Blackouts due to a winter storm in the state of Texas, the most severe in 30 years, are leaving millions of people without power in the United States and Mexico. Some regions have recorded temperatures as low as -18 ° C since last Sunday.
The cold has left at least four dead in Texas and cuts in the electricity supply that have affected 4 million people both in that state and in neighboring states. Also almost half of Mexico faces energy supply problems The domino effect in MexicoThe lack of natural gas that Mexico imports from Texas to power generating plants have caused a domino effect in electricity service. On Monday nearly 5 million customers of the government company Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) in the states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and Chihuahua, bordering Texas, were left without power .79% of the service was restored at the end of the day, but the lack of power ended up affecting the rest of the country in the following hours.
This Tuesday the National Center for Energy Control (Cenace) -which regulates the CFE and private companies- reported that between 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. it programmed rotating and random load cuts in the north center, and west of the country. The 12 affected states are among the most populated in the country Aguascalientes, Colima, the State of Mexico, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, Puebla, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, and Zacatecas. The possible rotating load cuts that Cenace will carry out will be scheduled for 15 to 30 minutes, to maintain the continuity and reliability of the National Electric System the agency said.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attributed the problem to the Texas winter storm on Monday, which, in addition to affecting gas supply lines, has also raised the price of this fuel. According to the CFE, the price of natural gas increased 5,000%, from US $ 3 per unit of volume to more than the US $ 200. And in some places of the American Union up to the US $ 600, indicated the state company. With its gas reserves the CFE is injecting gas to strategic support plants in Chihuahua and Nuevo León to avoid further damage the company reported. This is the second massive blackout the country has suffered in the last two months. Lopez Obrador said that a failure of this level would not happen again, after the end of December 10.3 million users will be to n without light because private renewable energy plants suffered intermittent faults according to CFE.
The president has promised to rescue state infrastructure, which he considers was looted in past governments. Why the bad weather? According to the US National Weather Service (NWS), the winter storm affecting Texas and other southern states is the result of an arctic outbreak from the US-Canada border region. which brings snow and lower temperatures. Outbreaks of cold air like these typically linger in the Arctic due to several low-pressure systems, the NWS said. However it moved through Canada and spread to the United States last week.
Temperatures in the city of Dallas for example reached a maximum of -10 ° C and l Monday. Normal at this time of year is 15 ° C. In a statement Sunday night, President Joe Biden declared the emergency in Texas, which authorizes public agencies to coordinate disaster aid. The operator of the state’s power grid, Ercot, applied rotating power outages early Monday to reduce demand on the system.