In Texas’s black-swan blackout, everything went wrong at once – by Rachel Adams-Heard, Naureen S. Malik and Brian Eckhouse (Bloomberg News – February 16, 2021)

The finger-pointing began immediately: It was the frozen wind turbines that foolishly replaced traditional sources. No, fossil fuels were at fault. No, Texas’s deregulated power market, unique in the country, had allowed companies to skimp on maintenance and upgrades.

As the hours ticked by and millions more were plunged into frozen darkness, a more sober reality emerged. The greatest forced blackout in U.S. history, as this event has almost certainly become, was the result of a systemic and multifaceted failure.

There are no promises of when power will be restored and little likelihood that the episode won’t be repeated in a corner of the country hard hit by climate change.

Transmission towers and power lines lead to a substation after a snow storm on February 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas.

“This feels like a technical design failure,” said Michael Webber, who founded the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin and serves as chief science and technology officer at French utility Engie.

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