Why the Deep Freeze Caused Texas to Lose Power

Supporting water and disaster risk management in Mozambique using Google Earth Engine

Damaged and flooded houses after Cyclone Kenneth. Photo:fivepointsix/Shutterstock.com

Cyclone Eloise just hit Mozambique’s Sofala coastal province at the end of last month, displacing thousands of people and ruining crops[1]. The authorities are still gauging the full extent of the damage by severe winds and heavy rains across the rest of the region, but this is nothing that Mozambique has had to face for the first time. Throughout its history, the country has coped with a succession of cyclones and floods and has been repeatedly exposed to disastrous events in recent years.

Mozambique’s geographic position, location, and size leave the country vulnerable to extreme and complex hydrological hazards[2]. Cyclones pose the most significant and recurring risk to Mozambique, affecting 2 million people per year in the coastal regions. Droughts and floods also affect many people: 600,000 people by drought and 200,000 people by floods each year on average…

Why the Deep Freeze Caused Texas to Lose Power

On Sunday night, as a burst of Arctic air swept southward across the Great Plains, power plants in Texas started flicking offline.

Wind generation fell 32% between 9 p.m. Sunday and 3 a.m. Monday local time, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration figures. Coal dropped 13%. And natural gas generation, the cornerstone of the Texas grid, plummeted 25% over that six-hour period.

“One of the big lessons here is gas is treated as a firm resource, but it is not because it relies on just-in-time delivery”

Alex Gilbert – Payne Institute for Public Policy.

By the time the sun rose over Texas around 7 a.m., energy demand on the state’s primary electric grid had surged to about 71 gigawatts. Texas power plants were only able to muster up roughly 51 GW of electricity, leaving millions without power and shivering in the cold…

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