How The Harsh Texas Winter Exposed America’s Power Grid Problems

Texas had a harsh winter in 2021.

In mid-February, with temperatures falling into the single digits, electricity demand hit a record throughout Texas. The supply ran out, prompting the state’s power grid operator to implement continuous power outages. At the height of the crisis, more than 4.5 million customers were without power. The strange winter storm caused neighboring states like Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas to also impose continuous blackouts.

Texans shivered with cold as the blackouts lasted for days in a row. They lost access to water. Some resorted to starting their cars in their garages to keep warm and later died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The historic collapse was a wake-up call: If the electrical grid in Texas was so fragile, what about the rest of the United States? The United States has faced a 67% increase in weather-related power outages since 2000, according to data from Climate Central. Part of the problem is aging infrastructure. Most of today’s power grid was built in the 1950s and 1960s, with the hope that it would last 50 years.

Watch the video above to find out what happened in the Texas power outage and how it is a warning sign for the US power grid.


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