In Texas, “low temperatures caused natural gas, coal, nuclear, and wind electricity generators to fail, with natural gas being the largest source of electricity and failure,” the report says.
At least 246 deaths were reported as a result of last February’s Texas winter storms.
Stockpiling energy for such extreme weather events is critical in preventing grid failure and subsequent outages, the study’s authors stress.
They say pooling and refreshing stores of high-capacity batteries when energy availability is at its highest will create reserves for when demand is greatest — or when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun is not shining.
In North Carolina, weather variability will add another layer of insulation against grid strain, according to the study.
“This is helped by the fact that, during cold storms, winds are stronger and wind/solar are complementary in nature,” the authors explain.
Replicating ‘real world’
The study makes both broad and highly specific assumptions to reach conclusions about what will happen nearly three decades from now, something the authors are careful to concede when they note several “uncertainties,” including “whether the models used here can replicate the real world.”