Clean Economy Weekly (newsletter):
The electricity grid that serves most of Texas hit an all-time record for demand last Thursday, topping out at 73,259 megawatts between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. The record may not stand for long, as hot conditions continue.
The heat is causing hardship across the state and the country, and also providing lessons for the people who manage the grid and make energy policy.
Texas leads the nation in wind energy. Meanwhile, the state has seen a wave of coal-plant closings, as the plants cannot compete with less expensive power from renewables and natural gas.
Supporters of coal power have long said that renewables are not reliable enough, and they said their point would be proved in a crisis, be it a heat wave or a winter storm.
Now, the crisis is here, and so far Texas’s grid is holding up fine. To understand what’s happening…
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