Frozen wind turbines in Texas caused some conservative state politicians to declare Tuesday that the state was relying too much on renewable energy. But in reality, the lost wind power makes up only a fraction of the reduction in power-generating capacity that has brought outages to millions of Texans across the state during a major winter storm.
An official with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said Tuesday afternoon that 16 gigawatts of renewable energy generation, mostly wind generation, were offline. Nearly double that, 30 gigawatts, had been lost from thermal sources, which includes gas, coal and nuclear energy.
ERCOT implemented blackouts on Monday as power plants went offline
Demand for electricity during the weekend cold front far exceeded what the Electric Reliability Council of Texas predicted for a winter storm. ERCOT implemented blackouts early Monday morning to reduce demand as low temperatures forced more power sources offline than expected.
“Texas is a gas state,” said Michael Webber, an energy resources professor at the University of Texas at Austin.