Beesley Lecture – Decarbonization and Supply Security: Lessons learned from the Texas and California Blackouts


  • 11/11/2021 - 11/12/2021
    16:00 - 17:00
In February 2021, some 4.4 million Texans were left without power, heat and running water for several days due to damage caused by severe cold weather.  California has also suffered blackouts in the past 18 months in the context of extreme hot weather across the Western U.S. Both states are leaders in the deployment of intermittent wind and solar generation.  Was the growing penetration of wind and solar the cause of these blackouts?  Was it failures in their wholesale market designs?  Was the availability of imports from neighbouring systems a cause of the problem? Would more storage have helped? Can we rely on wholesale markets alone to lead to adequate resilience of critical infrastructure?   This lecture will explore the impact of these incidents and consider what lessons can be applied to meet decarbonization commitments, security of supply criteria, and economic efficiency goals while the respondent will draw out lessons for the UK market.

Professor Paul Joskow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Fintan Slye, Director of the UK System Operator, National Grid ESO

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