Winter is coming and the U.S. grid remains vulnerable to power plant failures
…Although during severe weather many gas power plants failed because of freezing equipment, others were unable to run because they weren’t able to get fuel.
“Where we haven’t seen much progress is making sure the fuel supply is firmed up,” said Devin Hartman, director of energy and environmental policy at the R Street Institute, a Washington think tank focused on policy solutions. “We really have to talk about gas industry reforms as well. There’s only so much juice we can squeeze out of this lemon on just the electric side…”
Hartman said it’s time to have a “conversation about prudent investment in the gas industry” so it can perform when needed, such as during severe weather.
“Natural gas, to be totally frank, is going to play a very major role in the electric fuel mix for at least a couple of decades,” he said…
For some, there’s also a broad need to promote more “demand response,” the ability to cut electric demand for some nonessential customers during severe weather. Hartman, from the R Street Institute, said that in Austin during the deadly Winter Storm Uri, “we were keeping downtown vacant office buildings lit up while people in other parts of the city were without electricity…”