 6 power stations, and causes a loss of 3 gigawatts
  • Outages threaten the state’s residents after an unseasonal rise in temperatures
  • Temperatures record 78 degrees Celsius, and it is expected to increase further
  • Texas Electricity Utility Invites Residents to Turn On Thermostats
  • Saving electricity consumption and large appliances avoids interruptions in the state

The electricity sector in Texas has been affected by supply disruptions that have reached the point of blackouts in the US state of California, with temperatures soaring to record levels.

Rising temperatures prompted the Texas Electricity Reliability Authority (Irkut) to take action to save supplies; After 6 plants involved in the production of electricity in the state were shut down, according to CNN.

The Texas power sector faces the threat of blackouts, nearly two weeks after California faced the same scenario.

Temperature and weather changes

Unusually for such times of the year, temperatures have risen to record levels – not seasonally – driving increased demand for electricity in Texas across the state.

Electricity in Texas
Power grid towers in Texas – Photo by CNN

This comes in conjunction with the exposure of most of the southern states in America to unprecedented levels of temperatures during the weekend, threatening to increase the exacerbating drought rates.

Last Saturday, temperatures in the state jumped between 10 and 15 degrees from normal levels, as they recorded degrees in the average nineties on the Fahrenheit scale, and reached 100 degrees on Sunday to (78 degrees Celsius).

Central and western states scored between 100 and 105 degrees, exceeding normal levels by about 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meteorological forecasts indicate that temperatures could break the 100-degree Fahrenheit barrier this week.

The Fahrenheit scale is a unit of measurement used only in America and Liberia to monitor temperatures, and its measurements are equivalent to the degrees Celsius used to measure temperature in most parts of the world, minus the freezing point of water in Celsius scale.

100 degrees Fahrenheit = (100 degrees Celsius – 32)

Electrical troubles in Texas

Unusually high temperatures in the second largest US state in terms of area and population not only affected the drought rates and the exacerbated feeling of heat, but also extended to disrupt the electricity supply in Texas.

And the state’s Electricity Reliability Authority tried not to repeat the grim scenario that the state was exposed to in February last year, after more than 200 residents died of “hypothermia” caused by continuous exposure to low temperatures.

Cold waves pushed Texas electricity demand soaring, and the state plunged into darkness and widespread blackouts, under which the Irkut Reliability Authority was brought under scrutiny, and its CEO, Bill Magnes, was fired in March 2021.

Solve the electricity crisis in Texas

The Texas Electricity Reliability Authority “Irkut” monitored an increase in demand for supplies in conjunction with the increase in temperatures this week, which stopped the work of 6 power plants and the network lacked nearly 2 gigawatts and 900 megawatts.

Irkut asked 26 million of its customers in the state to take several measures in an attempt not to repeat the scenario of last year, which led to the death of 200 people after a severe cold weather wave.

The temporary CEO of the authority, Brad Jones, announced measures to adapt to the standard temperature levels, including raising the thermostat and setting it to a level of 78 degrees or more, in addition to avoiding operating large appliances such as dishwashers, clothes and dryers, especially during peak hours on the weekend. the week.

Last Wednesday, the Electricity Reliability Authority called on stations to postpone the power cut to provide supplies to residents of the state, according to a statement.

Natural gas is an essential source of electricity generation
Texas Electricity Production by Source in February 2021

Electricity production in Texas

In the midst of increasing demand for electricity in Texas in conjunction with an unseasonal rise in temperatures, renewable energy sources and their installed capacity recorded, during the first quarter of this year from January to the end of March, an increase to a record level.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis recorded that solar and wind energy recorded a 34% share in the electricity production mix in Texas, with an increase for each of them up to 71%, compared to an increase in demand during the same period, by 9%.

During the first quarter, electricity production in Texas from renewable sources outperformed that of gas, which recorded 31.25%.

This past winter, renewables played an important role in meeting electricity demand in Texas, and saved the state from repeating last year’s scenario.

A study prepared by researchers from Stanford University in the United States concluded that switching to renewable energy sources to a large extent may contribute to the state’s avoiding potential power outages.

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