Ten years ago, in February 2011, it was already very cold in Texas, when a cold front descended in the southwest, resulting in four days of freezing temperatures.
It turned out that the network was not able to stand that at the time, so a report was drawn up with recommendations for better handling of winter temperatures, says reporter Lucas Wagmeister. “Nothing was done about it at that time, because the required investment must eventually pass to the consumer.”
Independence causes problems
The Texas electricity market is also very competitive by American standards. Because this cold winter weather is so rare, energy companies are not investing in a system that is more resistant to peak loads. Because this means that they will have to charge consumers a higher price.
According to American journalist and expert Lily Frank, it was a political decision not to invest money in the network. “That conversation is sure to take place again in the near future. Texas now has a relatively low energy bill, but cheap at the end of the day?”
Problems due to autonomy
It is also not possible to use energy from other countries. There are three so called Electricity networks Or electricity grids in the United States: one for the eastern part of the country, one for the western part, and one for Texas itself. “It is not subject to the federal government and it is completely self-sufficient. Texas considers it an advantage that it does not require transactions with other states,” explains Frank.
But this thirst for self-rule is causing problems now. “States that fall under other grids can use each other’s electricity, but Texas – with some minor exceptions with New Mexico – cannot import anything outside of the state’s borders,” says Frank.