Current power crunch underscores Texas Legislature’s lackluster efforts to “fix the grid”

When Texas state senators and representatives return to their home districts this summer season, theyll have the ability to tell constituents they did something in action to this winter seasons deadly energy crisis. They better not boast. And they might face some challenging questions when constituents ask why the Electric Reliability Council Of Texas is facing another supply crisis during an extremely foreseeable warm June.Because despite promises to ensure Februarys grid failures are never ever duplicated, the Legislature only passed modest grid-related bills this session. They missed a once-in-a-generation chance to pass comprehensive electrical power reforms that would have strengthened the grid and secured Texans from increasingly frequent weather-related energy crises. And they invested an unforgivable quantity of time and effort damning solar, wind and electrical lorries and considering punitive legislation that had absolutely nothing to do with Februarys disaster.What got passedElectric utilities and generators will finally be needed to weatherize their equipment against extreme winter season. It is doubtful any natural gas facilities that are not already weatherized will be needed to weatherize, though, due to basic flaws in the legislation. SB 3 also enhanced inter-agency and public communications during a weather crisis. Existing power crunch underscores Texas Legislatures dull efforts to “fix the grid” Click To TweetThere were likewise some changes to how ERCOT and the general public Utility Commission of Texas are governed– who can and cant hold leadership positions and where they can and cant live, for instance– political modifications that wouldnt have prevented the crisis or conserved a single life.What got passed overMore various than the modifications legislators enacted are the genuine, long-lasting services they left on the table– services that would improve power grid resiliency, secure Texans in their houses and develop a more fair energy market while speeding up the decarbonization of our energy system.They overlooked the power of energy efficiency to lower overall electric demand and secure people from the cold or heat during extended outages. Lowering energy intake through more efficient usage is just as impactful as adding brand-new generation resources. For decades, energy performance steps have actually shown to be among the most affordable and cleanest ways to balance supply and need. After all, the cleanest and cheapest kilowatt is the one you dont need to create, transmit and use. This winter, it would likely have actually conserved lives in older and less wealthy neighborhoods where some Texans took unsafe procedures to attempt to stay warm.In reality, the Legislature handed down expanding solutions that would reduce grid need while saving consumers cash. Need response innovation, energy performance, regional dispersed power generation, and different automation and energy management tools have shown their ability to reduce and handle electrical energy need. These technologies saved lives this winter. These steps might shave vital megawatts from the states demand if welcomed more enthusiastically by Texas leaders. However, none got a fair hearing this session.And environmental groups like EDF arent the only ones who think the Legislature left proven solutions on the table. A group of 5 previous commissioners of the PUCT recently released a report prompting more action on numerous of these same things.The Legislature did discover time to attack tidy energy and electric vehiclesIn the middle of the February crisis, Gov. Greg Abbott spread out frauds on Fox News that frozen wind turbines caused the grid failure. He rapidly backtracked, but his associates in the Legislature continued the attacks. One proposition would have required solar and wind power manufacturers to carry all of the costs of preserving minute-to-minute dependability for the whole electric grid– costs that are usually shared by all customers. The bill was not only punitive, but it had nothing to do with the winter crisis. Another proposition would have imposed an outrageously high yearly fee on electric car drivers.A missed opportunity to secure Texans and fortify the gridWhen the winter season storm hit, EDF was meticulously optimistic that our chosen officials would think about all affordable options that would fortify the grid versus extreme weather and secure Texans from future blackouts. This was the third winter storm in current years, hundreds of Texans passed away, and millions were left without power and water due to the fact that the grid was so vulnerable.Just last week, Gov. Abbott pronounced that he and the Legislature “repaired all the defects” that triggered Februarys lethal grid failure. Thats merely not real, and even some Abbott allies understand it. Right before the reforms passed, state agent Chris Paddie, one of the reforms chief designers, yielded “There are more things to do going forward … And were going to dive into those in the interim.”EDF and lots of other groups will certainly rally to ensure Chairman Paddie keeps his word. In the meantime, the issue now relocates to ERCOT and the PUCT– both of which can and ought to deploy fair and sensible modifications to increase resiliency, save clients cash, and decarbonize the grid.

And they might face some tough concerns when constituents ask why the Electric Reliability Council Of Texas is facing another supply crisis during a very predictable warm June.Because regardless of promises to make sure Februarys grid failures are never ever duplicated, the Legislature only passed modest grid-related costs this session. They missed a once-in-a-generation chance to pass extensive electricity reforms that would have strengthened the grid and safeguarded Texans from increasingly frequent weather-related energy crises. Present power crunch underscores Texas Legislatures lackluster efforts to “repair the grid” Click To TweetThere were likewise some changes to how ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission of Texas are governed– who can and cant hold management positions and where they can and cant live, for example– political modifications that wouldnt have avoided the crisis or saved a single life.What got passed overMore many than the changes lawmakers enacted are the genuine, long-term services they left on the table– services that would enhance power grid resiliency, secure Texans in their houses and produce a more fair energy market while speeding up the decarbonization of our energy system.They disregarded the power of energy efficiency to minimize overall electrical demand and safeguard individuals from the cold or heat during extended failures. A group of 5 previous commissioners of the PUCT recently released a report advising additional action on numerous of these exact same things.The Legislature did discover time to attack clean energy and electrical vehiclesIn the middle of the February crisis, Gov. Greg Abbott spread out fallacies on Fox News that frozen wind turbines caused the grid failure.

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