By Thrisha Kumar
To a great extent, news has been circulating about the unfortunate circumstances that Texas has been going through. Although the region is one of the warmest, the temperature unexpectedly dropped to the subzeroes. The freezing temperatures resulted in power outages in many parts of the state.
The Power Outage
The regulators in Texas have mostly worked on using renewable sources to provide electricity in the power grid. Since they have policies in place regarding the use of renewable electricity, it has pushed the state away from nuclear and coal sources. The wind source that Texas uses is fallible. Tens of billions of dollars were spent on wind turbines by the state but they don’t work when people need electricity at the end of their rope. When the weather hit the skids, half of the wind generation froze.
If the state invested more in nuclear plants instead of immensely pushing wind power, it’s likely Texans would have had unrestricted, trustworthy, emission-free electricity that would have kept them from the piercing cold. Instead, over 20 people died. This sad outcome was inescapable since renewable energy sources have become prevalent, mainly because of state mandates and federal subsidies. As they’ve become more popular, reliable energy sources like nuclear power and coal have fallen short.
Pipes began to burst across Texas as water inside them froze and expanded in the cold. This issue will aggravate once heat fully returns. As the ice thaws and melts, leading water to flow at full blast, too much liquid will flow in at once, which will then break through small cracks in pipes, forming a gusher.
Nearly 9 million are still facing water disruptions, and many are still told to boil water before drinking. Houston went 44 consecutive hours with temperatures below freezing. However, the good news is that the temperatures are increasing and residents can enjoy temperatures in the 70s this week. As the situation recovers, it’s hopefully better planning will be in place in the event this happens again, accounting for changing weather patterns brought on by climate change.