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Energy News | January 16, 2023

Shocking Study on Texas Grid Redesign Ignores Climate Change Impact 

Electricity Grid

When seeking solutions, it is crucial to understand the problem at hand. Unfortunately, a recent study commissioned by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) failed to do just that. The $600,000 report, conducted by California-based consulting firm E3, aimed to recommend a new market design for the state’s power grid. However, it failed to consider the impact of extreme weather events, such as the devastating winter storm that hit Texas in 2021. 

Shockingly, the study states that such analysis “is beyond the scope of this study.”  

This is a major oversight, as climate change is driving an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. This means that Texas is no longer experiencing “average years,” and a market design that is only reliable in average conditions is insufficient. 

Furthermore, the study also neglects to consider the availability of fuel for thermal resources. This was a major contributing factor to the blackouts experienced during the winter storm. Yet, the report simply states that “the availability of fuels for thermal resources is not considered in this analysis; all thermal resources are assumed to have unlimited access to fuel when needed.” 

It is disheartening that a study funded by taxpayers’ dollars would have such glaring omissions. Any future studies on the power grid must consider the reality of climate change and its impact on the state. Without doing so, any solutions proposed will be fundamentally flawed and fail to address the true issues at hand. 

In conclusion, it is clear that the recent study commissioned by Texas grid regulators is lacking in important considerations such as extreme weather and fuel availability. This highlights the need for alternative solutions, such as solar energy, to ensure reliability and protection during unexpected power outages.  

As residents of San Antonio, it is important for homeowners to consider the benefits of solar systems, including a backup battery, to safeguard against blackouts and brownouts in the future. Not only will it supply a dependable source of energy, but it also offers financial savings and environmental benefits. It is time to think outside of the traditional grid and explore the potential of installing solar energy to secure a sustainable and reliable power source. 

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