- Electricity prices in Texas surged 20,000% Wednesday evening amid another brutal heat wave.
- Spot electricity prices surged more than 200-fold since Wednesday morning to above $5,000 per megawatt-hour.
- The state grid operator issued its second-highest energy emergency, then later said conditions had returned to normal.
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Electricity prices in Texas surged 20,000% on Wednesday evening amid another brutal heat wave that forced the state’s grid operator to issue an emergency warning.
By 8:20 p.m. local time Wednesday, spot electricity prices had topped $5,000 per megawatt-hour, up 200 times from that morning, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Earlier Wednesday night, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued an “Energy Emergency Alert 2,” but a few hours later said conditions had returned to normal. Still, this is the first time since the deep freeze in 2021 that ERCOT has issued its second-highest alert.
Spot electricity prices remained high the next day, with electricity prices reaching $4,000 per megawatt-hour for more than an hour on Thursday evening.
At the request of ERCOT, the Biden administration declared a power emergency in Texas on Thursday, waiving some air-pollution rules so generators in the state can produce more power.
And the forecast for Friday calls for high temperatures to top 100 degrees in major cities like Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.
This summer saw extreme heat waves across Texas and large parts of the US, as well as Europe and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere.
Last month, electricity prices in Texas rose 6,000% in one day. And in June, electricity prices doubled in a single day before a heat wave.
Texas’ electricity market is deregulated and based on its own electricity grid. But although there has been a huge increase in demand this summer, the supply has remained stuck.
This is partly due to gains in renewable energy. According to ERCOT, Texas generated about 40% of its electricity last year from natural gas, with wind accounting for about 25% and solar also contributing.