Why did the blackouts happen during recent winter storms? Was it because of our wind turbines which produce 23% of the state’s energy? Was it a failure of our government officials? Was it just the extreme conditions? Was it our free-markets gone wrong?
Since the mid-1990s, Texas has been a free market for electricity. This means, before the 1990s, the utility company owned every part of the production of the electricity that comes to your house. The same company would own the power plant, the electric grid, and the customer-facing delivery companies. This monopoly would be regulated by the state (or local) governments who set specific rules on how the company would be allowed to run, what projects they could build, and what prices they could charge customers.