Texas among U.S. regions at elevated risk of summer power shortfalls, Energy Department says

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Contributed date

July 13, 2021 - 10:45pm

Critical Commentary

This discussion exemplifies the way in which the ethical plateaus have emerged with and through the development of the energy infrastructures and systems. However, contemporary energy ecologies have engendered schismogenic processes that these plateaus are proving incapable of handling.

In this case, the assemblage of electric and economic technologies that make up the Texas grid have induced a feedback loop between intensified summer temperatures and increased rates of AC use to the point that most or all energy assets are often being fired in order to meet peak energy demand. This intensification is occurring at a faster rate than our capacity to transition to cleaner energy resources, which means that the even dirtiest, most climate destructive facilities are being called to operate, which feeds back into the intensification of weather extremes.

This is due in part to the Macro structure of the energy market, the temporal demands of grid infrastructure at the Techno level, and the Nano level ideologies which this market and infrastructure materialize. In Texas, the articulation of these (hard and soft) technologies have crystallized into an ethical plateau where the scales and systems supported by the Texas grid and energy system are seen to be supported best by keeping energy prices low. This ethic, however, entailed the reduction of energy reserves (a surplus capacity that drives up the cost of energy as they are paid to be available for deployment in case of an emergency) which has made the current assemblage less flexible and thus less able to handle the new volatilities of climactic systems.


Takahashi, Paul. 2021. "Texas among U.S. regions at elevated risk of summer power shortfalls, Energy Department says," June 30, 2021. https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/energy/article/Energy-Department-warns-of-potential-power-16284334.php

Cite as

Paul Takahashi, "Texas among U.S. regions at elevated risk of summer power shortfalls, Energy Department says", contributed by , The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 13 July 2021, accessed 18 September 2021.