Temperatures across the south-west and central US have hit triple digits. Waco, Texas, hit 108F, smashing the 104F high set in 1917. Heat warnings in place for millions of Americans until at least midweek. The power grid is struggling to cope with a surge in demand.

More than a dozen record highs were set in central Texas on Sunday. Residents have been urged to turn up thermostats by a degree or two and turn off unnecessary appliances to help reduce the heat-related demand. Electric Reliability Council of Texas: Rolling outages are possible but not likely.

Excessive heat warnings remain in place for Texas until Wednesday. Winds are due to pick up on Tuesday, helping to increase power supply. Texas supplies about 90% of the state’s electricity. The state is one of the world's largest bitcoin mining hubs, with more than 1,000 miners.

Ercot asked residents and businesses to conserve power during a heatwave. The company – and the state governor, Greg Abbott – were widely criticised during a freezing winter storm in February 2021 that left millions without power. Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for governor, used Twitter to remind his followers of last winter’s deadly blackouts – and blame the latest crisis on Abbott.

In June 2021, Abbott approved legislation to reform Ercot and “weatherize and improve the reliability of the state’s power grid” Critics say it does not go far or fast enough to cope with the rapidly changing climate. Power grids around the world are facing tests this summer as the climate crisis leads to prolonged heatwaves. Renewables like solar and wind power are also vulnerable to weather conditions.
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