Who’s to Blame for the Texas Power Crisis? by Leonard Hyman and William Tilles

There’s more than enough blame to go around for the Texas’s deadly fiasco. From Leonard Hyman and William Tilles at wolfstreet.com:

Our last report focused on the uniqueness of the Texas wholesale electricity market, ERCOT, and how it was specifically designed to evade federal utility regulation. And as if he were our paid spokesperson, former Texas governor Rick Perry stated publicly that Texans were happy to suffer blackouts and other hardships if it meant evading federal regulatory scrutiny. Whether the good (and shivering) citizens of the Lone Star State agree is another matter. But today, instead of dealing with politics, we’ll take a closer look at ERCOT as a state planning agency.

First the good news. One of the hardest parts of every planning agency’s job is correctly estimating future demand. This is doubly hard in a dynamic, fast growing economy like Texas. Consequently we were surprised at how good their planning estimate was for this winter’s electrical load of about 67,000 megawatts.

Because of the blackouts we can’t precisely know what peak electrical demand in Texas would’ve been given the extreme winter demands from home heating and the like. But the shadow estimates published by ERCOT suggested about 72,000 megawatts of peak demand.

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3 responses to “Who’s to Blame for the Texas Power Crisis? by Leonard Hyman and William Tilles

  1. The science is one thing. The fun part will be the political barbecue. ERCOT should be close to #1 on the fire–5 of the 15 board members do not reside in Texas. The chairwoman lives in Michigan and the vicechair resides in California. Other board members live in Toronto, Maine, and Illinois. I have also read that the board members select and vote on new members. There may be just a few of us who did not enjoy the loss of power, electric roll outs, loss of water(contaminated), etc –>will get to input about this travesty. This should help to warm up the weather.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/ercot-officials-spent-40-seconds-on-winter-storm-preparedness-at-feb-9-meeting/ar-BB1dQbm9

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    • Neil

      I hope you’re staying reasonably warm and safe. I have an inordinate love for Texas and Texans (I married one) and I’m sure the state will come back stronger than ever, after a few ass-whuppins, of course.

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  2. Robert, Thank you for your concern. As of 6 pm all the water line leaks are fixed( = well water back on) and the power is back to normal, so we are fine. Hopefully there will be a few ass-whuppins in Austin over this.

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