It is unbelievable how close the Texas power grid came to complete shut down:
From the article:
“Texas’ power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, officials with the entity that operates the grid said Thursday… The worst case scenario: Demand for power overwhelms the supply of power generation available on the grid, causing equipment to catch fire, substations to blow, power lines to go down. If the grid had gone totally offline, the physical damage to power infrastructure from overwhelming the grid can take months to repair, said Bernadette Johnson, senior vice president of power and renewables at Enverus, an oil and gas software and information company headquartered in Austin.”
This comment on Reddit described the worsening situation in real time:
From the comment:
“Update8 (FEB15 12 noon): ERCOT’s poor planning (long term, not just last night) has now caused Texas to lose 30% of its generating capacity. When this is over, we need to insist that ERCOT change both the emergency response load-shedding model, and their worst-case temperature event model. ERCOT’s poorly-devised playbook last night has caused what should have been an 8 GW shortfall to become a 22 GW shortfall… in real-world terms, that means six million additional homes are without power, versus what could have happened if the grid didn’t nearly fall off a cliff last night. Note: Both numbers I mention above were possible given the current weather conditions. The additional 14 GW shortfall is a direct result of ERCOT’s emergency measures further destabilizing the (already unstable) grid… telling everyone to start brownouts at exactly the same time (as happened last night) destabilized the grid so greatly that several baseload plants offlined themselves (so they wouldn’t blow up). Here are my long term suggestions to ERCOT.”
Say that a month-long blackout had occurred. Texas would have likely descended into total mayhem – no power, no water, no food (the stores were already bare), people dying en masse and so on. It would have been a true doomsday situation. How would anyone prepare for that? This is an interesting video for a perspective on this question:
“The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.