In spite of repeated conservation warnings, Gov. Greg Abbott insists reforms passed by the Texas Legislature over the past two sessions have allowed the state's electric grid to meet demand amid this summer's ongoing heat wave.
ERCOT so far has issued 13 conservation notices this summer, with another expected again Friday. Rice University's Daniel Cohan blames years of putting wind and solar ahead of more reliable forms of energy.
"We had a few coal plants close a few years ago. We've just barely been adding more gas plants than gas plants that closed down. We haven't been adding any new nuclear," he says.
So what about those reforms?
"They didn't do much to incentivize what can be done much more quickly, such as efficiency, reducing demand and getting more battery storage projects built," says Cohan.
Cohan says storage capacity for wind and solar is needed now, because it still takes years to get new gas and coal plants online.
"Until we start seeing more and more battery storage come online, we're going to be vulnerable to these times if there's ever a gap when it's both not sunny and not windy."