Feb 19, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Texas power outage: How different electricity sources fare in extreme weather

a graph showing texas power regeneration by type of power source
Reproduced from IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

The International Energy Agency is out with a helpful primer on how things got so bad in Texas earlier this week — and how to make power systems more resilient to weather extremes.

The big picture: Part of their analysis looked at what happened when bitter cold caused a surge in demand but also hampered natural gas production and power generation equipment.

  • The chart above shows the production drop-off.

By the numbers: All major forms of generation were affected, but gas took the biggest hit.

  • "Gas‑fired generation has a rated winter capacity of 55 GW but output dropped to 31 GW on 15 February due to issues throughout the supply chain — freezing wellheads, pipeline derates and generator equipment failures all contributed," IEA notes.
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