Wind and solar power are ‘bailing out’ Texas amid record heat and energy demand

(CNN)Texans are cranking on the air conditioning this week amid an unusually early heat wave, setting new records for electricity demand in the state, which surpassed 75 gigawatts on Sunday and smashed the 2019 record. Texas grid operator ERCOT projects it could approach that peak again on Tuesday.

But unlike previous extreme weather events in Texas which led to deadly blackouts, the grid is holding up remarkably well this week. Several experts told CNN that it’s owed in large part to strong performances from wind and solar, which generated 27 gigawatts of electricity during Sunday’s peak demand — close to 40% of the total needed.

Wind and solar have natural variability as well; solar can’t generate energy during nighttime, and wind turbines don’t turn when the wind isn’t blowing. That is spurring a big focus on developing more massive batteries that can store and deploy renewable energy when the wind isn’t blowing, and the sun isn’t shining.

Read the full story on CNN.

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