This past week has shown North America the severity of climate change. With arctic storms and temperatures affecting the entire mid-west and south-west, millions of Americans were left without power. One of the most affected areas, Texas, is still experiencing massive blackouts and the state has already seen several dozen deaths due to the weather conditions.
An uproar across the state sparked when images of frozen wind turbines surfaced, catching much of the blame for the decimated energy grid. However, was renewable energy to blame in this instance?
Texas does not experience snow and cold weather like the northern states. As such, there is little investment in infrastructure preventing cold weather and snowstorms from damaging the grid. While renewable energy sources did fail, the loss of power to the grid from renewables only made up about a third of the energy loss. The other two-thirds came from fossil fuel generators, which were also majorly disabled due to the cold. So what is the solution to prevent this from happening again?
Massive investment into infrastructure and a redesign of nearly the entire electrical grid. Climate change is drastically changing our world, and superstorms such as these will only grow more common. Even as we fight to curb emissions, the climate is changing, and the globe heating.
Biden has a challenging road ahead in regard to energy reform, but this most recent storm has opened the eyes of many renewable naysayers. However, there is still fierce opposition to renewables, especially in Texas, where the energy grid has been independent of the rest of the country for decades. With each passing year, changes to weather patterns become more apparent, and the need to invest in clean energy becomes more dire. Biden’s greatest challenge will be trying to compromise with more renewable resistant states while attempting to transition the country entirely to renewables.
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