As we watch events in Texas unfold, bear in mind that Texas "seceded" from the US national electrical grid in order to avoid federal regulation. They privatized their grid into the hands of a few wealthy people. As a result there are only two limited interconnects making it impossible for surrounding states to share power to keep Texas afloat in terms of electric power.

All this suffering in Texas should not be happening. The grid in Texas is intact, they just don't have generation capacity. If Texas had remained part of the US grid, power from as far away as California, Washington, West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, could be routed to Texas. Looking at the real-time data here, the US grid is running at more than 200 GW below capacity. There's enough power to hold up two states of Texas even if Texas had no generation at all. But we can't send them power.

Keep this in mind when rich people trick the public and politicians about privatization, and spout garbage like "going it alone, in keeping with the pioneering spirit of the USA". No. Organized cooperation is power. Going it alone is weakness.

Don't believe in cooperation? Study how the Roman army was organized. It was all about very tightly organized cooperation, starting with an individual soldier and those to his immediate left and right. This is how 8,000 Romans could take on 80,000 and methodically slaughter the 80,000 with zero losses.

Two very important issues here:
1. Privatization is always highly risky because large transactions attract unscrupulous investors, and deals involving the state are susceptible to corruption.

2. Efficiency optimization compounds systemic risk.

Texas's electrical isolationism can be blamed in this particular case, but "one big happy grid" is not enough. There needs to be artificial incentive to over-build generation capacity because this problem can occur at any scale.


> Efficiency optimization compounds systemic risk.

Ever so true, but you could expand on that a bit if you feel like it....


@bhaugen @shuttersparks
I could write volumes on the topic, but anything I say will pale in comparison to what Taleb wrote in The Black Swan and Antifragile.

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