Texas is not used to seeing winter storms, so when an ice storm hit in 2021, it took a toll on the state’s energy grid. Blackouts were widespread, and people died as a result.
Some people wonder if a blackout could occur again in the state. E&E News explains the state is vulnerable to another weather-related problem in the future.
Before you get too worried, you should know companies worked on the grid that went down in 2021. They have made improvements to make it less likely to go down again. They undertook many weatherization activities to bolster the grid.
Despite the improvements to the grid, there are still lingering issues in the industry. Regulators have not done a lot to address demand spikes and setups that could be factors in another blackout.
Specific problems remain with the gas supply and communication network. There are also concerns that high demand is still not meetable by providers.
Then, there are things the companies cannot control. A downed power line is something nobody can prevent, but the response teams need to work quickly to fix the issue. Of course, if the weather is bad enough, even crews will have a difficult time making it on the site to make repairs.
Experts say the biggest issues within the energy grid are at the local level. If there are blackouts, it likely is a local problem, so these energy providers need to step up and make weatherization changes and develop action plans to address severe weather-related problems.
While it is impossible to control all variables, if energy companies and local providers address the things they can control, it could greatly decrease the chances of a future deadly blackout.