The U.S. Department of Energy released an emergency order to protect the power grid in Texas during its relentless heatwave. The order is aimed at conserving energy in the state as increased usage, to power air conditioners for example, has taken a toll.
“I hereby determine that an emergency exists in Texas due to a shortage of electric energy, a shortage of facilities for the generation of electric energy, and other causes, and that issuance of this Order will meet the emergency and serve the public interest,” said Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary Of Energy, in the document.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), which is responsible for 90% of the
electric customers in Texas, filed a request for the order after facing increasing demand.
Earlier this week, when expecting greater pressure on the grid, ERCOT warned that it may need to issue rolling power blackouts—but has been able to avoid that outcome. ERCOT had to issue blackouts after a deadly winter storm in 2021. Since then, Texas has been relying on more wind and solar energy to help provide power during this summer heatwave.
As a result of higher demand, power costs in Texas have risen exponentially during peak times. According to a report from the Federal Reserve of Dallas, business executives report that the heatwave over the past couple of months has greatly impacted their organizations; around 25% said that revenue and production have either decreased slightly or significantly due to high temperatures in recent months.