SPE Live: The Texas Power Failure: What Went Wrong and Why?

Extremely cold weather left many Texas residents without power and caused oil prices to reach a 13 month high. What happened to the Texas power grid and are there ways to prevent similar difficulties in the future.

SPE Live: The Texas Power Failure — What Went Wrong and Why?

Oil prices peaked at a 13 month high this month, stimulated by the Texas freeze which closed wells in the United States' biggest oil producing state. The cold snap caused mayhem across Texas, with nearly 4 million homes and businesses experiencing power shortages. The National Weather Service (NWS) announced that more than 150 million Americans are were under winter storm warnings.

As the cold snap continues, the blame game continues to peak, with waggling fingers pointing at each other across the energy mix. The Texas power grid, powered primarily by natural gas and wind turbines saw natural gas shortages and frozen turbines bringing power generation to a near halt. Notwithstanding, iced-over coal and nuclear plants didn't have much success either — Cue the blame game. As electricity supply and demand factors knocked heads, spot electricity prices skyrocketed and one interesting/yet sad, take away is that at one point, charging your Tesla could have cost you $900! So what went wrong and could this have been preempted?

Trent Jacobs, JPT Digital Editor talks with Joshua Rhodes of the University of Texas at Austin and Ed Hirs of the University of Houston.