How the harsh Texas winter exposed the US power grid problems

Texas had a tough winter in 2021.

In mid-February, when temperatures plummeted to the single digits, electricity demand across Texas hit record highs. Supply ran up, causing the state’s power grid operator to implement rolling power outages. At the height of the crisis, more than 4.5 million customers lost power. The bizarre winter storm caused neighboring states such as Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas to also inflict rolling blackouts.

Texas residents shivered as the outages continued for days. They lost access to water. Some resorted to turning on their cars in their garages to keep warm and then died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The historic outage was a wake-up call – if the Texas power grid was that fragile, what about the rest of the United States? According to data from Climate Central, the US has experienced a 67% increase in weather-related power outages since 2000. Part of the problem is aging infrastructure. Most of the current electricity grid was built in the 1950s and 1960s, in the hope that it will last for 50 years.

Watch the video above to find out what happened during the Texas power outage and how it is a warning sign for the US power grid.