The Texas power outage: Don't blame the sun or wind

2.7 million households without power as Texans wake up to cold

Significant ice accumulation a primary reason behind the widespread power outages could be expected in parts of Texas, the Lower Mississippi Valley, Virginia and North Carolina by Wednesday night, the weather service said.

Millions are without power in Texas amid a devastating winter storm.

The Southwest Power Pool, a group of utilities covering 14 states, said the blackouts were "a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole".

The statement comes as freezing temperatures are forecast again for Thursday, extending an already excruciating period.

"Failures of Power", said the Houston Chronicle.

"The crisis extended to key facilities, depriving hospitals and the Harris County Jail of running water".

"A lot of people don't know the severity of what's going on".

Hinojosa said Wednesday that blame for the intertwined emergencies facing the people of Texas ultimately lies at the feet of Abbott, whose "lack of care has put lives and communities in danger".

Another round of harsh weather is forecast.

US President Joe Biden earlier approved a state of emergency for Texas, which has been blanketed by snow and ice since the storm swept in at the weekend. About 100 school systems closed, delayed opening or switched to remote classes in Alabama, where forecasters said conditions might not improve until temperatures rise above freezing Wednesday afternoon. Icing on bridges and overpasses will remain a threat until late Sunday into Monday. "The implementation of this load shed across the Entergy region will help ensure an adequate reserve margin, which helps ensure Entergy is better positioned to manage through additional extreme weather this week". But Texas' entire power grid is created to meet peak demand in the summer, when air conditioners all kick in at once.

The blackouts, which have left as many as 4 million Texans trapped in the cold, show the numerous chilling consequences of putting too many eggs in the renewable basket. In Houston, residents were told to boil their water - if they had power to do so - because of a major drop in water pressure linked to the weather.

The Texas city of Kyle, south of Austin, asked residents to suspend water usage until further notice because of a shortage.

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Trilby Landry, a 57-year-old homeless man, was escaping the cold at the Gallery Furniture store in Houston, which opened its doors as a warming center, joining people who had fled homes with busted heating systems and water pipes.

Republican politicians in Texas, including Perry and Abbott, have bragged out the deregulation of Texas' energy market - insisting that it is a good thing that power companies themselves rather than government regulators can determine the ways in which power plants are built and maintained in the Lone Star State.

Overall, daily USA natural gas production is down by roughly 19% from the end of last week to 71.9 bcf per day on Wednesday, according to preliminary Eikon data.

"We're now the Alone Star State", Professor Robert Bullard, known as the "father of environmental justice", said on the Democracy Now! news hour from Houston, soon after his power had been restored. Gov. Abbott doesn't seem to have a grasp on his state, so here's a reminder: Texas runs 80-90% on fossil fuels.

"We will keep working around the clock until every single customer has their power back on", ERCOT operations director Dan Woodfin said.

"(Ava) is down to half a can of formula", Philip said.

The storm has caused serious outages across the country, including in Louisiana, Mississippi and Kentucky.

Utilities from Minnesota to Texas implemented rolling blackouts to ease the burden on power grids straining to meet extreme demand for heat and electricity.

The lack of winter preparedness has always been an issue for ERCOT's power system.

One county said it had seen more than 300 suspected carbon monoxide cases during the cold snap. A 350-page federal report on the outages found that the power generators' winterization procedures were "either inadequate or were not adequately followed".

"If we had waited and not done outages and reduced demand to reflect what was going on on the overall system, we could have drifted toward a blackout", Magness said.

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