Introducing the Texas Power Podcast

Following energy and power news in Texas can be dizzying.

In February 2021, widespread outages left hundreds dead, caused more than $100 billion in property damage, and inflicted untold psychological trauma on Texans. As a result, interest in “the grid” surged, even though the tragedy during Winter Storm Uri went far beyond the grid. 

That’s why I’m starting the Texas Power Podcast with support from Renewable Energy World. Please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

On the Texas Power Podcast, we’ll dive deeply into the history, culture, and political economy of the energy industry in Texas to figure out how we got where we are. We’ll explore issues and proposals before policymakers at all levels of government. And we’ll talk to people with deep expertise and unique perspectives on the intersection of energy policy, technology, and markets.

Episode 1 of the Texas Power Podcast exemplifies this approach. It features Pat Wood, the former Public Utility Commission of Texas and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chair, and current CEO of Hunt Energy Network.

Wood discussed the energy market redesign effort underway in Texas, the moment former Texas Gov. George W. Bush was first drawn to renewables, and the enabling technologies that can support a more resilient grid.

We talked about a range of issues that will help set the framework for future episodes. First and foremost, we’ll explore how Texas is dealing with the fallout from Uri—and whether the state’s actions will ensure it never happens again. We’ll dive into issues and controversies surrounding the ERCOT market, deregulation (aka restructuring), renewables, storage, energy efficiency, transmission, nuclear power, demand flexibility, electric vehicles, and more.

We’ll ask, what constitutes effective regulation? What’s the proper balance of regulation, competition and markets? Can an energy-only market work? How high can we go with renewables, and what is the role of alternative sources like coal and gas? What role should the demand side play in our solutions? How much will consumers pay for various policy proposals, and are those costs justified?

We’ll also look at the impact of power production on human health. Are there solutions that can improve reliability, reduce costs, and lower emissions? This is especially relevant in Texas, where thousands die each year from pollution, and both Dallas and Houston have reached the stage of severe nonattainment with air quality standards and. 

This podcast is intended for everyone interested in, and affected by, energy in Texas. I hope you’ll subscribe to the Texas Power Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

Meet Doug Lewin, host of the Texas Power Podcast

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Doug Lewin is a Renewable Energy World contributor and host of the Texas Power Podcast from Renewable Energy World.

Lewin founded Stoic Energy in 2018 and is proud to serve clients working to accelerate the use of clean energy and increase equity and justice.

Previously, Doug led government and regulatory affairs work for CLEAResult, an energy efficiency program implementer for over 250 utilities in 40 states and provinces.

Lewin was the founding Executive Director of the South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER). He also served as legislative staff for three different elected officials for five years in the Texas House and Senate, primarily on energy, environment, and climate issues.

Doug earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and is a proud husband and father of four children.

Texas Power Podcast Episode List

Episode 1: Pat Wood on Texas grid reform and George W. Bush’s aha moment on renewables

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Airing Thursday, Sept. 29.

Texas is tackling an energy market redesign not seen in decades. The freeze and subsequent outages from Winter Storm Uri in 2021 left hundreds dead and millions without power. The storm’s aftermath also sparked debate over how to make the ERCOT grid more resilient in the face of extreme weather events and a changing energy mix.

On Episode 1 of the Texas Power Podcast, host Doug Lewin is joined by Pat Wood, former chairman of both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Public Utility Commission of Texas. He helped deliver former Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s deregulation agenda in the 1990s.

Doug’s conversation with Pat Wood covered the state’s market redesign efforts, the enabling technologies that can support grid resilience, and the moment when then-governor Bush was first drawn to renewables.

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Author: Doug Lewin

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