The message that we need to electrify everything that currently uses fossil fuels to generate energy has become the dominant message of the energy transition. Solar, wind, and energy storage—perhaps with the help of hydropower and some nuclear—can handle the energy needs of mankind, the argument goes, and do it with a much lower carbon footprint.
Yet, the Arctic cold wave that is sweeping across the United States has seriously undermined this argument.
Natural gas prices exploded last week in many parts of the U.S. and are still rising higher, as are electricity prices. In Texas, a state unaccustomed to such weather, wholesale electricity prices hit $9,000 per MWh on the spot market, prompting at least one retail power supplier to urge its clients to switch to another provider to avoid huge utility bills.
Blackouts are now a fact, with two million households across Texas without power at the time of writing. Authorities, meanwhile, are urging people to conserve energy by limiting their consumption. ERCOT has said the blackouts will be rolling, lasting for 45 minutes per area. This may not be a lot, but it does indicate the presence of a problem.
Texas, the Wind Capital of the U.S.
Texas is the biggest producer of wind energy in the United States….