From STOP THESE THINGS
Far from threatening human existence, coal and gas have, once again, literally saved thousands of American lives. A bout of what is now known as ‘extreme weather’ demonstrates how extremely stupid it is to rely upon sunshine and breezes for power.
During December’s Big Freeze, millions of America’s solar panels were carpeted in snow and ice; thousands of its wind turbines were frozen solid – any that weren’t were shut down to prevent their destruction by gale-force winds.
The same thing happened back in February 2021 – and will keep happening, for as long as lunatics are left in charge of America’s energy policy.
Across Texas and the American Midwest power prices rocketed and power rationing (aka ‘demand management’ – if you call a series of rolling blackouts ‘management’) – saw to it that thousands of households were left freezing in the dark. No doubt modern energy Scrooges would have felt content, as families attempted to celebrate an unnecessarily cold and miserable Christmas.
Here are a couple of pieces on America’s wind and solar ‘transition’ to a bitter, cold and powerless future.
Gas Power Saves Texas From Blackouts, As Wind Power Collapses Again!
Not a Lot of People Know That
26 December 2023
Over the weekend the US declared a Grid Emergency in Texas, as temperatures plummeted.
The emergency order from the US Energy Department allowed the state’s grid operator to exceed certain air pollution limits to boost generation amid record power demand in the state. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, whose service area includes 90% of electric customers in Texas, requested the emergency order Friday, warning it may need to resort to blackouts. TRANSLATION – fire up more coal and gas plants!
Fortunately a repetition of the blackouts last year was avoided. But as we can see, it was gas power which came to the rescue, as wind power collapsed to virtually nothing at the same time as demand surged:
Texas has 35 GW of wind capacity, but the output was running below 5 GW throughout Saturday, and down to 2 GW for much of the day. This certainly was not due to lack of wind, quite the opposite in fact. Whether wind power collapsed because of the winds being too strong, or because of freezing up, I do not know. But either way, it was a weather-related issue.
Thankfully ERCOT was able to call on ample gas power capacity, both to replace the loss of wind power and meet surging demand, which peaked at 74 GW, about 15 GW more than normal.
Without that gas power, Texas would have faced a catastrophe.
You can forget about importing power from other regions as well, because the Arctic weather covered about two-thirds of the country, so there would have been no surplus renewable power anywhere.
Joe Biden still wants carbon-free electricity by 2035. How many millions of Americans will freeze to death if he gets his way?
Blackouts Today, Blackouts Tomorrow, Blackouts Forever!
26 December 2023
The Tennessee Valley Authority was one of the success stories of the New Deal, or at least, so it was long believed. But that was when they could keep the lights on. Now, Tennessee is experiencing rolling blackouts. Clay Travis is appropriately appalled, as Tennessee–one of our better-run states, in general–slips toward third-world status:
It isn’t just Tennessee. Bill Glahn reports:
Many residents of the eastern United States received an unwelcome Christmas gift this year: rolling blackouts during cold weather.
I received this email on Christmas Eve from Appalachian Power Company, which serves about one million customers in western Virginia, West Virginia, and eastern Tennessee.
The email references PJM, the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland power grid, which actually serves a swatch of America stretching from northern Illinois to eastern North Carolina.
Customers in the region appear to have dodged rolling blackouts, but customers further south were not so lucky. Around 550,000 customers were subject to blackouts in North Carolina on Christmas Eve, although that figure had dropped to around 2,000 on Christmas Day. From a local news report:
The company said the rolling blackouts were “temporary outages that were taken to protect Duke Energy customers from more extended outages during extreme temps across much of the eastern U.S.”
But, many customers were upset when outages lasted for hours.
Nor is that all: the Midwestern and Mid-Southern states served by the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO) are at serious risk of blackouts over the coming winter:
Grid monitors warn that the electricity system that serves Minnesota and 14 other states, the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO), is at a high risk of blackouts, and this threat will get worse over the next five years because coal, nuclear, and natural gas generation exit the system faster than replacement resources are connecting.
Why, after many decades of grid stability and reliable energy, are we suddenly talking about blackouts? The answer is obvious. Across America, reliable coal and nuclear power plants are being retired, and supposedly replaced by “green” wind and solar energy. This is frankly absurd, because an intermittent energy source that works less than half the time (wind) or rarely (solar) can’t possibly replace reliable, 24/7 electricity, no matter how many billions we spend.
Kevin Roche makes the point with MISO data from a recent week. Kevin’s focus is Minnesota, where the data would look even worse. But this is for all of MISO, including the southern states:
A few takeaways:
- Solar power is utterly and completely worthless.
- Wind turbines can indeed produce electricity. The problem is you never know when. Also, they generally produce the least electricity when we need it the most, like at night and when it is cold out. The problem can’t be overcome no matter how many billions we spend on wind turbines, because if the wind isn’t blowing, it isn’t blowing.
- Despite all of the hoopla about “green” energy, the reality is that coal and natural gas–fossil fuels–keep our lights on and heat our homes. And nuclear can do so as well, if we start building plants instead of shutting them down. The rest is BS.
There is no doubt about the fact that conservatives are winning–have already won–the energy argument. The question is how many lives will be lost, how badly we will all be inconvenienced, and how many trillions of dollars will be wasted, before voters finally rise up and demand a reliable, first-world energy system like the one their parents enjoyed.