The Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ (ERCOT) decision to impose rolling blackouts on millions of customers led to crisis conditions for many residents amid one of the worst winter storms in recent memory. It has also triggered a debate over who or what was to blame for the power outages in Texas. While several power sources failed during the storms, many have said the frozen wind turbines are to blame.
U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw pointed the finger at wind power for causing the blackouts. He tweeted, “This is what happens when you force the grid to rely in part on wind as a power source. When weather conditions get bad as they did this week, intermittent renewable energy like wind isn’t there when you need it.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott agreed, telling Fox News that frozen wind turbines were the main problem for the grid. “This shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America,” he said. “Texas is blessed with multiple sources of energy, such as natural gas and oil and nuclear, as well as solar and wind. But … our wind and our solar that got shut down … thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power [on] a statewide basis.”
But energy experts say wind power is not to blame, stressing instead that the power system as a whole failed. While frozen wind turbines impacted output, the drop in output from natural gas and coal power plants was even greater during the storm.