“Rolling blackouts generally result from two causes: insufficient generation capacity or inadequate transmission infrastructure to deliver sufficient power to the area where it is needed.”
The rolling blackouts in Texas indicate that people are consuming too much electricity for their power grids to handle. Often, energy companies will create rolling blackouts to prevent overloads on the system, thus dispersing the effects of the forced energy saving among many people, rather than cutting off electricity to one place for a longer period of time.
Due to the sustained heat wave that has struck Texas, power consumption has risen dramatically. This is primarily attributed to the use of air conditioners. While Texas has the most wind power in the nation, their summer weather isn’t usually accompanied by consistent winds, which renders that energy source essentially useless in these circumstances.
Actually, rolling blackouts have not been implemented in Texas yet. ERCOT has only been issuing calls for conservation, especially between the hours of 3 and 7pm (peak demand time), the past week or so in order to avoid implementing rolling blackouts. Some tips for conserving energy are turning off appliances that you are not using and not washing laundry between the hours of 3 and 7. They are really trying to avoid rolling blackouts so electricity and cool air can be continuously provided and people weren’t a fan of the rolling blackouts last February during the ice storm.
The sustained record-breaking heat with little or no rain or cloud cover as well as the economic and population growth in the major cities are major factors for the high demand for energy this summer.
For information on rolling blackouts work (i.e. who gets turned off first), you can look at this article which details how the rolling blackouts will affect Austin: http://www.kutnews.org/post/who-gets-shut-if-we-have-rolling-blackouts
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