Arches National Park, Utah 2019 Charles Rotter

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #443

The Week That Was: 2021-02-20 (February 20, 2021)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones.” – Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Feb 12, 2002

Number of the Week: – 70% undependable.

THIS WEEK:

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Promote the Myth: The severe cold that hit Texas this week gave fresh opportunities for those who engage in finger pointing and those who promote myths concerning climate change and ways to address it. There is no physical evidence that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere from say 300 parts per million to 400 parts per million, 0.01% of the molecules in the atmosphere, will cause cooling. (Similarly, there is little physical evidence that it will cause dangerous warming, though that has become a popular political myth.)

When California experienced blackouts this summer, many politicians ignored the fact that in California the legislature is responsible for all utilities. Instead, they promptly blamed the utilities and global warming for failure of utilities to provide needed electricity. Thereby they tried to deflect their own responsibilities.

The electrical grid is an energized system of electricity generators, transformers, transmission and distribution lines and consumers that must be maintained within tight tolerances. Otherwise, it fails for all. For years, the California Independent Systems Operator (CAISO), which is responsible for maintaining the grid in major parts of California, has been warning the public that increased solar generation, usually in the form of photoelectric panels, will place a great burden on electrical generation as the sun goes down.

CAISO developed the CAISO Duck Curve, illustrating that increasing solar and erratic wind power can produce oversupply of electrical power when not needed and lack of electrical power when it is needed the most. When the latter occurs, the grid operator must shut off power to part of the grid to prevent failure for all consumers. For years, California politicians have ignored the evidence that unusually warm, still weather would create situations where CAISO must shut off power to parts of the grid to protect the grid from major damage lasting months, which, of course, create blackouts that vex consumers..

When such situations resulted in California Blackouts last year, the politicians blamed everyone else – and climate change – to hide their own responsibility. Unfortunately, this is a common example of actions by many politicians and bureaucrats: When evidence contradicts the political myth; promote the myth, ignore the evidence. We are seeing the same in Texas. See http://www.caiso.com/Documents/Flexibleresourceshelprenewables_FastFacts.pdf

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Ignore the Evidence: Although others expressed similar views, in the quote of the week Donald Rumsfeld succinctly expressed the difficulty in sorting out that which we know and that which we do not know, as well as levels of ignorance. For his effort, he was ridiculed in the general press. It is useful to apply Rumsfeld’s reasoning to try to understand what occurred in Texas this past week.

The plains states, including Texas, are subject to severe outbreaks of cold winter weather as well as severe outbreaks of hot weather. In the 19th century, settlers in the upper Midwest noted severe blasts of cold Arctic air. In the 1880s, even Theodore Roosevelt speculated whether the Great Plains were inhabitable. During such events, cattle froze as far south as Texas, and the famous schoolchildren’s blizzard of 1888 killed over 200 children who lost their way going home from school. Blaming the cold outbreak in Texas on a change in the slight amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is absurd. Some weather forecasting organizations such as WeatherBell Analytics predicted the outbreak of cold, others didn’t. The outbreak was neither unpredictable nor unprecedented. The question is what do we know at this time?

Fortunately, the grid operator for 90% of Texas is ERCOT, which posts excellent useful information. As with other US grid operators, ERCOT tries to be 99.9% reliable. There was a severe cold outbreak in 2011 and in 2014. How has ERCOT responded to severe cold outbreaks?

In 2021, its generation by fuel from Gas Combined Cycle was 35%, Wind 25%, Coal 22% Nuclear 12%, Gas 3% and Solar 2%. The summary for monthly generation is not yet available. In 2020 its generation by fuel was Gas-Combined Cycle 40%, Wind 23%, Coal 18%, Nuclear 11%, Gas 6%, Solar 2%. The months for greatest generation was July and August, the greatest wind generation was December.

For 2020, about 25 percent of generation was from weather-dependent solar and wind; in 2021, 27%. In the recent cold outbreak, inland wind turbines froze and solar was snow covered, useless. However, shoreline wind production was maintained (the surface water temperature at Galveston was over 55 degrees F (over 15 degrees C). From extreme cold in the winter to extreme still, heat in the summer, about 25% of the electricity generated for ERCOT is from intermittent, undependable sources. According to reports, ERCOT assumes that in the winter only 10% of its generation can be counted on to come reliably from wind. The fact that so many wind installations have been built is a result of big-money politics, not practicality. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Questioning the Orthodoxy, Subsidies and Mandates Forever, https://www.kansas.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/the-story-of-kansas/article1105618.html and http://www.ercot.com/gridinfo/generation

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Two Markets: One of the most useful analyses concerning Texas Blackouts was by “Planning Engineer” writing in Judith Curry’s “Climate Etc.” He writes:

“The story from some media sources is that frozen wind turbines are responsible for the power shortfalls in Texas. Other media sources emphasize that fossil fuel resources should shoulder the blame because they have large cold induced outages as well and also some natural gas plants could not obtain fuel.

“Extreme cold should be expected to cause significant outages of both renewable and fossil fuel-based resources. Why would anyone expect that sufficient amounts of natural gas would be available and deliverable to supply much needed generation? Considering the extreme cold, nothing particularly surprising is happening within any resource class in Texas. The technologies and their performance were well within the expected bounds of what could have been foreseen for such weather conditions. While some degradation should be expected, what is happening in Texas is a departure from what they should be experiencing. Who or what then is responsible for the shocking consequences produced by Texas’s run-in with this recent bout of extreme cold?”

“TRADITIONAL PLANNING

“Traditionally, responsibility for ensuring adequate capacity during extreme conditions has fallen upon individual utility providers. A couple decades ago I was responsible for the load forecasting, transmission planning and generation planning efforts of an electric cooperative in the southeastern US. My group’s projections, studies and analysis supported our plans to meet customer demand under forecasted peak load conditions. We had seen considerable growth in residential and commercial heat pumps. At colder temperature, these units stop producing heat efficiently and switch to resistance heating which [requires substantially increased power and therefore] causes a spike in demand. Our forecasts showed that we would need to plan for extra capacity to meet this potential demand under extreme conditions in upcoming winters.

“I was raked over the coals and this forecast was strongly challenged. Providing extra generation capacity, ensuring committed (firm) deliveries of gas during the winter, upgrading transmission facilities are all expensive endeavors. Premiums are paid to ensure gas delivery and backup power and there is no refund if it’s not used. Such actions increased the annual budget and impact rates significantly for something that is not likely to occur most years, even if the extreme weather projections are appropriate. You certainly don’t want to over-estimate peak demand due to the increasing costs associated with meeting that demand. But back then we were obligated to provide for such “expected” loads. Our CEO, accountants and rate makers would ideally have liked a lower extreme demand projection as that would in most cases kept our cost down. It was challenging to hold firm and stand by the studies and force the extra costs on our Members.”

Here we see the real conflict: does one plan for what is expected or for the unusual? Planning engineer goes on to explain:

“The Approach in Texas

“Who is responsible for providing adequate capacity in Texas during extreme conditions? The short answer is no one. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) looks at potential forecasted peak conditions and expected available generation and if there is sufficient margin, they assume everything will be all right. But unlike utilities under traditional models, they don’t ensure that the resources can deliver power under adverse conditions, they don’t require that generators have secured firm fuel supplies, and they don’t make sure the resources will be ready and available to operate. They count on enough resources being there because they assume that is in their owner’s best interests. Unlike all other US energy markets, Texas does not even have a capacity market. By design they rely solely upon the energy market. This means that entities profit only from the actual energy they sell into the system. They do not see any profit from having stand by capacity ready to help out in emergencies. The energy only market works well under normal conditions to keep prices down. While generally markets are often great things, providing needed energy during extreme conditions evidently is not their forte. Unlike the traditional approach where specific entities have responsibilities to meet peak levels, in Texas the responsibility is diffuse and unassigned. There is no significant long-term motivation for entities to ensure extra capacity just in case it may be needed during extreme conditions. Entities that might make that gamble theoretically can profit when markets skyrocket, but such approaches require tremendous patience and the ability to weather many years of potential negative returns.”

The bottom line is that in Texas, no one is formally responsible for providing adequate electricity under extreme conditions. However, clearly ultimately the legislature must be responsible. Will it ignore the evidence that its policies, or non-policies, result in blackouts as happened in California? We shall see. Planning Engineer concludes with:

“Anyone can look at Texas and observe that fossil fuel resources could have performed better in the cold. If those who owned the plants had secured guaranteed fuel, Texas would have been better off. More emergency peaking units would be a great thing to have on hand. Why would generators be inclined to do such a thing? Consider, what would be happening if the owners of gas generation had built sufficient generation to get through this emergency with some excess power? Instead of collecting $9,000 per MWH from existing functioning units, they would be receiving less than $100 per MWH for the output of those plants and their new plants. Why would anyone make tremendous infrastructure that would sit idle in normal years and serve to slash your revenue by orders of magnitudes in extreme conditions?

“The incentive for gas generation to do the right thing was taken away by Texas’s deliberate energy only market strategy. The purpose of which was to aid the profitability of intermittent wind and solar resources and increase their penetration levels. I don’t believe anyone has ever advanced the notion that fossil fuel plants might operate based on altruism. Incentives and responsibility need to be paired.  Doing a post-mortem on the Texas situation ignoring incentives and responsibility is inappropriate and incomplete.”

Texas is self-sufficient in oil and natural gas; it exports it nationally and internationally. Some wells produce water as well as natural gas and the water froze during the deep cold. But there are abundant depleted wells to store a month’s supply of natural gas to meet any possible contingency and, as seen in northern states, pipelines can be winterized. Similarly, coal can be stored on site. Some coal and nuclear plants may have been undergoing maintenance, but TWTW found no verification that the cooling intakes were frozen putting them out of commission.

Texas is attracting high tech industries including chip manufacturers which require reliable electricity. A short interruption can destroy weeks of production. Unlike their colleagues in California, will the legislators in Texas provide the necessary incentives to assure reliable electricity? See links under Seeking a Common Ground, Energy Issues – Texas, Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind, and https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/electricity-in-the-us.php

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Blackouts Coming Near You? The above focused on blackouts in Texas and to a lesser extent California. It is too early to tell if the Biden administration will follow through in its assertions to stop carbon dioxide emissions. According to the US Energy Information Agency (EIA), in 2019 coal and natural gas generated 61% of US electricity, nuclear 20%, wind 7.3%, hydro 6.6%, solar 1.8%, biomass 1.4%, and petroleum 1%. Replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar will make 70% of US electricity subject to unexpected blackouts.

National policies aside, Donn Dears has an excellent explanation and a video how various US grid system operators favor unreliable solar and wind over reliable generators of electricity. Bluntly, much of the American public is paying more than needed for electricity under the pretense that the auction system being used is providing the lowest price possible. See links under Questioning the Orthodoxy and https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/electricity-in-the-us.php

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Fake Proof, Fake Science: UK’s Paul Homewood provides a clear video by Ben Pile of “Spiked” explaining one of the tricks being used by global warming advocates. They use models to produce estimates of what models calculate may happen with an increase in CO2, then compare these estimates to estimates from the models of what may happen without the increase in CO2. This is computer simulation vs. computer simulation, rather than simulation vs. reality, which it should be. The global climate models greatly overestimate the actual warming of the atmosphere over the past 40 years. The modelers know this and are becoming desperate. No wonder Ben Pile is so heavily attacked for clearly identifying and explaining these tricks. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Number of the Week: – 70% undependable. As stated above, using EIA numbers, if the Biden administration succeeds in converting coal and natural gas-powered electricity generation to solar and wind, then it would make about 70% of US electricity generation undependable (non-dispatchable). The public would not be able to rely on it when needed. As Donald Rumsfeld might say, known unknowns are bad enough, but replacing a known with an unknown unknown is folly. See links under Change in US Administrations.

NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Censorship

Facebook now ‘arbiter of truth’ on ‘climate change’

Panel with Yale, Cambridge experts to debunk ‘myths’ of ‘deniers’

By Art Moore, WND, Feb 18, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

“The experts will come from the likes of the University of Cambridge, George Mason University and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.”

[SEPP Comment: The promoters of the false 97% consensus at George Mason are in charge of fighting misinformation?]

YouTube Shuts Me Down Again

By Tony Heller, His Blog, Feb 19, 2021

https://realclimatescience.com/2021/02/youtube-shuts-me-down-again/

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

Who will Ridd us?

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Feb 17, 2021

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013

Summary: https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/CCR/CCR-II/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014

Summary: https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019

Download with no charge:

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus

By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015

Download with no charge:

https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/why-scientists-disagree-about-global-warming

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data

By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019

Challenging the Orthodoxy

The New Dark Age: The self-destruction of an energy superpower

Editorial, WSJ, Via GWPF, Feb 17, 2021

A deep green freeze: An existential threat to America’s future

Editorial, WSJ, Via GWPF, Feb 16, 2021

Richard Betts’ Pseudo Science

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 17, 2021

Video by Ben Pile

Is the Texas Cold Wave Caused By Global Warming?

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Feb 17, 2021

https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2021-02-18T14:30:00-08:00&max-results=2

Assessment of climate change risk to the insurance sector

By Judith Curry. Climate Etc. Feb 15, 2021

“The scenarios for climate change out to 2050 presented by AIR are based on an implausible emissions scenario that produces an implausible amount of warming by 2050.  Even if this large amount of warming is accepted as plausible, the scenario for substantially increased numbers of major hurricane landfalls impacting the U.S. is judged to be very unlikely if not borderline implausible.”

[SEPP Comment: Curry recognizes that the AIR models for catastrophic risk are beyond help despite the claim of embodying the latest science.]

Is Climate Change Making Texas Winters Colder?

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 18, 2021

“Of course, I must make my usual caveat; these [NOAA] graphs are derived from heavily adjusted and homogenized temperature data.

“Are Texas winters getting colder, or are the NOAA figures correct?”

Climate: The Evidence-Free Science

By Tony Heller, His Blog, Feb 19, 2021

https://realclimatescience.com/2021/02/climate-the-evidence-free-science/

Defending the Orthodoxy – Bandwagon Science

When Smart People Get the Climate Crazies

By Michael Kile, Quadrant, Jan 20, 2021

Studies reveal global ice melt estimates have been conservative

By Evan Lim, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Feb 18, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://phys.org/news/2021-02-reveal-global-ice.html

[SEPP Comment: Conservative exaggeration rather than liberal exaggeration?]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Texas and The Looming Energy Crisis

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Feb 17, 2021

Link to video.

Texas Electricity Crisis

By Alex Epstein, Energy Talking Points, Accessed Feb 17, 2021 [H/t William Readdy]

https://energytalkingpoints.com/texas-electricity-crisis/

Distorting the Levelized Cost of Electricity

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Feb 16, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Exposing how the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) rig the numbers to make wind and solar appear low cost.]

Will Climate Alarm Finally End When the World Doesn’t?

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Feb 16, 2021

https://www.newsmax.com/larrybell/edenhofer-frontline-ipcc-pbs/2021/02/15/id/1010026/

“Moon Shots” Won’t Solve the Climate Crisis

By David Whitehouse, Real Clear Energy, Feb 17, 2021

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/02/16/moon_shots_wont_solve_the_climate_crisis_660584.html

More Evidence Surfaces That Fires Are Far Less Common Today Than In The Past

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Feb 18, 2021

Change in US Administrations

Biden’s Economy Will Be a Train Wreck

Green policies risk the return of inflation.

By Rupert Darwall, Real Clear Energy, Feb 17, 2021

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/02/17/bidens_economy_will_be_a_train_wreck_660695.html

“Kerry and former EPA Administrator and now White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy were talking about the climate change executive order that Biden had just signed. ‘We face a climate crisis that threatens our people and communities, public health and economy, and, starkly, our ability to live on planet Earth,’ the executive order proclaimed. Its purpose is to make fighting climate change the organizing principle of the Biden administration. ‘Climate change is the most significant public health challenge of our time,’ McCarthy improbably claimed. Cutting carbon-dioxide emissions will reduce childhood asthma, Kerry suggested. ‘Quality of life will be better when Gina has put her team together that produces choices for us that are healthier, less cancer, cleaner air,’ he added.”

Biden’s Drilling Ban Devastates New Mexico While Boosting America’s Competitors

By Kevin Mooney, Real Clear Energy, Feb 17, 2021

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/02/17/bidens_drilling_ban_devastates_new_mexico_while_boosting_americas_competitors_660694.html

White House rescinds Trump proposal to limit greenhouse gas consideration in infrastructure decisions

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Feb 18, 2021

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/539397-white-house-rescinds-trump-proposal-aiming-to-limit-greenhouse-gas

Problems in the Orthodoxy

EU falling short on 2030 climate target

By Staff, Bloomberg, Via GWPF, Feb 18, 2021

Un-Greening: Mexico gives up on renewables, revives coal industry

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 16, 2021

Germany Desperate For Coal Power, As Wind & Solar Power Fail

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 13, 2021

Seeking a Common Ground

Assigning Blame for the Blackouts in Texas

By Planning Engineer, Climate Etc. Feb 18, 2021

Link to report: Why doesn’t Texas Have a Capacity Market

By Staff, The Current, Apr 10, 20219

Why I Am a Climate Realist

By Vijay Jayaraj, WUWT, Feb 18, 2021

Science, Policy, and Evidence

Climate Facts or Leaps of Faith? Governments Can’t Tell the Difference

We have no hard evidence of a crisis. Only expert opinion and best estimates.

By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, Feb 17, 2021

The progress of the COVID-19 epidemic in Sweden: an update

By Nic Lewis, Climate Etc. Feb 18, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Also compares “excess deaths” in Sweden with England.]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Physiological Buffering by a Marine Macroalgae Ameliorates Ocean Acidification and Warming Effects on a Large Foraminifer

Doo, S.S., Leplastrier, A., Graba-Landry, A., Harianto, J., Coleman, R.A. and Byrne, M. 2020. Amelioration of ocean acidification and warming effects through physiological buffering of a macroalgae. Ecology and Evolution, DOI: 10.1002/ece3.6552. Feb 17, 2021

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V24/feb/a8.php

“Consequently, given that the entire future outlook of this foraminifer changed from bad to good when allowing for its interaction with an ecologically-relevant algal species, Doo et al. call for further investigations into ‘species interactions, particularly multispecies symbioses that provide biological buffering services’ as scientists attempt to discern the true fate of marine organisms in response to projected changes in ocean warming and acidification.”

CO2-induced Reductions in N2O emissions in a Subtropical Rice Field

Yao, Z., Wang, R., Zheng, X., Mei, B., Zhoe, Z., Xie, B., Dong, H., Liu, C., Han, S., Xu, Z., Butterbach-Bahl, K. and Zhu, J. 2020. Elevated atmospheric CO2 reduces yield-scaled N2O fluxes from subtropical rice systems: Six site-years field experiments. Global Change Biology 27: 327-339. Feb 15, 2021

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V24/feb/a7.php

A Solar-Climate Link in Northern Fennoscandia

Ogurtsov, M., Veretenenko, S.V., Helama, S., Jalkanen, R. and Lindholm, M. 2020. Assessing the signals of the Hale solar cycle in temperature proxy records from Northern Fennoscandia. Advances in Space Research 66: 2113-2121. Feb 12, 2021

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V24/feb/a6.php

“Nevertheless, correlation does not prove causation. There must be a physical mechanism explaining the solar-driven temperature changes. And although discerning that mechanism (or mechanisms) was beyond the scope of their analysis, Ogurtsov et al. opine ‘galactic cosmic ray flux looks like the most probably physical agent,’ providing several explanations and citations from the literature to back up their theory.”

Models v. Observations

Richard’s X Box or Real World Data?

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 17, 2021

“I began by asking why we need this new climate attribution science?

“The answer is of course obvious. There is a need to “blame” things on climate change. It is nothing to do with science, and everything to do with politics.”

Junk Grade Models: Even Short-Term Climate And Weather Modelers Get It All Wrong

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 19, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Great photo of the US temperature outlook for January to March 2021 by the Weather Channel.]

Measurement Issues — Surface

Scientists say (8)

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Feb 17, 2021

Changing Weather

January Mean Temps In Northern Europe Stall, Top Climate Scientist Concedes: Cold Waves “More Frequent” Ahead

By P Gosselin and Kirye, No Tricks Zone Feb 18, 2021

So about that storm

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Feb 17, 2021

Changing Climate

Climate change killed off mammoths, sloths, megafauna

By Brooks Hays, Washington DC (UPI), Feb 16, 2021

https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Climate_change_killed_off_mammoths_sloths_megafauna_999.html

Link to paper: Climate change, not human population growth, correlates with Late Quaternary megafauna declines in North America

By Mathew Stewart, W.C. Carleton & H. Groucutt, Nature Communications, Feb 16, 2021\

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-21201-8

[SEPP Comment: Uses “a new Bayesian regression technique.”]

Changing Seas

Billionaire Sea Level Hype

By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Feb 16, 2021

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Southeast Greenland Sea Surface Temperature 1° – 2°C Warmer In 1940 Than Today, New Study Show

By P Gosselin. No Tricks Zone, Feb 14, 2021

Link to paper: Sea Surface Temperature Variability on the SE‐Greenland Shelf (1796–2013 CE) and Its Influence on Thrym Glacier in Nørre Skjoldungesund

By David Wangner, et al. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, Dec 5, 2019

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019PA003692

Fact: polar bears are thriving despite sea ice loss according to the scientific literature

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Feb 19, 2021

How icebergs really melt – and what this could mean for climate change

By Staff Writers, Sydney, Australia (SPX), Feb 17, 2021

https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/How_icebergs_really_melt___and_what_this_could_mean_for_climate_change_999.html

Link to paper: Aspect ratio affects iceberg melting

By Eric W. Hester, et al. Physical Review, Fluids, Feb 12, 2021

https://journals.aps.org/prfluids/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevFluids.6.023802

Geologists discover strange creatures living deep beneath Antarctic ice shelf

By Brooks Hays, Washington DC (UPI), Feb 15, 2021

https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Geologists_discover_strange_creatures_living_deep_beneath_Antarctic_ice_shelf_999.html

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Corn belt farmland has lost a third of its carbon-rich soil

By Staff Writers, Amherst MA (SPX), Feb 16, 2021

https://www.seeddaily.com/reports/Corn_belt_farmland_has_lost_a_third_of_its_carbon_rich_soil_999.html

The extent of soil loss across the US Corn Belt

By Evan A. Thaler, Isaac J. Larsen, and Qian Yu, PNAS, Dec 20, 2019

https://www.pnas.org/content/118/8/e1922375118

[SEPP Comment: Since when, 1850? The article and abstract ignore dates. The US Department of Agriculture has long promoted contour tilling to reduce erosion.]

Lowering Standards

Factchecking BBC’s Factcheck

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 18, 2021

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?

Claim: Coal, Gas and Nuclear Plants are Struggling with the Heat of Global Warming

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Feb 16, 2021

Link to paper: Thermal power generation is disadvantaged in a warming world

By Ethan D Coffel and Justin S Mankin, Environmental Research Letters, Feb 9, 2021

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/abd4a8

From the abstract: “Thermal power plants use fossil fuels or nuclear material to generate most of the world’s electricity. On hot days, when electricity demand peaks, the ambient air and water used to cool these plants can become too warm, forcing operators to curtail electricity output.”

[SEPP Comment: The difference between temperatures is important.]

Where’d my ice go?

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Feb 17, 2021

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

WHO and the “Climate Emergency”

By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Feb 15, 2021

[SEPP Comment: WHO’s estimates of causes of death in 2020 are contradict the claim of “climate emergency.”]

Where are the boiling hurricanes of tomorrow?

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Feb 17, 2021

BBC Replay Weather Disaster Losses Con Trick

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 19, 2021

Net zero net trillions

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Feb 17, 2021

“Indeed, global green finance superstar Mark Carney, once a humble central bank president, now says that as climate change will kill as many people as COVID every year from mid-century on, ‘The scale of investment in energy, sustainable energy and sustainable infrastructure needs to double. Every year, for the course of the next three decades, $3.5 trillion (£2.5tn) a year, for 30 years. It is an enormous investment opportunity., Well, opportunity is one word. Black hole is another.” [Boldface added]

Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

Don’t Accept 100% Of The Climate Change Story And You Get Labeled A Racist

By Mike Shedlock, MishTalk, Via, Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Feb 18, 2021

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/dont-accept-100-climate-change-story-and-you-get-labeled-racist

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children

Creepy Children’s Climate Video: What if Humans Disappeared?

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Feb 14, 2021

The Impact of Toxic Propaganda on America’s Children

By Larry Bell, America Out Loud, Feb 15, 2021

Questioning European Green

Boris Johnson’s Net Zero dilemma: Economic recovery or climate cap on holidays abroad

By Staff, The Sunday Times, Via GWPF, Feb 14, 2021

Fears over China’s Muslim forced labour loom over EU solar power

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 14, 2021

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Why Some Environmentalists Don’t Appreciate Prosperity

People enjoying the best environmental quality and the highest standards of living are also disproportionately more likely to be pessimistic.

By Marian L. Tupy, Human Progress, Sep 24, 2019 [H/t William Readdy]

The Green Bubble

By Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, Capital Matters, Feb 13, 2021

https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/02/the-green-bubble/

The vice that is virtue-signaling

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, WUWT, Feb 16, 2021

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Wind Subsidies Help Freeze Texans

By Bill Peacock, Master Resource, Feb 18, 2021

“During the critical four-hour period from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. when ERCOT was forced to begin rolling blackouts, actual wind output averaged less than 5% of the ERCOT load. This was down from about 58% the week before. It would be hard to overstate the damage caused by wind’s unreliability Monday night—or the harm its intermittency causes on a regular basis.”

“Where was solar, the most rapidly growing new energy source in Texas, Monday night? Where solar is every night—off the grid, for the simple reason that the sun was not shining. Some might claim this is no big deal because solar is not designed to generate electricity at night. Exactly. Its primary design feature also proved to be its main design flaw Monday night.”

Homeowners Fleeced By Renewable Subsidies

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 15, 2021

Energy Issues – Non-US

UK climate policies are to blame for making fuel poverty worse

By John Constable, GWPF, Feb 15, 2021

Why Heat Pumps Will Raise Your Energy Bills

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 3, 2021

GWPF accuses Government of driving up electricity prices and energy poverty

Press Release, GWPF, Feb 15, 2021

‘Cheap’ offshore wind power claims are false, data shows

Press Release, Global Warming Policy Foundation, Feb 19, 2021

Link to report: Offshore wind cost predictions and the cost of outcomes (pdf)

By Andrew Montford, GWPF, February 2021

Claim: New Zealand Economy will Have to Restructure Around a Limited Renewable Energy Supply

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Feb 18, 2021

Gas boss warns of higher bills to pay for greener energy

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 15, 2021

Energy Issues — US

This Blizzard Exposes The Perils Of Attempting To ‘Electrify Everything’

By Robert Bryce, Forbes, Feb 15, 2021

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertbryce/2021/02/15/this-blizzard-exposes-the-perils-of-attempting-to-electrify-everything/?sh=7d91b3d97e15

Environmentalists Want Renewable Energy, But Not Power Lines

The only thing that most environmental groups like the NRDC and Sierra Club do is complain, file lawsuits, and block things. They’re never part of any solution.

By Alex Berezow, ACSH, Feb 12, 2021

https://www.acsh.org/news/2021/02/12/environmentalists-want-renewable-energy-not-power-lines-15341

Link to report existing power lines: Electricity Distribution System Baseline Report

By WM Warwick, et al. Battelle Memorial Institute, for DOE, July 2016

Link to interim report power line need: Net-Zero America: Potential Pathways, Infrastructure, and Impacts

By Eric Larson, et al, Princeton Univ. Dec 16, 2020 [Forward by John Holdren]

https://environmenthalfcentury.princeton.edu/sites/g/files/toruqf331/files/2020-12/Princeton_NZA_Interim_Report_15_Dec_2020_FINAL.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3HQOmJlw6YyoCf_Zp_2V0UXSGy35weqWsItkGf57xTkj4mvqHbNhcN2pE

Gas Furnaces vs. DOE’s EERE (Trump trumps Obama, but Biden is Next)

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Feb 11, 2021

Energy Issues — Texas

Texas spins into the wind GWPF

Editorial, Wall Street Journal, Via GWPF, Feb 18, 2021

“Between 12 a.m. on Feb. 8 and Feb. 16, wind power plunged 93% while coal increased 47% and gas 450%, according to the EIA. Yet the renewable industry and its media mouthpieces are tarring gas, coal and nuclear because they didn’t operate at 100% of their expected potential during the Arctic blast even though wind turbines failed nearly 100%.”

The Narrative is Overshadowing Truth in the Texas Energy Crisis

By Erick-Woods Erickson, His Blog, Feb 17, 2021

https://ewerickson.substack.com/p/the-narrative-is-overshadowing-truth

“Texas and other states have no incentive to build baseload capacity because federal subsidies for renewables distort the market. Likewise, maintaining and weatherizing those baseload systems is economically disincentivized by those same federal subsidies. Additionally, most renewal energy systems have no obligations to contribute to maintenance of the existing power grid or ramp up capacity to that grid.”

The Day After Tomorrow: Renewables Fail Edition

By David Middleton, WUWT, Feb 17, 2021

Texas Wind Power Failure Continues, Most of State Experiencing Outages

By Anthony Watts, Heartland Daily, Feb 16, 2021

https://heartlanddailynews.com/2021/02/texas-wind-power-failure-continues-most-of-state-experiencing-outages/

Texas’ power grid crumples under the cold

Competition for natural gas and frozen wind turbines are only some of the problems.

By John Timmer, ARS Technicana, Feb 15, 2021 [H/t William Readdy]

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/02/texas-power-grid-crumples-under-the-cold/

Texas frozen wind power – outages ensue, electricity now at unheard of $9000 per megawatt-hour

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 15, 2021

Texas Power Freeze-Down Demonstrates Political Man-Made Climate Crisis

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Feb 19, 2021

https://www.newsmax.com/larrybell/texas-deep-freeze-windmills-energy/2021/02/19/id/1010709/

“The guaranteed output of wind + sun = 0.”

Texas: Time To Get Rid Of This Ridiculous Wind Power

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Feb 17, 2021

https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2021-2-17-texas-time-to-get-rid-of-this-ridiculous-wind-power

Imagine Texas Without Fossil Fuels

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 17, 2021

“Arctic air freezes Permian shale fields”… Fake news?

Reporting from Ice Station Dallas

By David Middleton, WUWT, Feb 28, 2021

Frozen wind turbines hamper Texas power output, state’s electric grid operator says

By Brandon Mulder, Austin American-Statesman, Feb 14, 2021

https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2021/02/14/historic-winter-storm-freezes-texas-wind-turbines-hampering-electric-generation/4483230001/

Outages or controlled blackouts rather than total blackout. Grid operators made practical decisions.

Frozen Wind Farms Are Just a Small Piece of Texas’s Power Woes

By Will Wade, Naureen Malik, and Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Green, Feb 15, 2021 [H/t Jim Hollingsworth]

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-16/frozen-wind-farms-were-just-a-small-piece-of-texas-s-power-woes

Hello Clean Energy Advocates, What Do We Do When The Wind Turbines Are All Frozen?

By Mike Shedlock, via Zero Hedge, Feb 16, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://www.zerohedge.com/energy/hello-clean-energy-advocates-what-do-we-do-when-wind-turbines-are-all-frozen

Midwest Have No Surplus Power For Texas

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 18, 2021

Profit warning as Texas freeze halts wind farms

By Staff, Reuters, Via GWPF, Feb 19, 2021

Washington’s Control of Energy

President’s Day: Best and Worst, Energy-wise

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Feb 15, 2021

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Germany concerned about Poland’s nuclear energy plans

The Polish government wants to start producing nuclear energy in 2033 and has agreed to deals with the US and France. But Germany is increasingly alarmed by its neighbor’s energy plans.

By Monika Sieradzka, DW, Feb 17, 2021

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-concerned-about-polands-nuclear-energy-plans/a-56603782

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Texas Windpower: Will Negative Pricing Blow Out the Lights? (PTC vs. reliable new capacity)

By Josiah Neeley, Master Resource, Feb 17, 2021

“Ed. note: This post, originally published at MasterResource in November 2012, is reposted verbatim for its relevancy now that wind power has two seasons of questionable output: freezing winter as well as stagnant summer. (Two updates are provided in brackets at the end of the article.) The ‘seen’ today is the frozen wind turbine; the ‘unseen’ is the gist of the post below: phantom fossil-fired generation capacity given the ruined economics from unfair competition.”

World’s ‘solar and wind capital’ freezing due to snow ‘blanketing millions’ of solar panels

 By Staff, Sky News Australia, Feb 14, 2021

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/worlds-solar-and-wind-capital-freezing-due-to-snow-blanketing-millions-of-solar-panels/ar-BB1dF9Dp?ocid=sl

We have been staggeringly blind to China’s rare earth dominance

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 18, 2021

Coal rescues Germany from its renewable energy folly

By Staff, Institute for Energy Research, Via GWPF, Feb 17, 2021

Opponents of NJ offshore wind project worry turbines will affect views, fishing, and tourism

By Jason Nark, Phys.org, Feb 16, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://phys.org/news/2021-02-opponents-nj-offshore-turbines-affect.html

[SEPP Comment: Also, they won’t work during a Bermuda High in August when electricity demand is the greatest.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Weakest link to EV growth is the material supply chain

There may not be enough minerals and metals in the world to achieve the planned EV growth

By Ronald Stein, WUWT, Feb 15, 2021

Texas Freeze Raises Cost Of Charging A Tesla To $900

By Charles Kennedy, Oil Price.com, Feb 16, 2021

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Texas-Freeze-Raises-Cost-Of-Charging-A-Tesla-To-900.html

Green Folly: Berlin’s City E-Buses Leave Passengers Out In The Cold…Diesel Buses To The Rescue.

Germany’s capital Berlin was forced to replace some of its electric buses with diesel buses due to range problems associated with the cold weather.

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 17, 2021

“When asked by WELT, Nelken [Spokeswoman for the bus company] also emphasized that the buses were often not completely out of service, but only had to return to the depot (and to the charging) earlier than usual.”

Carbon Schemes

Why Does CCS Matter?

By Jude Clemente, Rigzone, Feb 10, 2021

https://www.rigzone.com/news/why_does_ccs_matter-10-feb-2021-164585-article/

[SEPP Comment: The IEA study used is more imaginary line drawing than hard evidence. Other than for enhanced oil or natural gas recovery, no hard evidence of actual costs.]

Other Scientific News

NASA wants to fly a helicopter on Mars for the first time

By AFP Staff Writers, Washington (AFP), Feb 16, 2021

https://www.marsdaily.com/reports/NASA_wants_to_fly_a_helicopter_on_Mars_for_the_first_time_999.html

“Transported aboard the Mars 2020 spacecraft that arrives at the Red Planet on Thursday, the small Ingenuity helicopter will have several challenges to overcome — the biggest being the rarefied Martian atmosphere, which is just one percent the density of Earth’s.”

Scientists grow cyanobacteria under Mars-like conditions

By Brooks Hays, Washington DC (UPI), Feb 17, 2021

https://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Scientists_grow_cyanobacteria_under_Mars_like_conditions_999.html

Link to paper: A Low-Pressure, N2/CO2 Atmosphere Is Suitable for Cyanobacterium-Based Life-Support Systems on Mars

By Cyprien Verseux, et al. Frontiers in Microbiology, Feb 16, 2021

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2021.611798/full

Other News that May Be of Interest

The UK Energy Shortages of Winter 1946–47 (planned chaos w/o prices and profits)

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Feb 16, 2021

Drop in CO2 helped dinosaurs migrate from South America to Greenland

By Brook Hays, Washington DC (UPI) Feb 15, 2021

https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Drop_in_CO2_helped_dinosaurs_migrate_from_South_America_to_Greenland_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Unable to link to paper on the long journey across Pangea.] 

Dirty Electricity, but Not the Kind You Think

By Aaron Larson, Power Mag, Feb 28, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Save us from “electricity pollution!”]

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE

3. 2.. 1… Claim: Severe Winter Storms Caused by Global Warming

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Feb 17, 2021

Deepwater Horizon spill has long-term effects on dolphins’ immune systems

By Brooks Hays, Washington DC (UPI), Feb 18, 2021

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Deepwater_Horizon_spill_has_long-term_effects_on_dolphins_immune_systems_999.html

“Scientists were able to replicate the immunological effects of oil exposure in the lab using mice models.”

[SEPP Comment: How close is a mouse model to a real dolphin?]

NATO Chief wonders about Solar Powered Battle Tanks

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 14, 2021

ARTICLES

Science Needs Criticism, Not Cheerleading

‘When we lower our standards to pretend we know what we don’t know, we diminish the work and misinform society,’ says Prof. John Staddon.

By J. Peder Zane. WSJ, Feb 19, 2021

https://www.wsj.com/articles/science-needs-criticism-not-cheerleading-11613772365?mod=hp_opin_pos_2

TWTW Summary: The columnist writes:

“When Prof. John Staddon read the ‘Statement to the Community Regarding Anti-Racism’ sent out by Duke University’s president this summer, he was alarmed. The president, Vincent Price, promised to require ‘anti-racism and anti-bias training for every member of our faculty, student body, and staff.’ To Mr. Staddon, that sounded more like indoctrination than academic inquiry. He responded in an open letter.

“Mr. Price declared: ‘I cannot as a white person begin to fully understand the daily fear and pain and oppression that is endemic to the Black experience.’ Mr. Staddon’s rejoinder: ‘Your reassurance is fine as an expression of empathy. I daresay you feel better, and possibly your African American audience does as well. But feelings differ: Unless the discussion can be moved from feelings to facts, no harmony is possible. Empathy, guilt, and good intentions are a dodgy basis for sweeping resolutions.’

“Mr. Price affirmed that the ‘hard work before us’ requires the community to ‘take transformative action now toward eliminating the systems of racism and inequality. . . . That starts with a personal transformation and . . . must end in institutional transformation.’ Mr. Staddon countered that ‘this phraseology will strike many as more like psychotherapy or a call to religious conversion than a policy prescription. What are these ‘systems of racism and inequality?’ How have they affected Duke and how is Duke involved in them? Or are they societal concerns and thus the responsibility not of a university but of government, the church, and civil society?’

“This isn’t the first time Mr. Staddon, 83, a tall, English-born American, has challenged the dogma of his peers. A professor of psychology, neuroscience and biology, he is something of a modern Cassandra, warning for more than three decades of the corruption of academia by political activists. As America becomes woke, his scholarly critiques read like prophecy.

“But Staddon is a scientist, not a political firebrand. He doesn’t trade barbs over opinions but challenges his colleagues to answer the question that has long been the foundation of Western thought and science: How do you know what you know?

“In an interview at his Durham home, Mr. Staddon recalls an episode that reflected this problem. An anonymous reviewer of his 2017 book, ‘Scientific Method’—a broad defense of the process of verification—scolded him for airing the problems of contemporary science. ‘My critic felt that science is under attack now, so anyone who writes about it for a general audience should do his best to defend it,’ Mr. Staddon recalls. ‘Science, of course, should need no defense in a society whose existence depends on it. But when science is not in a healthy state, it needs not cheerleading but understanding and improvement. Science is strengthened not by praise but by criticism.’

“While Mr. Staddon has addressed issues in the hard sciences, he’s more concerned with ‘festering’ problems in the social sciences, ‘where weak science competes with activist political tendencies around the fraught issues of race, class and gender.’ In a forthcoming book, ‘Fact vs. Passion: Science in the Age of Unreason,’ he writes that ‘many social scientists have difficulty separating facts from faith, reality from the way they would like things to be. Many research topics have become taboo which, in turn, means that policy makers are making decisions based more on ideologically-driven political pressure than scientific fact.’”

The author goes through a long discussion of racial issues and social sciences before concluding:

“These distinctions may strike some as academic. Mr. Staddon says they are, in the best sense of the word: ‘Science is the search for truth, which is often elusive. When we lower our standards to pretend we know what we don’t know, we diminish the work and misinform society.’”[Boldface added]

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Paul Jenkinson
February 22, 2021 4:16 am

The world has gone mad and we are all teetering on the edge of a deep abyss.
Perhaps,already we are falling.

February 22, 2021 6:36 am

Interestingly, we’re not that stupid about the renewable role, we’re too emotional.

  • One of the principles of branding is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.
  • We make most of our decision based on feelings and emotions, NOT data and facts.

The WHY in this equation is = getting off fossil fuels reduces emissions. Emotions takes it from there, and any data or facts are categorized as deniers.

Elected and appointed and special interest groups feed off the WHY for votes and money
The Press will not report on DATA or FACTS that counter the emotions as they are deemed as deniers of that emotion driving the public.

Tim Gorman
February 22, 2021 7:21 am

The bottom line is that in Texas, no one is formally responsible for providing adequate electricity under extreme conditions.”

This is not actually true. ERCOT’s main mission, as assigned by the TX PUC, is to provide a reliable network for TX. They failed in this mission. The fault is theirs. All of the ERCOT Board of Directors should be fired and replaced. They are almost all Democrat Greenies. Nothing will change if they are allowed to remain in power directing the capital investment in electric generation in TX.

Coach Springer
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 22, 2021 7:39 am

Greenies responsible for providing reliable electricity? whoever let that happen seems to share responsibility.

Coach Springer
February 22, 2021 7:40 am

The bottom line is that in Texas, no one is formally responsible for providing adequate electricity under extreme conditions. However, clearly ultimately the legislature must be responsible. “

The camel’s nose was in the tent 20 years ago. Now it’s his tent.

Kevin kilty
February 22, 2021 8:00 am

 According to reports, ERCOT assumes that in the winter only 10% of its generation can be counted on to come reliably from wind. 

This is not entirely true. One can go to the ERCOT site and see the estimated WGRPP (wind generated resource power potential) for any hour of the present day and a day ahead. This is a probability assessment that is likely to be exceeded 80% of the time. Thus, it is a very low bar to clear and has become the “rationale” for people saying that “wind exceeded expectations”. At various times last week it was close to only 1% (yes, one-percent) of nameplate capacity — utterly useless.

On that same current day graph is plotted the COP (current operating plan), which tells a person what ERCOT planned to actually receive from wind. They didn’t expect to receive much, just slightly above the WGRPP. ERCOT knew perfectly well they wouldn’t get much from wind and solar combined, and they knew that closing the demand with natural gas was simply a hope. It would have required gas running near or maybe even over 100% capacity, which it could not do over weather. Yet, asking gas to do more than possible is now touted by some folks as the reason for the blackouts. Pure humbug!

At one point on the 17th I saw that wind and solar combined were supplying 4.5MW, demand was 47MW with a full 2.5million customers blacked out, and capacity was around 49MW — implying a 4% reserve at the time. What was supplying the difference between 49MW and 4.5MW, I ask? It was some nuclear and mostly coal and gas — good old fossil fuels.

If ERCOT tries to add more wind and solar to solve this problem, all they will accomplish is to make the sorry circumstances of last week occur more often.

Last edited 5 months ago by Kevin kilty
Patrick Hrushowy
February 22, 2021 8:13 am

Sometimes looks like we are doing a live re-enactment of the novel 1984!

February 22, 2021 11:22 am

>>An investigation by NBC found that ERCOT “did not conduct any on-site inspections of the state’s power plants to see if they were ready for this winter season. Due to COVID-19 they conducted virtual tabletop exercises instead – but only with 16% of the state’s power generating facilities.”<<
https://www.aier.org/article/lockdowns-and-the-texas-power-disaster/?fbclid=IwAR0F4yEnfGnlhFQEeDSkIt66T5piY3Zbq3Wk3-LqsqnfSSEKngZcSgNGIY0

RickWill
February 22, 2021 2:25 pm

All the arguments for Climate Change are evidence free but the propaganda has become self-sustaining. The evolution of the grid is not going back to reliable generation. In any case you never win an argument with a zealot.

With real endeavour, it appears humans can wean off fossil fuels at a rate of about 1% per decade. So in 1000 years humans may no longer need fossil fuels. I firmly believe supply prices for fossil fuels will increase dramatically if demand is steady or increasing.

Take a pragmatic approach. Power supply systems are being degraded and energy prices are going up. There are ways to take financial advantage of the situation. And people need to prepare for outages.

Living in Australia, I have been able to make a small income from my household energy production. I use mostly wood for space heating and solar/battery supply that operates part of the household load all the time and can be used for emergency electricity supply for other loads. I have grid connected solar panels that make a good income. We never get life threatening cold in this part of Australia but I would never rule out a portable generator if the solar/battery were not reliable. We have reduced demand in many ways and none are technically challenging.

Wind and solar do reduce demand on gas supplies and that helps keep gas price down as well as conserving the life of supplies. Right now they do not appear to be an economic fuel replacement but that may be because their use is already suppressing the cost. It is possible to get up to 20% of electric energy from WDGs before they create a grid reliability issue. Higher level of penetration to around 30% can be achieved by adding batteries and synchronous condensers to support system stability. Some grids like UK and Germany have interconnections to other more reliable networks to enable higher penetration of WDGs without undertaking the full cost of integrating.

Getting above 30% requires lower storage costs. Some networks with existing hydro have an advantage there. Generation from WDGs conserves perched water supplies so they work together for economic benefit.

The lesson from Texas is to be aware that gas, electricity and water supply require considerable intelligent endeavour to be available all the time. The fact that there are politicians and their backers who believe in Climate Change demonstrates the level of their intelligence. Be prepared.

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