Texas governor lobbies for coal, natural gas
Texas governor Greg Abbott on July 6 called on utility regulators to do more to ensure adequate supplies of “reliable" sources of power, such as coal and natural gas.
In a letter to the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Abbot urged immediate action to shore up the grid. His letter called on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages most of the state power grid under the auspices of the PUC, to incentivise the development of gas-, coal- and nuclear-power capacity.
For renewables, such as wind and solar, the governor said that suppliers should have to foot the bill if their operations fail to adequately provide power to the grid.
“The objective of these directives is to ensure that all Texans have access to reliable, safe, and affordable power, and that this task is achieved in the quickest possible way," the governor’s letter read.
A summer heat wave prompted utility companies to urge conservation to avoid outages. That came as the state is still working to address issues from February, when Winter Storm Uri led to a regional freeze that caused widespread blackouts.
Many wind turbines in West Texas, not equipped with cold weather mitigation equipment, froze in the high winds, snow and cold temperatures, while some natural gas wells froze off and pipelines were forced to reduce capacity.
More than 4mn customers were without power at the peak.