Texas Power Prices Surge 20,000% Amid Sweltering Heat Wave Triggering Emergency Alert

Texas witnessed a staggering 20,000% surge in power prices during a severe heat wave, prompting the state’s grid operator to declare an emergency alert. On Wednesday evening, by 8:20 pm local time, spot electricity prices had skyrocketed to over $5,000 per megawatt-hour, a more than 200-fold increase from earlier in the day, as reported by the Dallas Morning News.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued an “Energy Emergency Alert 2” earlier in the evening, marking the first time since the 2021 deep freeze that such an alert was issued. However, ERCOT later announced that conditions had returned to normal. Despite this, spot power prices remained exceptionally high, exceeding $4,000 per megawatt-hour for over an hour on Thursday evening.

Responding to ERCOT’s request, the Biden administration declared a power emergency in Texas on Thursday. This declaration led to the waiver of certain air-pollution regulations, enabling generators in the state to increase electricity production.

Forecasts for the following day indicated that major Texas cities, including Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, would continue to experience scorching temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.

This summer has brought relentless heat waves to Texas, as well as large portions of the United States, Europe, and other Northern Hemisphere regions. Just last month, Texas saw power prices surge by 6,000% in a single day, while in June, prices doubled in anticipation of an earlier heat wave.

It’s worth noting that the Texas power market operates independently and is deregulated, running on its own electricity grid. Despite the significant spikes in demand this summer, the state’s power supplies have managed to meet the demand, thanks in part to the growth of renewable energy sources. Texas derived approximately 40% of its power from natural gas in the previous year, with wind and solar energy contributing about 25% to the energy mix, according to ERCOT.”

Leave a Comment