The Texan grid AKA the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is a house of cards. It is an energy only, deregulated market which does not reward keeping spare generation capacity on board and keeps a razor thin cushion to buffer against unpredictable surges in demand. It has isolated its grid from the rest of the conry in order to avoid federal reguation. Texas has made the decision to invest heavily in wind and natural gas, pairing an unpredictable and intermittent energy source with a dispatchable source that relies on just in time delivery of its fuel.
In the clutches of a polar vortex which has covered wind turbines in ice, frozen natural gas infrastructure and driven up demand for gas for both home heating and electricity ERCOT is strained to the breaking point with rolling blackouts affecting millions in this freezing weather. Welcome back for another Decouple short. We are joined by energy analyst Mark Nelson, the managing director of the Radiant Energy Fund to understand this breaking news out of Texas.