Week in review – TX edition

by Judith Curry

A round up of some insightful articles on the TX blackout

I originally planned on doing a post on TX, but no time.  Here are links to some of the more interesting articles that I flagged.

Weather

David Gold: The week the south froze [link]

WaPo:  TX cold snap was not unprecedented and it was inexcusable to be unprepared [link]

Intense winter weather will still happen in a warming world, [link]

Weakened evidence for mid-latitude impacts of Arctic warming [link]

What went wrong

Events as they unfolded [link]

Utility dive: The coupled Texas energy, water, public health and inequity crisis [link]

reason.com:  The TX blackout blame game [link]

Power companies get exactly what they want [link]

Wood Mackenzie: Breaking down the TX winter blackouts [link]

How TX’s drive for energy independence set it up for disaster [link]

Bill Gates: Weatherized energy plants could’ve prevented deaths in TX winter freeze [link]

The TX grid: Why the power grid failed [link]

Impacts of the outage [link]

The TX blackout is the story of a disaster foretold [link]

Cold truth: the TX freeze is a catastrophe of the free market [link]

TX failed because it did not plan [link]

Texans in the midst of another avoidable catastrophe [link]

One other interesting tidbit about the Texan winter storm apocalypse that I didn’t know about is that how “hand-to-mouth” the gas production and consumption is in Texas.  texastribune.org/2021/02/16/nat

Policy

The nation’s life-sustaining electrical grid is stumbling into a risk-strewn, low-carbon transformation with inadequate plans, systems and policies in place, a congressionally established expert committee warned yesterday. [link]

We dont realize how fragile the basic infrastructure of our civilization is [link]

A collection of papers on the causes and consequences of power outages [link]

Why TX Republicans fear the Green New Deal [link]

The lessons of the TX power disaster [link]

TX Electric Grid Reliability [link]

Insights into TX culture: TX mayor resigns after telling residents ‘Only the strong will survive’ [link]

TX energy crisis didn’t come out of nowhere: it took decades of deregulation to make it happen [link]

A plan to future-proof the TX power grid [link]

Pielke Jr:  The TX blackout and preparing for the past [link]

This blizzard exposes the perils of attempting to electrify everything [link]

Climate change means trouble for power grids [link]

TX energy crisis is America’s future [link]

 

 

147 responses to “Week in review – TX edition

  1. Robert L. Bradley Jr.

    A reprinted post at MasterResource from 2012 warning of renewables compromising the grid in seen and unseen ways: https://www.masterresource.org/windpower-problems/texas-windpower-negative-pricing-neeley/

    • More oil = more warming

      • More wind – more power cuts. Which is the lesser of two evils? Ask, the Texans that.

      • Wind didn’t cause the Texas blackouts. Poor upkeep did.

      • NY Post, 5/17/21

        “The deadly Texas power outages were likely caused by known flaws in a supply system unique to the Lone Star State — and had nothing to do with conspiracies blaming green energy, according to experts.

        “Unlike the rest of the continental US, Texas is the only state to run its own stand-alone electricity grid — formed because of a distrust of federal interference, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

        “That means the grid, operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), is not subject to federal oversight — and could not be forced to weatherize before the historic storm that left millions without power.

        “The unique structure also makes it impossible for most of the Lone Star State to connect to other grids, unlike other states that are able to draw power from elsewhere during a crisis.

        ““They don’t have the infrastructure connected outside of Texas that might allow them to bring in imports of energy,” a source familiar with ERCOT and electric markets told the Associated Press.”

      • ““The deadly Texas power outages were likely caused by known flaws in a supply system unique to the Lone Star State — and had nothing to do with conspiracies blaming green energy, according to experts.”

        Written by an idiot. “Conspiracies blaming green energy?” Wow!

        “Unlike the rest of the continental US, Texas is the only state to run its own stand-alone electricity grid — formed because of a distrust of federal interference, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

        “That means the grid, operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), is not subject to federal oversight — and could not be forced to weatherize before the historic storm that left millions without power.”

        Of course it good be forced to weatherize. The idiot seems to believe that only the feds can regulate power. That’s typical Democrat thinking – leave everything to the feds. But it’s the feds that cause wind energy to be subsidized, to the point that rather than shutting down with low demand, they literally pay quite a bit for the grid to take their energy.

        The fact is that the Texas outage was multi-factorial. Wind was a factor, both in its sudden loss of generation, but more importantly in its impact of disincentivizing backup generation capacity. The latter is the fault of ERCOT, probably because wind has more money behind it than conventional generation.

      • NY Post, 5/17/21
        https://nypost.com/2021/02/17/texas-power-outages-fault-of-unique-supply-not-green-energy/

        “The deadly Texas power outages were likely caused by known flaws in a supply system unique to the Lone Star State — and had nothing to do with conspiracies blaming green energy, according to experts.

        “Unlike the rest of the continental US, Texas is the only state to run its own stand-alone electricity grid — formed because of a distrust of federal interference, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

        “That means the grid, operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), is not subject to federal oversight — and could not be forced to weatherize before the historic storm that left millions without power.

      • If you believe the NY Times on issues like this, David, it just shows you don’t know what you are talking about. NYT hasn’t been the truth” for 20 years or more. How is Russiagate and 1619 Project getting on?

      • It’s from the Post, not the Times. A very conservative paper.

        And you’re ludicrously wrong about the Times, anyway.

      • you are correct David, that it is the Post, not the Times, but I am not wrong about the Times.

      • This isn’t about the Times, it’s about Texas energy outages.

      • > If you believe the NY Times on issues like this, David, it just shows you don’t know what you are talking about.

        Lol. That’s the problem with the fallacy of saying a viewpoint’s wrong because of the source rather than the merits of the argument.

        Now you have to say that the viewpoint was correct because the article was from the NY Post.

      • And BTW –

        > you are correct David, that it is the Post, not the Times, but I am not wrong about the Times.

        That’s a classic.

      • Richard Greene

        More windmils = more blackouts

      • UK-Weather Lass

        The UK has a well run grid but suffered at least four power cuts in 2019 of which only one made it to MSM because it collapsed some mailnline train services among several other things. The outages were attributed to intermittent supply losses from wind and solar sources.

      • I played golf at Royal Dornoch in northern Scotland. With only 6 1/2 hours of sunlight in December, solar could get a little dicey. Even dicier in Nome, Alaska with as little as 4 hours of sunlight. Talk about intermittent.

      • During warming, anything we don’t like can be blamed for warming. Likewise for cooling. And drought. And floods, etc..

      • As CO2 rises, so also will sightings of alien ships.

      • Cold kills everything. Warming is very good for plants, animals and people. So tell me what’s the problem?

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        From the NY post 2/17/2021 article cited by Appell –

        “Mark Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, also dismissed the move to blame green energy.

        “It’s really natural gas and coal and nuclear that are providing the bulk of the electricity and that’s the bulk of the cause of the blackouts,” Jacobson told the AP.”

        The only expert actually cited in the article is mark Jacobson of Stanford – that should tell you everything about the quality of the experts used in the NY Post study.

        FWIW – Mark Jacobson is the darling of green energy. He is widely cited for his “conclusive ” studies that the US can run on 100% green energy by 2035 (or so). Electric generation from Wind and Solar dropped by more than 90% during those critical days, which demonstrates that 100% renewable electric generation is pure fantasy.

      • thecliffclavenoffinance

        Global warming is good
        Global cooling is bad.
        You are confused.

    • Texas loves its renewables. In fact, if you ignore Hydro, Texas has more renewable energy than any other state in the Union. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_electricity_production_from_renewable_sources

    • Name Plate capacity of wind in Texas is 30,000 MW and constitutes about 25% of total capacity. Obviously, all sources do not run full out most of the time. Renewables are used preferentially. Just before the cold front, wind was producing 42% of the power in the state. Once the cold front hit that dropped to as low as 8%. Initially the other sources stepped up to replaced the wind deficit, but eventually under that stress they began to fail.

      • CMS, here are the specifics:

        As you note, despite wind nameplate capacity of 25 GW, ERCOT is only counting on 33% of wind power to be available. At 8 GW wind is expected to supply about 10% of the operational capacity. At 6 pm. Feb. 14, 2021, wind was at 9 GW before collapsing down to 5GW and then to less than 1GW in a few hours.

        An analysis of the hourly data shows:

        -Wind power collapsing from 9 GW to 5.45 GW between 6 pm and 11:59 pm on the 14th with natural gas ramping from 41 GW to 43 GW during the same period.
        -Wind power falling from 5.45 GW to 0.65 GW between 12:01 am and 8:00 pm on the 15th with natural gas spiking down from 40.4 GW to 33 GW between 2 am and 3 am as excess demand caused a cascade of safety events that took gas-fired plants offline.
        -Coal power falling from 11.1 GW to 7.65 GW between 2:00 am and 3:00 pm on the 15th as storm-related demand overwhelmed generating capacity.
        -Nuclear power falling from 5.1 GW to 3.8 GW at 7:00 am on the 15th as storm-related demand overwhelmed generating capacity.

        The following table summarizes the capacity losses of each class of generating assets.

        Once again a grid goes unstable when exposed to more than 10% feed ins from intermittent sources.

      • thecliffclavenoffinance

        The 25% “average” number is irrelevant.
        Wind power is highly variable, and not predictable.The output varies randomly, and can’t be counted on when you need it most.
        Windmills requires 100% natural gas backup.
        Windmills should be in mueums, not on electric grids.

    • Robert Bradley, California which is second only to Texas for its wind power has exactly the same problems. In the August blackouts in the summer, Natural Gas was far and away the biggest source of energy, Second was the imported fossil fuel energy from other states. Fifth and last was wind which did not live up to it allocated demand. They too have to pay for other states to take their excess when conditions are ideal, and when it is really needed it fails. http://www.caiso.com/Documents/Preliminary-Root-Cause-Analysis-Rotating-Outages-August-2020.pdf

    • All right then David
      The subsidised wind production that had must run priority on the grid and caused substantial negative pricing was the reason many thermal plant shuttered. They could not make enough money off the scraps to justify their existence. Those that have survived have cut back on all but essential maintenance. When the colds weather came on the 8th and wind production near ceased, there weren’t the plant available to pick up the slack. This continued until the 15th GTs had to fill the hole and many of the gas stations weren’t built or setup to be baseload. Gas pressures drop because of the demand from other users and things then start to cascade down.
      But the negative pricing from wind was the major initiator.

      • Sounds like bull made up after the fact. Every expert I’ve seen quoted says TX’s outages happened not because of wind or solar, but because there is no regulation that requires winterization of power plants, and TX refuses to connect to a regional grid. The numerous free wheeling TX energy companies have been warned for a few decades about the winterization problem and ignored them all, because they only care about profits and shareholders.

        Abbott and others were easily caught lying about the Green New Deal.

      • “Sounds like bull made up after the fact. Every expert I’ve seen quoted says TX’s outages happened not because of wind or solar, but because there is no regulation that requires winterization of power plants, and TX refuses to connect to a regional grid.”

        Then you didn’t read PE here, who is the most qualified expert I’ve run across.

        If you have the right incentives (a capacity market that has to be met), plants will take the right steps to be available.

        The “after the fact” is actually a repeat of warnings about Texas grid that have been around for some time. The general warning is that as wind exceeds 15-20 percent of capacity, the grid stability will suffer, unless backup generation is paid for – logically, by the wind energy producers since they’re the ones causing the instability. That warning is many years old, and has gone unheeded.

        In Germany, they are heeding it – so they are building coal fired plants, and their electricity costs are very high.

        Experts who say the problem is a lack of winterization requirements are cherry picking one cause of a number, and ignoring *why* the plants aren’t investing in winterization.

      • No David, Google negative pricing in Texas and it will come up with lots of articles written years ago saying what would happen.
        Being connected to a regional grid wouldn’t have helped in this case as MISO were short of power from their high demand.
        https://www.misoenergy.org/about/media-center/miso-load-demand-reaches-an-all-time-high-in-western-south-region/

      • Show me three experts — real, independent experts, not those paid to defend fossil fuels — who say negative pricing caused this outage.

      • Chris Morris

        As to your comment to connect to other grids to get power from them, here is what IEA says “Neighboring systems are also suffering rolling power cuts, as the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), whose system includes parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, called for 15 00 MW of load cuts at 10 am, and Midcontinent ISO (MISO), whose system includes parts of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota, was forced to call rotating power outages for a short period on the morning of 15 February. Power outages in northern Mexico reached nearly 5 million customers as well. ”
        So they had the same problems but for shorter periods and they didn’t make the headlines.

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        Meso comment – “Experts who say the problem is a lack of winterization requirements are cherry picking one cause of a number, and ignoring *why* the plants aren’t investing in winterization.”

        Concur – As funds are diverted to wind, less money is available for maintenance.

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        David Appell | February 28, 2021 at 11:26 pm |
        “Show me three experts — real, independent experts, not those paid to defend fossil fuels — who say negative pricing caused this outage.”

        Marc Jacobson – an engineering expert out of Stanford would be an excellent choise for a real expert!

    • Brent Bennett

      Credit to Bob for recalling the warnings of my predecessors at TPPF and our former PUC commissioners. Even we haven’t reposted these items, although we are busy reminding people that a shortage of reliable generation capacity has been a long time coming. The only surprise is that an outage came in the winter first, after three straight summers of narrowly avoiding rolling blackouts. However, as I’ve noted in a blog post on our website, we should have seen this coming as well. https://lifepowered.org/forget-about-what-broke-the-texas-blackout-was-inevitable/

      One item I discuss there and that is covered in the WoodMac article (but nowhere else as far as I can tell), is that even if EVERY generator (wind, gas, coal, and nuke) that was operational Sunday night had continued operating, we would have likely had more than 24 hours of shortages. Even a lesser weather event would have resulted in at least some rolling blackouts. The problem was fundamentally caused by a lack of reliable generating capacity, which in turn was caused by more than a decade of bad policies and subsidies, not by the various real-time failures that are being discussed.

      The focus on weatherization is misplaced as we will likely find that most power plants had problems due to under-frequency or lack of gas supply (caused in part by electricity outages). The wind wasn’t blowing much on Feb. 15 even if the turbines had been operational, and this is totally normal for the coldest winter days. We have to stop pretending that wind and solar are going to show up predictably when we need them the most and assess the real probabilities of low output. Then we have to make sure we have proper reliability standards in place and enough thermal generation to cover peak demand. Otherwise, Texas will experience more frequent outages in both the summer and in the winter.

      Brent Bennett
      Policy Director, Life:Powered
      Texas Public Policy Foundation

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        Brent comment – ” The wind wasn’t blowing much on Feb. 15 even if the turbines had been operational, and this is totally normal for the coldest winter days. ”

        To add to Brent’s comment, the wind wasnt blowing from 2/9/2021 through 2/18/2019 which was 10 full days. Average wind was producing 18-25GW per hour, prior to 2/9/2021 – and resumed to normal levels starting on 2/19/2021. Average GW per hour were in the range of 2-3GW – 80%-90% drop in production.

        Similarly, this 10 day drop in electric production was across the entire US. average 70GW -75GW per hour down to 15-20GW per hour across the entire nation during that 10 day period. From 2/19-2021 through today 3/15/2021, there have been at least 3 full days where the electric generation has dropped by more the 60%.

        Can anyone tell me how we can reach 100% electric energy generation via renewables ?

      • Good addition, Joe. Wind production was basically anti-correlated with demand throughout the entire two weeks. Real-time prices were near zero on Feb. 8, at the $9,000 MWh cap throughout the event (mostly by PUC order), and then negative on Feb. 20. A utility market cannot sustain that level of volatility. Again, this is a completely predictable feature of a 20+% renewable grid with bare minimum reserve thermal capacity. We’ve seen the warning signs for many years in the summer when supplies have been tight, and yet we failed to plan for it. Hopefully, we will learn from these mistakes.

  2. I see renamed global warming is blamed in a number of the liberal publications as the cause of the prolonged cold spell. Any sensible read should automatically disregard the entire article. The author has an attribution problem and a political agenda to meet .
    And why bother winterising wind turbines? After all, we have been assured they would produce only 6% of their rating which they did. Better to spend the money on a capacity market and making ALL generators meet their dispatch otherwise they will be financially penalised – causer pays..

    • “I see renamed global warming is blamed in a number of the liberal publications as the cause of the prolonged cold spell.” – Chris

      I agree, the language used is quite laughable. It’s very high latitude centric. Is there any equatorial regions which are constantly obsessed with the phrase “global warming”? I can’t think of any. It should be hottest at the equator but I suspect the evidence for cooling yet expanding tropics has now been well and truly swept under the rug.

      The current weather phenomena is very similar to the badly named Little Ice Age. That started with an extreme warming event in the high latitudes followed by a series of cold snaps in the centuries afterwards.

      History will remember this era of blind ignorance with utter astonishment. There will eventually be a turning point for humanity that will pervade the entire globe. A complete loss in faith of the scientific leaders of our world is just around the corner.

      • Global warming was called climate change way back. “Climate change” became more popular as everyone began to realize its effects were far more than warming.

      • “Climate change” became more popular as everyone began to realize its effects were far more than warming.” David Appell

        More specifically, the equatorial oceans were found to be cooling which is why the data had to be normalized for AR5. There’s a world map which shows mid to high latitude warming but with the dataset for the equatorial zone pixelated to white squares.

      • “Climate change” was adopted because (a) there was no evidence of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming; (b) the dire forecats of gloom, doom and despondency constantly failed to materialise – “You’ll never see snow again in England;” “It won’t rain again in Australia” – ha!; and (c) climate change was much more friendly sounding and was impossible to deny – climate always changes. Foruntaely, not everyone has fallen for the con, but too many goverments have, to our great detriment.

  3. Alberta also runs an energy-only market and decided to keep it in 2019. I wonder why it works for them, who are much colder, and not for Texas?

    Is the weather there simply more consistent? If that is a factor, it needs to be considered in planning.

    https://www.alberta.ca/electricity-capacity-market.aspx

    • Bet it’s because Canada sensibly regulates its power producers and requires they be resilient to extreme weather events.

      • thecliffclavenoffinance

        Canada gets very cold every winter.
        Texas went 10 years before having another unusually cold caused blackouts, in 2011 and then in 2021.They bet 2011 would not happen again, and spent their money on windmills. The 357-page 2011 official report, published in August 2011, said the entire Texas energy infrastructure was not winterized.

        3.2 million Texans were hit with rolling blackouts in early 2011. Building windmills had a guaranteed return on investment while winterization could have a zero return.

        You global warming alarmists had Texans convinced their weather would be getting warmer every year, and you loved windmills, so they invested in windmills. All your fault. You forgot to explain short term weather and long term climate are two different things.

    • Alberta has less than 10% ‘Aeolic’ power, ergo, no stability problems yet. https://www.greenalbertaenergy.ca/statistics.html

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        Glen – a couple of observations A) the wind generation never seemed to go above 15% and B) the daily and hourly swings in wind generation were not nearly as extreme as they are in Texas.

        Thereby creating far less instability in the grid – Though would like some one with more expertise such as PE make his comments

  4. We may never learn the truth about the Texas blackout
    By David Wojick
    https://www.cfact.org/2021/02/28/we-may-never-learn-the-truth-about-the-texas-blackout/

    A central excerpt:

    Normally a massive outage like this is explained by the engineers after an exhaustive investigation. After all, they have second-by-second or better records of most of it. This is the only way to determine precisely what happened, sequentially and causally. But these are not normal times. The problem is that these local energy issues involve one of the largest political and financial issues of our time, namely the use of renewables and the supposed threat of climate change.

    On the financial side renewables are big business. More to the point, the utilities are making huge amounts of money building wind and solar facilities. The more they spend the more they make, as long as the regulators approve and they are pushing for renewables. For example, Xcel led the way several years ago and now they have proposed $8 billion in new capacity for Colorado.

    I am sure that with all this revenue coming in the utility engineers have long been told by their management to keep quiet about the perils of intermittency. I see hints of it hidden away in the back pages of long reports, but that is about all. The engineers know that intermittent renewables are destabilizing.

    On the political side renewables are one of Biden’s top priorities, as he calls for a quick end to fossil fuel use. He has also ordered all Federal agencies to push his climate agenda. His climate czar Mary Nichols even rushed out a video saying that wind power was not the cause of the Texas grid collapse.

    This is important because the definitive investigation of the Texas catastrophe is by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) which is a federal entity under the direction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Under the Biden/Nichols influence NERC may well greenwash the results of the study.

    More in the article.

  5. They blame government on the one hand and deregulation on the other.

    The nameplate wind capacity happens at optimal wind speeds, they count on 7% in the low wind speed winter season. Wind farms were generating some 33% of their nameplate capacity during the outage. The average is 30-40% of useful and reasonably constant energy. Energy available maybe 99% of the time?

    Contrarians deny that there is a climate problem and have picked a new term of capacity with which to beat back renewables. They miss where the venerable planning engineer suggests the wind and solar may usefully be added to the grid.

    • RE misses where the venerable planning engineer also says that without capacity charges, adding wind and solar is foolish.

      Typical RE taking things out of context.

    • No Robert – you are yet again wrong You wrote “Wind farms were generating some 33% of their nameplate capacity during the outage.” They weren’t. If you look at the chart https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/charts/generation-by-fuel-type-in-electricity-reliability-council-of-texas-ercot-1-15-february-2021, you will see that from the 8th onwards wind was producing very little. At the time of the outage start on the 15th, they had gone up to 7% of their nameplate. Solar makes very little contribution after the 10th. .
      Nameplate rating has a very specific meaning that all within the electricity industry know the meaning of. It has not changed for 100 years. It is in the standards and grid connection documentation. Why do you not know that?

      • How about you just read what organisations like EIA say Robert
        Generator nameplate capacity (installed): The maximum rated output of a generator, prime mover, or other electric power production equipment under specific conditions designated by the manufacturer. Installed generator nameplate capacity is commonly expressed in megawatts (MW) and is usually indicated on a nameplate physically attached to the generator.
        What you seem to be talking about is the capacity factor
        Capacity factor: The ratio of the electrical energy produced by a generating unit for the period of time considered to the electrical energy that could have been produced at continuous full power operation during the same period.
        Yet again, the rest of the world is out of step with you.
        And I note you haven’t explained the 8th Feb yet.

    • “Wind and solar have value and can be added to power systems effectively in many instances. But seeking to attain excessive levels of wind and solar quickly becomes counterproductive.” PE

      It is not ambiguous at all. And as is happening in the real world wind and solar can be usefully combined with existing hydro, biogas, geothermal – to increase the value.

      Nameplate capacity is the rated capacity of the plant. The capacity factor is the proportion of nameplate capacity that can realistically be delivered – in the prevailing wind conditions for wind farms. You don’t know that Chris? It is very simple. Or are you simply obfuscating for rhetorical purposes?

      The real story is what happened after the 15th with demand managed to meet a failing gas, nuclear and wind supply.

      Honestly – the nonsense around the 100% extreme contrarian wind and solar groupthink meme is utterly unrealistic. No one with any credibility is talking 100% wind and solar. As far as reasonably maximising penetration is concerned – along with maximising the geothermal resource use in the US – and developing advanced nuclear reactors – that hugely practical political horse has bolted without you. Taking with it any common sense or civility contrarians could boast.

    • Chris Morris

      Robert you wrote “the nameplate wind capacity happens at optimal wind speeds, they count on 7% in the low wind speed winter season. Wind farms were generating some 33% of their nameplate capacity during the outage.”
      David Middleton had previously looked into the claims you are making
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/25/wind-was-operating-almost-as-well-as-expected-a-texas-sized-energy-lie/
      What actual data shows that is that February is not a low wind month. In the period before the 8th, wind was 30% of the generation. After the 8th, 8%
      https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/images/2021.02.19/chart2.svg. On the 15th at about 19:30 it dropped to 648.5MW, so nameplate rating in Texas of wind is over 30GW and 650MW is 33% of that? Yeah- right. Maths wasn’t your strong suit, was it.
      https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/charts/wind-generation-in-electricity-reliability-council-of-texas-ercot-15-16-february-2021
      I don’t know ERCOT rules, but most grids’ system operators heavily discount wind generation when working out margins because it is not dispatchable and is unreliable. It is often based around the 5th percentile on their output curve. That way, the grids generally have a bonus capacity margin in the N-1 or N-G-1 scenarios.

      • Sorry – you talk about sources and give me WUWT. I am an engineer and scientist. Let me see if I can cope with the math.

        The rolling blackout started at 1.25 am on the 15th – not the 8th the 12th or any other time.

        “An official with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said Tuesday afternoon that 16 gigawatts of renewable energy generation, mostly wind generation, were offline. Nearly double that, 30 gigawatts, had been lost from thermal sources, which includes gas, coal and nuclear energy.

        By Wednesday, those numbers had changed as more operators struggled to operate in the cold: 45 gigawatts total were offline, with 28 gigawats from thermal sources and 18 gigawatts from renewable sources, ERCOT officials said.

        “Texas is a gas state,” said Michael Webber, an energy resources professor at the University of Texas at Austin.”

        You get caught out in multiple confusions and take refuge in drivel.

      • Winter is the low wind period in which they count on 7% of nameplate capacity. You seem to go off on absurd tangents. Try reading a little bit harder.

      • R Ellison: “Sorry – you talk about sources and give me WUWT. I am an engineer and scientist. Let me see if I can cope with the math.”

        You can’t clearly cope with DATA:
        at 8 pm of Feb 15th the sum of ~30 GW of wind turbines at ~7 GW of PV were generating 649 MW (ERCOT data), so way below the percentage you cite!… less than TWO percent in fact.
        Get your DATA and facts straight, scientist!

      • ERCOT were talking loss of generating plants and not generation as such. Wind is variable – on the 15th not enough to register in Houston at times. It is balanced in Texas by expensive peaking gas generation designed for the purpose of following variable demand. Your lack is in analytical skills and not apparently simple arithmetic.

  6. Chris, looking at your chart, Natural Gas sure stepped it up and tried valiantly to fill n for winds failure/

    • “Natural gas took the biggest hit during the storm.”

      • You are cherrypicking David. Do your graph from the start of February and explain what happened on the 8th. Or you could just look at the link to the chart I posted upthread.

      • The snow and ice hit on 2/15.

      • Who do you work for?

      • They work for me, David. I told them to dog you all they way down the blog!!!

      • Chris Morris

        Really David? And why did the electricity generation take a big jump on the 8th yet most of the wind turbines go off line? Or cause the second biggest peak on the 12th?
        If you really want to know who I work for, I am a Russian bot trolling you.

      • Chris Morris

        Guess what . Weather forecast 9th February for Dallas and surrounding areas is freezing drizzle. Ideal conditions to ice up wind turbines.
        https://www.wfaa.com/video/weather/evening-forecast-update-tuesday-february-9-2021/287-d77508ae-2033-4c07-8547-9d8a9079fc06
        And much of their wind turbine fleet is west of there so they will be colder

      • Chris gets caught out in multiple confusions and takes refuge in drivel.

      • Yes, alas, the bien-pensants in Texas – who knew? – decided to replace the gas heaters at the wellheads with electrical heaters – no CO2, eh? Astonishing how dumb the intellectuals can be.

      • thecliffclavenoffinance

        The Texas disaster explanation is simple:
        It was predicted in an August 2011 official report on the early 2011 rolling blackouts that affected 3.2 million Texans. With few wind turbines at the time. The Executive Summary of the 357 page report is here:
        https://elonionbloggle.blogspot.com/2021/02/heres-executive-summary-from-august.html

        The recommendation was to ‘winterize’ the entire Texas energy infrastructure. Or there would be another blackout when unusually cold weather returned. Winterizing was not done. 10 years later there was another blackout.

        The available capital was mainly used to build windmills from 2011 to 2021, which made the Texas grid less stable (wildly variable output), but was profitable.

        Winterizing the energy infrastructure is a cost, with potentially no return — in fact, it was not needed for another 10 years.

        Windmills so frequently have little output that they require 100% natural gas backup — 100% may never be needed, but a safety margin is required.

        The need for such a high percentage of natural gas backup is why windmills belong in museums, not on electric grids.

        Someday the cost of batteries may decline by 90%, and windmills will become useful, even if at random times almost every week they will provide little power output. Solar panels belong in museums for the same reason — batteries are much too expensive.

        The experience in Texas proved all types of power plants — gas, coal and nuclear and windmills — can be affected by unusually cold weather, if they are NOT designed for unusually cold weather, as the energy infrastructure is in northern states.

        It’s easy to blame low wind power output for the blackout, and frozen windmills didn’t help, but if low wind power caused blackouts, Texas would have had blackouts almost every week for the past 10 years. Windmills and solar panels are not ready for prime time.

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        Appel – your citation is a huge cherrypick and huge misrepresentation

        2/7/2021 22h – wind was at 22,305GW, vs a low of 649gw at 2/15/2021
        Overall wind was generating less than 90% during that critical period

        Likewise, solar was generating at approximately 10% – 15% of its pre 2/7/2021 generation.

        While NG dropped 30%-40% from its high on 2/14/2021.

        Below is the link to the data
        the US energy information website allows you to select a custom date range.

        https://www.eia.gov/beta/electricity/gridmonitor/expanded-view/electric_overview/balancing_authority/ERCO/GenerationByEnergySource-14/edit

      • David,
        From that chart NG only loss 25% while wind loss 95%. If they had been totally reliable on wind, they would still be without power. Non renewable were not winterized because they wasted money on renewables.

      • Joe - the non climate scientist

        David Appell | February 28, 2021 at 11:29 pm |
        The snow and ice hit on 2/15.

        The snow & ice hit DFW starting early morning 2/14/21 before 7am with a second snow & ice starting around 2.30pm on 2/14/2021

      • thecliffclavenoffinance

        Typical Appleman bias. Natural gas supplied MOST of the electricity available in Texas, before, during and after the crisis.

        ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to 26 million Texas customers — representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load.

        Only about 5 million of the 26 million Texans lost power. Windmills didn’t do much for them

    • That chart he linked to is really amazing. Here it is again:

      https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/charts/generation-by-fuel-type-in-electricity-reliability-council-of-texas-ercot-1-15-february-2021

      Gas was called on for 5,000 MW of generation on Feb. 8, but by the 14th-15th was called on to produce 8 times that much 40,000 MW. About half of that because demand went up and half because wind is unreliable.
      Look again at that chart- if Texas doubled nuclear it wouldn’t have had this problem. There would be much less excess demand on gas.

      Despite all the arm waving by Appell and Ellison- that chart demonstrates conclusively that wind is neat stuff, but you need to plan on how to generate electricity using the assumption that wind and solar will literally produce nothing. That chart says 100% fossil fuel backup, ready to go at all times, with excess on hand for high demand.

      • Making wind and solar VERY expensive and painful to boot.

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        I concur – Gas generation dropped 30%-40% during the critical period due to failure to winterize and other factors. Wind and solar generation dropped 90+% during the same critical period. Basically, Wind and Solar were AWOL.

        For all practical purposes, renewables demonstrated they dont belong in the mix for winter electric generation, at least not at more than 10-15% of the mix.

        This raises the question as to whether, the failure to winterize, was due in part to the extra costs incurred to install and maintain wind and solar in the system ie, the diversion of funds to wind and solar.

        Another question is to what extent having a large mix of wind and solar in the system does to the efficiency to fossil fuel electric generation and to maintenance costs. An analogy is the stop and go city driving hurts gas mileage and maintenance costs compared to highway driving. I would suspect the same with plant efficiency.

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        Jeff – your chart for the period feb 1 to feb 8 is quite interesting. Notice the huge swings between natural gas generation and wind & solar generation.

        As I noted in a prior comment, those huge swings cant be good for efficiency and maintenance costs.

        I would like PE or some other electric generation expert comment on that observation

      • Hi Joe- that link was originally provided by Chris, I just didn’t want it to get lost. It is amazing.
        I was surprised by the early February part where they seemed to be ramping up and down coal electricity production to compensate for wind’s unreliability. Can you really do that efficiently- ramp up and down coal?
        Winter isn’t the only issue. There will be heat waves where people use their air conditioning. That might have less impact because, as I understand it, the draw on natural gas in Texas was high for home and commercial heating as well as electricity generation.
        All the arm-waving about “fossil fuel failed too” is bunk- Texas didn’t have an electricity grid that could handle a cold snap when it’s renewables failed. And renewables are guaranteed to fail, so you have to build an actual power grid. And if you do that, you might as well use it while the windmills spin pointlessly. When Texans needed energy to survive, billions of dollars in pretend electricity generation were completely useless (windmills) while billions of dollars tried valiantly to compensate for that.

  7. So this link https://mashable.com/article/climate-change-cold-weather-extremes/
    does not allow comments. So here:
    You should be ashamed!
    Theory predicts that GHG effect will be:
    more in the winter
    more in the night
    and more at the poles.
    So we have no idea, actually, of what the future holds.
    Let’s just attempt to adapt, if “they” will allow that.
    Good luck with that.

    • thecliffclavenoffinance

      That description is similar to what has actually happened from warming since the 1970s, except for no CO2 caused warming of Antarctica.
      We have warmer winter nights in Siberia and Alaska. Far from a climate emergency — not even a minor climate problem.

      We all have two choices:
      Believing the predictions of future climate doom, which started in the laste 1950s, or trusting our own experience with actual warming since the 1970s. One choice is for senible logical people, and the other choice is for gullible fools.

      • thecliffclavenoffinance,
        I’m glad you mentioned predictions.
        I’d like to see the advice of those industry analyst$ that advise the Texas utility companies before we pass judgement. I bet Prof. Curry could put together a list of her competitors and their relevant forecasts.
        Having noticed the huge SSW event in January I moved to quickly winterize my home and stocked up on wood, water and food. The whole thing was a minor inconvenience for me.

  8. TX blackout wouldn’t happen if there was only one energy producer-manager-owner. TX blackout happened because there were many different energy producing enterprises, each with its own economical-accounting agenda.

    TX blackout is mostly a poor management disaster.

    https://www.cristos-vournas.com

    • The severe winter storm that hit Texas two weeks ago has claimed its first energy company victim.

      Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, the largest generation and transmission co-op in Texas, is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection shortly after midnight in the Southern District of Texas, The Texas Lawbook has learned.

      Four legal and financial advisors with connections to Waco-based Brazos Electric and the 16 community members the co-op serves across 68 counties say that Brazos faces a demand for payment of possibly hundreds of millions of dollars for power and natural gas it purchased from other energy companies through ERCOT or directly from other energy producers during the frigid temperatures between Feb. 15 and 19.

      HOUSTON (Reuters) – Texas’s largest and oldest electric power cooperative on Monday filed for bankruptcy protection in federal court in Houston, citing a disputed $1.8 billion bill from the state’s grid operator.

  9. From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (3/1//21):
    “Sharon Wilson with help from colleague Jack McDonald eventually collected and analyzed 347 records filed with state regulators since Feb. 11. They detailed the growing number of oil and gas generators experiencing equipment failure and power outages, leading to accidental emissions of natural gas and their associated chemicals.

    “Every time there’s bad weather, there will be additional emission events due to the weather,” Wilson said. “The oil and gas supply chain is very fragile. Some of these event reports will say a power failure happened, and so we had to blow 90,000 tons of methane and benzene into the air.”

    Between Feb. 11 and Feb. 23, emissions of volatile organic compounds in the Permian Basin skyrocketed to 35 times the levels observed in the weeks before the winter storm, according to a similar analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund. The chemicals, known as VOCs, are key components in forming ozone, or smog, which can cause breathing problems for residents exposed to it, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
    In the same two-week period, Texas oil refineries, petrochemical plants and industrial facilities released 3.5 million pounds of extra pollution, with nearly 20% of those emissions reported in the Houston area.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EvArJKpVkAIUwq8?format=jpg&name=medium

    My personal contribution to reduce the impact of the crisis has been documented by the Pecan Street Project by being one of the thousands of PV owners in Texas that contributed to grid stability by using 37% less electricity than the average Texas home.

    • joe - the non climate scientist

      Jacksmiths comment – “My personal contribution to reduce the impact of the crisis has been documented by the Pecan Street Project by being one of the thousands of PV owners in Texas that contributed to grid stability by using 37% less electricity than the average Texas home.”

      What was your contribution on each day for the critical period 2/10, through 2/18. You mentioned a 37% reduction, Though most of north texas had cloud cover from 2/13 through 2/15 along with snow covered roofs from 2/14 through 2/17.
      Curious what the reduction was on each day and if you live in an area of texas that did not have significant cloud cover

  10. David Wojick

    Much of the discussion above has been eccentric, to put it politely. Given some of the active participants this is no surprise. It is all just speculation.

    The actual collapse was due to a major frequency drop at 1:55 am Monday. This caused the immediate loss of over 13,000 MW of generation. There were lots of proximate causes stressing the system, but the frequency drop was the immediate cause. So what caused the frequency drop? I do not see anyone discussing this.

    Here is how I put it in my CFACT article:

    “My personal conjecture, just to join the speculation crowd, is that a big frequency drop caused a mini-outage-cascade around 1:55 am Monday morning, automatically tripping off at least four big gas fired plants. Re cascades, big blackouts can be triggered by a frequency or voltage drop that causes one big generator to automatically trip off. This shock causes others to then auto trip in a cascade. Similar to stock market crashes causes by cascading automatic sell orders.

    This instability may well have been caused by the wind turbines that were running, not the frozen ones. I have already written a good bit about how wind can destabilize the grid and the Texas wind power varied greatly, by something like 5,000 MW over time.

    Other plants were then tripped, either automatically or manually to avoid a complete blackout, even a big nuke. About 13,000 MW shut down very quickly, followed slowly by more. The ERCOT CEO says they narrowly avoided complete failure, which is very hard to recover from (called a black start).”
    https://www.cfact.org/2021/02/28/we-may-never-learn-the-truth-about-the-texas-blackout/

    • David Wojick

      Here is something on buying billion dollar batteries to try to stabilize erratic wind power. Maybe Texas needed big batteries.
      https://www.cfact.org/2021/01/16/california-secretly-struggles-with-renewables/

    • Chris Morris

      David
      Did any transmission lines trip during the period early in the morning of the 15th?. When lines are heavily loaded and one trips, the spring washer effect happens and that could have dropped off the generators from their protection activating.

      • David Wojick

        I do not know, Chris. It will take split second analysis to tell what actually happened in that crash. Hopefully NERC will tell us truthfully.

    • There may well have been frequency fluctuations caused by a loss of generating capacity at a time of high demand triggering protective shutdowns. The rolling blackouts were instituted to reduce demand to available capacity.

      Relatively small battery banks are a very effective way of compensating for frequency fluctuations.

      • dougbadgero

        No they are not. Frequency is a function of real load (MWs), voltage is a function of reactive load (MVAs). Frequency drop is an indication that real load is too large for available generation. The fix isn’t small battery banks. It is to reduce load or increase generation…ERCOT reduced load. Although perhaps too slowly…NRG has stated that one of their coal plants tripped based on this under-frequency event. Somehow you must match available generation to served load.

      • A Tesla battery in South Australia supplies power to the grid to minimise frequency fluctuations during ramp up times for other generation. It is fast and precise compensation.

      • dougbadgero

        Correction:
        Reactive load is MVARs…apparent power is MVAs.

      • There are as well 4 synchronous condensers being installed.

      • dougbadgero

        The Tesla battery in SA provides frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) as do most/all batteries installed on the grid everywhere. That service provides short term frequency support that allows dispatchable power plants to adjust their output. That service would not even be required if not for the constant variability of wind power connected to the system. It is an “elegant solution to a problem that should never have existed in the first place.”

        Frequency is a function of real load and generation…period. Unless those “small batteries” were capable of providing 30,000MWs for several days they would have made no difference in ERCOT.

      • mesocyclone

        ” That service would not even be required if not for the constant variability of wind power connected to the system. It is an “elegant solution to a problem that should never have existed in the first place.””

        Well said. I don’t know if batteries are a cost effective alternative to spinning reserve, or not. My guess: not.

      • dougbadgero

        Synchronous condensers are installed to support reactive load…voltage.

      • David Wojick

        Good to know about the coal plant tripping, Doug. It supports my conjecture. Maybe the nuke too, and the four gas plants. Be funny if wind crashed the grid. Not frozen wind, hyperactive wind.

      • dougbadgero

        Coal plant trip was due to extended under-frequency event per NRG. Nuke trip was frozen sensing line resulting in automatic trip. Neither were directly related to wind power. Wind power can’t provide much capacity so it can’t help in this kind of event. Structural incentives that favor wind clearly played a role in the lack of incentives to guarantee supply security though.

        We need to start asking ourselves if all of the additional moving parts needed to keep gas plants on line are compromising system reliability also. For example, it seems to have been a surprise, inexplicably, that gas would be needed for heat and electric generation at the same time. This issue has occurred in the NE a few times also.

        Critical infrastructure needs to look to modelling in the nuclear industry and learn some lessons also IMO. It is indefensible that the worst cold weather scenario modeled did not even consider the past.

      • David Wojick

        My understanding is that wind power oscillations can create frequency drops, hence the batteries.

      • In South Australia there ware power pylons demolished in wild weather. This resulted in a frequency fluctuation that tripped some wind farms causing an overload at the interconnector to the rest of the grid. Wind farms don’t have the rotational inertia of conventional generation that buffers the system against too rapid change. Hence the synthetic inertia.

      • Chris Morris

        If you bothered reading the AEMO report Robert, it was the wind farms tripping off that collapsed the grid.
        “As the number of faults on the transmission network grew, nine wind farms in the mid-north of SA exhibited a sustained reduction in power as a protection feature activated. For eight of these wind farms, the protection settings of their wind turbines allowed them to withstand a pre-set number of voltage dips within a two-minute period. Activation of this protection feature resulted in a significant sustained power reduction for these wind farms. A sustained generation reduction of 456 megawatts (MW) occurred over a period of less than seven seconds. The reduction in wind farm output caused a significant increase in imported power flowing through the
        Heywood Interconnector. Approximately 700 milliseconds (ms) after the reduction of output from the last of the wind farms, the flow on the Victoria–SA Heywood Interconnector reached such a level that it
        activated a special protection scheme that tripped the interconnector offline. The SA power system then became separated (“islanded”) from the rest of the NEM. Without any substantial load shedding following the system separation, the remaining generation was much less than the connected load and unable to maintain the islanded system frequency. As a result, all supply to the SA region was lost at 4.18 pm (the Black System).”
        That was why they had to change their settings. The big set of pylon drops was after they went black.
        But then I forgot that you know more than all the electrical engineers so mere facts are just a triviality to you.

      • mesocyclone

        ““As the number of faults on the transmission network grew, nine wind farms in the mid-north of SA exhibited a sustained reduction in power as a protection feature activated. For eight of these wind farms, the protection settings of their wind turbines allowed them to withstand a pre-set number of voltage dips within a two-minute period. Activation of this protection feature resulted in a significant sustained power reduction for these wind farms. ”

        Errr… It isn’t clear to me that this has anything to do with wind being unreliable (which it is, of course). Any system is going to have protection features against grid faults, and it looks like that’s what happened here.

        Were those features necessary? I rather doubt they put them in for the fun of it. Why they would have a pre-set number of dips as a limit, I don’t know – it might be due to overheating of components from the dips, or it might be some heuristic that isn’t as easily explained.

      • You might have missed this paragraph, Chris:

        Wind turbines successfully rode through grid disturbances. It was the action of a control setting responding to multiple disturbances that led to the Black System. Changes made to turbine control settings shortly after the event has removed the risk of recurrence given the same number of disturbances.

        Click to access Integrated-Final-Report-SA-Black-System-28-September-2016.pdf

        After all, it’s hidden in the Executive Summary.

      • Chris Morris

        I didn’t miss that paragraph, Willard. After I quoted the piece from AEMO,outside the quote marks I wrote “That was why they had to change their settings. ”
        And I also didn’t quote “Had the generation deficit [from the 456MW dropping off] not occurred, AEMO’s modelling indicates SA would have remained connected to Victoria and the Black System would have been avoided. AEMO cannot rule out the possibility that later events could have caused a black system, but is not aware of any system damage that would have done this.” in the bullet point below it

      • Chris Morris

        It is snark Robert because you profess to be an expert in things you just skim read. Conventional synchronous generators wouldn’t have tripped out when those line faults occurred because of their inertia and low voltage ride through.
        As an aside, that pylon was one of those that dropped after the blackout I believe.

      • You believe do you? I profess to be a technologist informed and on the diverse subjects I have been reading on for decades. It is my core skill. I’d guess that you have a very narrow focus and really don’t have much of a clue about anything else.

        Environmental science is a practical, team based, multidisciplinary field that solves complex problems that have ‘wicked’ dimensions of culture, history, economics and environment. It synergistically – the whole is greater than the parts – integrates physical and biological sciences within a real world context of society. It provides the most flexible and comprehensive approach to designing sustainable futures, assessing and managing environmental risk and environmental planning and management.

      • Chris,

        I really don’t mind if you pull Chief’s leg. I do mind if you misrepresent the report. Would you have preferred that I emphasized Changes made to turbine control settings shortly after the event has removed the risk of recurrence given the same number of disturbances?

      • Poor wee willie is waiting for the AI economic planning overlord to solve all our problems.

        I assume it refers to the wind farm software fix that made wind farms less sensitive. Hardware fixes have been added since.

  11. David Laurentz

    Austin Energy is a producer. I can’t find any reference to why they didn’t properly plan for the cold weather.

  12. Chris Morris

    Interesting data showing that 79% of the wind turbines were sited where they had long periods below freezing. Once iced up, they never thawed
    http://www.urbanhi.net/uhi-cities/houston-area.html
    That would be they went AWOL from the 9th onwards

  13. Now it turns out that one week before the freeze and energy crisis, Texas asked the federal government for emergency dispensation to exceed environmentally determined limits on electricity generation.

    And was denied?

    For the new Biden administration, keeping to green limits all the time was more important than keeping the lights on.

    https://www.iceagenow.info/dept-of-energy-blocked-texas-from-increasing-power-ahead-of-killer-storm/

  14. Energy systems are in transition whether you are on board or not. The driver is technological innovation. The wind is wild – creative freedom is the seed as Cecelia would say. Only to be greeted with derision by grumpy old contrarians. 40 years ago I concluded that the solutions will be technological. That is still the case.

    • We’re already in “the future” of green energy. Al Gore told us 20 years ago that it was ready, cheap, and reliable. All three of those claims weren’t true then and still aren’t. Exhibit A for that is China- which had no ideological reason to ignore “free” renewable energy but did so, more than doubling their CO2 emissions since Gore said that and to this day demanding the “right” to increase emissions for another decade (Paris accords).

      That said, energy systems certainly are in transition. They’re switching to natural gas. In about 10-15 years we’ll have round two of the “debate” about why we should ignore atoms just because people on the political left aren’t very bright, but are very loud.

    • Chins is building 100’s of super-critical coal fired plants as well as new nuclear – including a couple of 4th generation reactors, hydro, tidal, wind and solar… Neglecting energy innovation because China is emitting greenhouse gasses or that greenhouse gas emissions aren’t a problem is piling one dumb idea on another.

      • “Neglecting energy innovation because China is emitting greenhouse gasses…”

        Who’s “neglecting energy innovation?” Going back to the 14th century isn’t innovation. China built more coal power plants in the year 2020 than the entire world combined. The country has to import coal to operate them. The Chinese have many brilliant people, if half the hype about renewables were remotely true they wouldn’t be building coal at all. But they are, in no small part because they have no political incentive to pretend renewables are worth bothering with. But, hey, they’ve already demonstrated that they’ll be happy to dump cheap solar panels on Europe and North America. They simply know better than to use them themselves.

    • Randall Munroe would have to draw a giant magnifying glass to make batteries show up in this graph:

      • Apart from the fact that batteries are not an energy source? Some 0.5% of energy in uranium fuel pellets is used in light water reactors. Fast neutron advanced reactors should do considerably better.

  15. “If you want to build dirt cheap – build it out of dirt.” Professor Donald Sadoway

  16. I’ve read that the NG wellheads froze because the previous gas heaters had been replace with electrical – No CO2, don’t you know.
    Yet another intersection of devotion with reality. And reality always wins.

  17. Why TX Republicans fear the Green New Deal [link]

    See, e.g., Urban dictionary…

    ponzi scheme
    see social security.
    A scam involving paying off money to old investors with new investors’ money. Eventally the last group of people paying into the scam never get their money back.

  18. A tidal wave of denial from the climate mafia of any involvement of wind power plants in the Texas failure. Other shortcomings of non winterised (to divert money to renewables) gas and nuclear plant are stretched into a fig leaf the size of Texas itself.

    None of them bothered to learn the simple fact that the distortion of the Texas energy market to energy only, not capacity, was done to favour intermittents and caused the disaster.

    But who cares? If you really think the answer to Texas’ woes is to finally get rid of all electricity generation except for wind and solar, then go ahead and do it. What could possibly go wrong? Disinvest from and cancel anyone who says otherwise. What a truly bright future lies ahead.

  19. The latest Klimate Killing Katastrophe meme from the Left, courtesy of CNN (thank God Biden is in office)…

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/02/world/climate-change-ocean-currents-weakening/index.html

  20. Rather than freezing well heads, it was that rolling blackouts cut electricity to some parts of the oil field, cutting production of nat gas!!

    As ERCOT issued the order to start load shedding – rotating blackouts – some of the darkened circuits included vital oil and gas infrastructure. This uncoordinated move starved natural gas power plants of their fuel – leading to a further loss of power and the widespread and incorrect rumor that wellhead and pipeline freeze off contributed to the disaster.

    When these systems lost power, gas production dropped 75%. An Obama-era environmental rule that forced oilfield compressors to switch from natural gas to electric likely made things worse. Eventually, power was restored, and natural gas production ramped back up to meet electricity generation demand.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/03/02/chuck-devore-texas-blackouts-heres-the-truth-about-why-they-happened-and-what-we-have-to-do-next/

  21. As Alex Epstein noted, while wind was only part of the problem, it was none of the solution. Wind and solar can not provide reliable baseload or dispatchable energy which is why fossil fuel or nuclear power plants are needed to back up wind and solar. As more unreliables are put on the grid while reliable energy sources are removed, we will only see these problems get worse. Grid scale battery backup is a misnomer. Batteries only serve to regulate the frequency that is caused to fluctuate due to unreliables intermittency. Here is a more recent article https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/03/02/chuck-devore-texas-blackouts-heres-the-truth-about-why-they-happened-and-what-we-have-to-do-next/

  22. Beta Blocker

    The last month has witnessed much talk of an expanded use of nuclear power as a zero carbon solution to America’s energy needs. But there are major problems with that option. Especially if the Biden Administration adopts a target of a 50% reduction in our GHG emissions by 2030.

    The first major problem is that approximately one-third of America’s legacy nuclear fleet — roughly 37 GW of generation capacity — will have been retired by 2030 as a consequence of a severely distorted power marketplace caused by giving non-dispatchable wind and solar priority access to the grid.

    The second major problem is that getting and keeping nuclear’s capital costs under control requires that we adopt the small modular reactors (SMRs) as our standard technology for new-build nuclear power — but that the very first commercial scale SMR facility, a 12-module 924 MWe NuScale plant, won’t come on line until 2030.

    Forty of these new 924 MWe SMR plants would be needed to replace the 37 GW of nuclear capacity that will have been retired by 2030. Only one of these new SMR plants will be in operation by that time.

    What if Biden’s people accede to pressure from climate activists to adopt a target of a 50% reduction in America’s GHG emissions by 2030?

    Reaching that goal demands that government-mandated, strictly-enforced energy conservation measures be adopted, up to and including a carbon fuel rationing scheme not unlike the one imposed during World War II.

    • Even Arizona has gotten in on the madness, with a 50% “green” by 2050. Nuclear is specifically allowed as “green” – but if the Democrats finish their takeover of the state, that may change.

      Arizona is probably one of the best places in the country for solar power, one of the worst for wind. But, I’ve seen winter storms here where there is no sun at all for a few days or more. And, our haboobs can coat panels in dust in a couple of minutes.

      We also have the nation’s largest nuclear power plant at Palo Verde, AZ. Ironically, Palo Verde provides power to California, even as they go engage in their de-nuclearization virtue signaling.

      https://tucson.com/business/arizona-regulators-adopt-new-clean-energy-rules-without-renewable-mandate/article_6cc6ae60-08bb-5880-8f8a-78712d26431a.html

    • Let’s build the next SMR under Washington D.C.. It will focus their attention on getting it right. Like that meme “Walk a mile in my shoes”.
      I think our collective energy efficiency is terrible.
      It’s so much more than just electricity. Project Drawdown is looking at the bigger planetary problems of 7.8 billion people.

      • mesocyclone

        “I think our collective energy efficiency is terrible.
        It’s so much more than just electricity. Project Drawdown is looking at the bigger planetary problems of 7.8 billion people.”

        We’d be a lot smarter if we focused on how to generate energy inexpensively and with appropriate environmental precautions.

        “Energy efficiency” usually translates into higher costs to use energy. Since human thriving historically is strongly correlated with energy use, being able to use more makes the most sense.

        And, “energy efficient” in developed countries almost always means higher cost, and often doesn’t actually result in any net energy reduction when you look at it system wide.

        Of course, if we can use energy more efficiently without it costing, that’s a good idea. New building construction *might* be able to do a bit of that.

      • Re: Meso’s comment, according to Mark Mills:

        8. Efficiency increases energy demand by making products & services cheaper: since 1990, global energy efficiency improved 33%, the economy grew 80% and global energy use is up 40%.

        9. Efficiency increases energy demand: Since 1995, aviation fuel use/passenger-mile is down 70%, air traffic rose more than 10-fold, and global aviation fuel use rose over 50%.

        10. Efficiency increases energy demand: since 1995, energy used per byte is down about 10,000-fold, but global data traffic rose about a million-fold; global electricity used for computing soared.

        11. Since 1995, total world energy use rose by 50%, an amount equal to adding two entire United States’ worth of demand.

        Agree that improving energy efficiency is important, but it does not mean less energy will be used overall.

        I think I posted this article before, but here it is again. It’s worth reading not just the summary, but the entire analysis.

        https://economics21.org/inconvenient-realities-new-energy-economy#.Xun54QaxDvk.email

        https://www.manhattan-institute.org/green-energy-revolution-near-impossible

        And, one more. https://www.manhattan-institute.org/mines-minerals-and-green-energy-reality-check

      • mesocyclone

        It isn’t clear to me that energy efficiency will always increase demand. It depends on what it costs to get that efficiency, since those costs affect prices of goods and services, and the amount of money left to pay for energy.

        Also, efficiency leads to less use for the specific usage made more efficient.

        Of course, if it lowers cost, it may increase that usage since it costs less.

        So I’d guess that *cost effective efficiency improvements* increase demand, if using more energy provides a value, which it usually does. Otherwise, it seems unlikely.

        Anyway, those links are really useful. Thanks.

      • Nice self-own Jacksmith.
        You do know Washington DC is nuclear powered right now, right? And that the only thing rivaling it is natural gas- thanks to President Obama, who managed to crash the price of gas by massively increasing US production of all fossil fuels.
        And that only 5% of the city’s energy comes from “renewables” despite all the arm-waving and press releases. That’s because Washington DC has no nearby empty land for solar or wind farms and is well over 100 miles away from any possible off-shore wind sites.

    • A good article on what it will take to get to “net-zero” by 2050.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/01/27/bright-green-impossibilities/

  23. A very useful diagram and explanation by the NOAA:
    ….
    Polar vortex versus polar jet stream
    The Arctic polar vortex is a band of strong westerly winds that forms in the stratosphere between about 10 and 30 miles above the North Pole every winter. The winds enclose a large pool of extremely cold air. (There is an even stronger polar vortex in the Southern Hemisphere stratosphere in its winter.) The stronger the winds, the more the air inside is isolated from warmer latitudes, and the colder it gets.
    ….
    https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/understanding-arctic-polar-vortex

  24. Hello
    if anyone knows of a good analysis and critique of Gate’s new climate book, I would appreciate the tip.
    Thanks
    Frank
    f_paul@outlook.com