[Editor note: Dr. Giberson is an instructor and research associate at the Center for Energy Commerce at Texas Tech University’s Rawls College of Business. He blogs on energy economics and other topics at Knowledge Problem.]
On Wednesday morning, The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), operating the power grid for much of the state, called upon local distribution companies to cut power to blocks of consumers on a rotating basis.
The rolling outages produced hardship for millions, and even isolated instances of severe harm. Consumers and policymakers are dissecting what went wrong and what should be done about it. The following is a preliminary analysis based on public data and news reports. A subsequent post will present more details once more complete information becomes available.
In brief, extreme cold weather pushed power demand to very high winter levels.…