BERKELEY, CA (Feb. 18, 2021) – Amid record cold temperatures, the electric grid throughout much of Texas has gone down, leaving millions without power.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy national research lab, is home to a large group of researchers devoted to modernizing the electric grid. Our electricity grid research focuses on demand response, distributed energy resources, and research to increase the reliability and efficiency of the U.S. electric power system. 

The following researchers are available to talk to journalists about the Texas crisis:

Peter Larsen, Deputy Leader of the Electricity Markets and Policy Department

Larsen is an economist who has conducted research and analysis on the economics of electricity reliability and resilience; energy service company industry and project trends; long-term electric utility planning; risk to infrastructure from extreme events; and islanded power systems. He has spoken frequently to the media about power outages and other grid issues.

Joe Eto, Senior Advisor to the Electricity Markets and Policy Department

Eto has authored over 250 publications on electricity reliability, transmission planning and operations, demand response, distributed generation, utility integrated resource planning and demand-side management, and building energy-efficiency technologies. He has spoken frequently to the media about power outages and other grid issues.

Larsen and Eto have co-authored recent studies that found:

  • Power interruptions cost U.S. customers $44 billion annually and this number is expected to significantly increase over the coming decades.
  • The frequency and duration of the largest power interruptions have been increasing over the past 15 years due to severe weather.
  • Over the past 15 to 20 years, the Texas region has seen a significant decline in power system reliability when compared to the rest of the country.

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