Released February 16, 2021
The regression of energy systems will be crucial for extreme weather events at this time of climate change. Cold records recorded in Texas and several U.S. states illustrate this painfully. Thousands of wind turbines and dozens of gas power plants are actually frozen, depriving millions of homes of electricity.
American power grids are very fragile. The polar cold wave covering many states again shows their relevance. Texas has been particularly hard hit. All infrastructures were affected as the temperature was -25 C lower than the seasonal norms. The capital, Houston, has reached -9 C and is covered with a thick layer of ice.
Faced with exceptional conditions, many gas-fired power plants, the region’s primary power source, and coal-fired power plants began to operate in very poor condition. Half of the state’s wind turbines, as a second supply source (23% of the electric mix), were frozen at their feet. As for the photovoltaic output, it is at zero. Only two Komanch Peak nuclear power plants are still 100% operational.
Oil production stopped
As a result, operators had to arrange power cuts to avoid a global collapse of the network. Thus at any given time two to three million households lose power for a period of ten minutes to several hours. President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency in the state. Other states face similar difficulties to a lesser extent. This is the situation in Alabama, Oklahoma, Kansas and Mississippi and Oregon.
Apart from electricity, oil production is also severely affected. In Texas, about two million barrels a day have disappeared from manufacturing markets. The result was an immediate rise in prices beyond $ 60, a record for thirteen months as the epidemic crisis pushed prices down in recent months.
Ludovic Dupin Ud Ludovic Dupin