Chuck DeVore: Texas’ blackouts – here’s the truth about why they happened and what we have to do next

Guest repost from Chuck DeVore

There are two general reasons for Texas’ prolonged power outages

Chuck DeVore

 By Chuck DeVore | Fox News

Green New Deal would create ‘more events’ like Texas power outage: Rick Perry

Rick Perry, former Energy Secretary and former Texas governor, discusses the potential impacts of progressive energy policies on ‘America Reports.’

As Texas entered a deep freeze on Feb. 14, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio broke seven record lows over three days. Ice-laden trees snapped power lines. Wind turbines ground to a halt while some reliable natural gas, coal and nuclear plants failed to get energy to the grid. Electricity demand hit an all-time high – but the supply wasn’t available, plunging some four million Texans into the cold and darkness.  

As massive gas-powered turbines spun down across Texas and the lights went out, an aggressive narrative spun up: the electric grid failed in Texas, not because wind and solar failed, but due to a lack of regulatory power to force the electric industry – from natural gas producers to pipeline operators to power generators, and lastly, the transmission line firms – to winterize. It was a failure of Texas’ unregulated free market. And further, this extreme weather event was a harbinger of more to come due to climate change, necessitating even more wind and solar power.   

This narrative, pushed out by the renewable industry and environmentalists, found a sympathetic mouthpiece in corporate media

The narrative is wrong. 

There are three electric grids in the continental U.S with Texas having its own grid providing power to about 90% of Texans. This electrical independence allows Texans to escape a certain amount of federal meddling in its electric affairs – though it also makes Texans largely responsible for their own problems.   

Addressing those problems, the Texas Legislature held marathon hearings a week after the freeze. That testimony, and an increasing flow of information from operators on the ground, has produced a more complete picture of what went wrong during a storm that plunged Texas into a deep freeze colder than most of Alaska. 

There are two general reasons for Texas’ prolonged power outages, one proximate to the storm and involving a series of on-the-ground mistakes and cold-related failures, and one the result of long-term policy.  

However, it was the policy failures over 20 years that allowed the storm-related failures to become persistent and deadly.  

It’s important to note that had every Texas generator powered by natural gas, coal, nuclear and hydro operated at full output during the height of the storm’s demand, Texas still would have experienced planned blackouts. That Texas’ grid has become increasingly dependent on unreliable wind and solar is largely to blame for this critical shortfall.  

Federal and state tax policy have encouraged the overbuilding of wind, and to a lesser extent, solar power, resulting in cheap, subsidized power flooding the Texas grid. This inexpensive but unreliable power has acted as a powerful disincentive to build needed natural gas power plants.  

In the past five years, Texas saw an increase of about 20,000 megawatts of installed wind and solar capacity with a net loss of 4,000 megawatts of gas and coal-fired powerplants. This 4,000 megawatts, had it been built or not prematurely retired, would have saved lives during the 2021 St. Valentine’s Day Storm.  

Because ERCOT, Texas’ grid operator, didn’t have enough reliable safety margin meant that when things started to go wrong on early Monday morning, they got worse fast.  

So, did the unusually cold weather cause power plant failures?  

Winter isn’t over, but Texas – and California and other Western states – are at increased risk of blackouts this summer.

We know that wind turbines were affected, with half of them freezing up. Over the course of 2019, Texas wind produced about 34% of its capacity – from hour-to-hour and season-to-season, sometimes more than 70%, sometimes close to zero. At one point during the storm, solar was producing no electricity while wind produced about 1% of its potential output. Since electricity must be produced the moment it is needed, that meant that natural gas power plants had to make up the shortfall.   

The emerging data from thermal – gas, coal, and nuclear – power plants suggests that there were some cold-related failures. But, as ERCOT struggled to keep the lights on, the grid became unstable, tripping additional power plants offline to protect their massive generators from destructive interaction with a fluctuating line frequency.   

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.  

Winter isn’t over, but Texas – and California and other Western states – are at increased risk of blackouts this summer. This is due to policy that favors unreliables – wind and solar – over reliable electricity from gas, coal and nuclear.   

In Texas, it’s an overbuilding of wind. In California, an overbuilding of mandated solar. In both states, this has caused the grid to become increasingly at risk of blackouts at times when nature doesn’t cooperate.   

As America builds more wind and solar – with a renewed push from the Biden administration –the costs to prevent blackouts will mount in the form of massive battery farms to store power or increasingly large numbers of backup gas power plants. Instead, we should end subsidies for all energy sources while making wind and solar pay for the reliability costs they impose on the grid.   

Chuck DeVore

Vice President of National Initiatives
Texas Public Policy Foundation

5 52 votes
Article Rating
265 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Editor
March 2, 2021 6:15 pm

Thank you, Chuck Devore, for preparing this easy-to-comprehend summary, and to CTM for posting it here at WUWT.

Regards,
Bob

Leonard
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
March 2, 2021 9:09 pm

Agree, and the last sentence “Instead, we should end subsidies for all energy sources while making wind and solar pay for the reliability costs they impose on the grid.”

What a wonderfully short statement of how to prevent/solve future blackouts.

Phil
Reply to  Leonard
March 2, 2021 9:28 pm

What a wonderfully short statement of how to prevent/solve future blackouts.

It’s not happening. We’re on a slow motion descent into becoming another Venezuela, with the aid and assistance of all the parts of government that are supposed to prevent us from becoming a non-functioning society.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Phil
March 3, 2021 1:17 am

Some people might call destruction of our energy economy treason…

Sommer
Reply to  Gregory Woods
March 3, 2021 1:36 pm
Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  Leonard
March 2, 2021 10:58 pm

Short but wrong. Wind and solar don’t pay for anything they just add costs for ratepayers. Requiring them to provide battery storage costs, for just a few days of calm and cloudy, adds 10X the cost of the turbines and panels.

The answer is to eliminate the legislation that continues to worsen the problem, renegotiate the contracts that perpetuate this blight on the grid and begin an orderly decommissioning of the worst situations.

We cannot let the Green New Deal force battery storage on either the rate or taxpayers. It’s economic suicide.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Dennis G Sandberg
March 3, 2021 7:12 am

It is worse than that. The backups will be subsidized too and some government employee will decide how much backup can be installed based on political assessment of how much money the public will stand. It will end up with not enough batteries to cover outages, and blackouts will continue.

TonyG
Reply to  Leonard
March 3, 2021 7:15 am

A statement that will assuredly be ignored, unfortunately.

Tom Halla
March 2, 2021 6:19 pm

This is a case of misguided incentives. Rick Perry, as Energy Secretary, proposed incentives for power plants with at least a month of fuel on hand, i.e. coal and nuclear. Of course, the green blob blocked it.
Wind should pay for the backup, not be subsidized. Contracts should be to deliver a given amount of power, regardless of source, which would definitely penalize wind and solar.

Rick C
Reply to  Tom Halla
March 2, 2021 6:57 pm

Agreed, but of course without subsidies and with the added cost of paying for backup wind and solar are simply not economically viable.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Rick C
March 2, 2021 7:05 pm

Which was my point.

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  Rick C
March 3, 2021 10:34 am

They never have been, and they never WILL be!

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 3, 2021 5:13 am

It’s not satisfying to be correct when idiot, corrupt politicians still cause the predicted green energy disasters and good people suffer and die.
– Allan MacRae

“As America builds more wind and solar – with a renewed push from the Biden administration –the costs to prevent blackouts will mount in the form of massive battery farms to store power or increasingly large numbers of backup gas power plants. Instead, we should end subsidies for all energy sources while making wind and solar pay for the reliability costs they impose on the grid.”   
– Chuck DeVore, Vice President of National Initiatives
Texas Public Policy Foundation

OK, but here is an even better solution that I published in 2018:
1. Build your wind power system.
2. Build your back-up system consisting of 100% equivalent capacity in gas turbine generators.
3. Using high explosives, blow your wind power system all to hell.
4. Run your back-up gas turbine generators 24/7.
5. To save even more money, skip steps 1 and 3.

“Wind Power – It Doesn’t Just Blow, It Sucks!”

TOLD YOU SO 19 YEARS AGO.

In 2002, co-authors Dr Sallie Baliunas, Astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian, Dr Tim Patterson, Paleoclimatologist, Carleton U, Ottawa and Allan MacRae, P.Eng. (now retired), McGill, Queens, U of Alberta, wrote:

1. “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”
 
2. “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”
 
Allan MacRae published in the Calgary Herald on September 1, 2002:
 
3. “If [as we believe] solar activity is the main driver of surface temperature rather than CO2, we should begin the next cooling period by 2020 to 2030.”
 
Allan MacRae modified his global cooling prediction in 2013:
 
3a. “I suggest global cooling starts by 2020 or sooner. Bundle up.”
_____________________________________
 
In 2013:, I published this open letter, after Britain invested in too much wind power, but before Texans “blew their brains out”.

AN OPEN LETTER TO BARONESS VERMA
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/31/blind-faith-in-climate-models/#comment-1130954
[excerpt]

So here is my real concern:

IF THE SUN DOES INDEED DRIVE TEMPERATURE, AS I SUSPECT, BARONESS VERMA, THEN YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE HOUSE MAY HAVE BREWED THE PERFECT STORM.

You are claiming that global cooling will NOT happen, AND you have crippled your energy systems with excessive reliance on ineffective grid-connected “green energy” schemes.
I suggest that global cooling probably WILL happen within the next decade or sooner, and Britain will get colder.

I also suggest that the IPCC and the Met Office have NO track record of successful prediction (or “projection”) of global temperature and thus have no scientific credibility.

I suggest that Winter deaths will increase in the UK as cooling progresses.

I suggest that Excess Winter Mortality, the British rate of which is about double the rate in the Scandinavian countries, should provide an estimate of this unfolding tragedy.

As always in these matters, I hope to be wrong. These are not numbers, they are real people, who “loved and were loved”.

Best regards to all, Allan MacRae

Turning and tuning in the widening gyre,
the falcon cannot hear the falconer…
– Yeats

Anon
Reply to  ALLAN MACRAE
March 3, 2021 5:53 am

Actually, if you set it up where you sold all your home generated wind power back to the grid, then used the proceeds to build and run your gas-turbine system, you would probably have money left over and in the process realize the dream of “no cost” electricity. (lol)

Harry Passfield
Reply to  ALLAN MACRAE
March 3, 2021 6:14 am

What was her response, Allan?

Reply to  Harry Passfield
March 3, 2021 2:56 pm

The great lady was far too busy sabotaging the electric grid and killing off elderly Brits to respond to the likes of me.

I write these missives to place into the evidence record what we knew and when we knew it, for possible use in future climate Nuremberg trials. Then the climate and green energy miscreants cannot say they were not informed.

Gary Pearse
March 2, 2021 6:33 pm

“In Texas, it’s an overbuilding of wind. In California, an overbuilding of mandated solar.”

Too kind an assessment. Surely there can be no justification economically or technically for building any unreliables at all for a state or national grid. That it also appears that doing so does not improve the environment, pretty much makes wind and solar grids nonsensical. Please wake up before they start deploying giant batteries. These can double as bombs.

noaaprogrammer
Reply to  Gary Pearse
March 2, 2021 9:15 pm

… and before they start deploying hamster wheels …

Mark D
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
March 6, 2021 2:36 pm

Sea Pew. Voyage to see what’s on the bottom!
Mad Magazine.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  Gary Pearse
March 2, 2021 10:07 pm

Given the recent VW fire that required 7 fire departments to put out, then they had to dunk the entire car in a water tank until it cooled enough not to spontaneously re-ignite… can you imagine the catastrophe if one of those mega-battery facilities lit up?

There’d be no putting it out, it’d burn for months, and it’d re-ignite at the drop of a hat. There’s no amount of water you could pour on it to cool it enough, you’d just have to wait for all the batteries to heat up enough to short out, then burn until they’re charcoal, then wait until the entire facility cools down enough that people could enter to assess the damage… which would likely take just as many months as it burned, or more.

Just pray they don’t put those mega-battery facilities near any populated areas. Months of acrid smoke, months of evacuation for a wide radius around the mega-battery facility to escape the acrid smoke, and you just know the criminals would loot the evacuated houses… it’d be the biggest catastrophe ever.

Jit
Reply to  LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
March 3, 2021 2:03 am

Do you have a link to the VW fire story?

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Jit
March 3, 2021 10:10 am

I did a search – couldn’t find a specific incident, but this article reveals that it’s not just VW batteries:

https://www.electrive.com/2021/01/11/battery-recalls-hit-volkswagen/

kev170e
Reply to  Jit
March 3, 2021 11:14 am

Two days off the lot and only 186 miles driven. VW Golf hybrid fire:

https://carbuzz.com/news/two-day-old-vw-golf-hybrid-explodes-while-driving

Reply to  kev170e
March 7, 2021 1:51 am

TWO DAYS OFF THE LOT AND ONLY 186 MILES DRIVEN. VW GOLF HYBRID FIRE:
https://carbuzz.com/news/two-day-old-vw-golf-hybrid-explodes-while-driving
[excerpt]
 

“According to Germany’s Automobilwoche, a two-day-old Golf Hybrid exploded and burned to a complete crisp in Felsenberg, Hesse. The driver managed just 186 miles before the mysterious fire erupted.

Only certain parts of the car were extinguished without any problems, but not the battery. Despite their efforts, firefighters had to keep extinguishing the battery several times because it kept catching on fire. This was finally resolved only by submerging the entire car in a water-filled container.”

 
So do you park that EV car in your attached garage and incinerate your whole house, or leave it on the street?

Inquiring minds want to know…

ronk
Reply to  Jit
March 3, 2021 4:13 pm

just to through a little fat on the fire, RAV4’s are having battery fire issue on the 12 v batteries

Jit
Reply to  Jit
March 4, 2021 4:48 am

Thanks for all the replies. Once I found out it was in Germany I knew Pierre Gosselin would have covered it: https://notrickszone.com/2021/02/16/vw-hybrid-car-explodes-bursts-into-flames-22-fire-brigades-to-extinguish-hazardous-battery-fire/

By the way, 22 fire brigades were not involved. 22 firefighters were. Nevertheless, it does make you wonder. As EVs become more frequent, will crash damage result in highway infernos?

Steve Gouldstone
Reply to  LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
March 3, 2021 3:52 am

But it would all be the fault of ‘climate change’ of course!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
March 3, 2021 4:45 pm

“There’d be no putting it out, it’d burn for months, and it’d re-ignite at the drop of a hat. There’s no amount of water you could pour on it to cool it enough, you’d just have to wait for all the batteries to heat up enough to short out, then burn until they’re charcoal, then wait until the entire facility cools down enough that people could enter to assess the damage… which would likely take just as many months as it burned, or more.”

I guess they should not build these battery buildings higher than about one story. That way it will be easier to bring in the bulldozers and bury the facility.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
March 3, 2021 7:12 pm

This wish is about 7 months late to help San Diego-ans (Diegans?)

(Article written August 2020)

World’s largest battery storage complex brought on line in California as blackouts loom

Golden State’s 250MW Gateway Energy Storage project will help balance grid as historic heatwave continues

20 August 2020 13:32 GMT UPDATED  21 August 2020 11:08 GMT
By Leigh Collins  

The world’s largest battery project has been brought on line in California, just in time to help prevent blackouts amid an historic heatwave.

The 250MW/250MWh Gateway Energy Storage project in San Diego County, operated by grid infrastructure developer LS Power and using LG Chem Lithium-ion cells, beats the previous record held by the 150MW/193MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, which uses batteries supplied by Elon Musk’s Tesla.

The Gateway project will improve grid reliability and reduce customers’ energy costs, according to New York-based LS Power.

The current heatwave in California and the consequent increased power demand for air conditioning has threatened to bring down the state’s overloaded grids, especially at those times when the sun goes down and solar power drops off. The crisis forced grid network operator California ISO to introduce rolling blackouts last weekend, with more outages threatened.

So far, only 230MW of Gateway’s battery cells have been energized, but the entire project is due to be fully commissioned by the end of this month. The facility’s energy capacity will be increased to 750MWh of storage next summer, and 1GWh at a later date.

“By charging during solar production or off-peak hours and delivering energy to the grid during times of peak demand for power, our battery storage projects improve electric reliability, reduce costs and help our state meet its climate objectives,” said LS Power’s head of renewables, John King.

LS Power is set to beat its own record in the near future, with the first phase of its 316MW Ravenswood Energy Storage project in New York City due to come on line next year.

The developer also has two other 100MW-plus storage systems in the pipeline, the 200MW Diablo and 125MW Leconte projects, both in California.(Copyright)

I don’t see that facility on any Google maps, but this article from the Guardian describes Musk’s earlier venture (article written Jan. 2017):

“From the road, the close to 400 white industrial boxes packed into 1.5 acres of barren land in Ontario, California, a little more than 40 miles from downtown Los Angeles, look like standard electrical equipment. They’re surrounded by a metal fence, stand on concrete pads and sit under long electrical lines.

US advances on clean energy with first offshore wind farm
Read more

But take a closer look and you’ll notice the bright red coloring and gray logo of electric car company Tesla on the sides. And inside the boxes are thousands of battery cells – the same ones that are used in Tesla’s electric cars – made by the company in its massive $5bn Tesla Gigafactory outside of Reno, Nevada.

This spot, located at the Mira Loma substation of Southern California Edison, hosts the biggest battery farm Tesla has built for a power company. Southern California Edison will use the battery farm, which has been operating since December and is one of the biggest in the world, to store energy and meet spikes in demand – like on hot summer afternoons when buildings start to crank up the air conditioning.

Tesla’s project has a capacity of 20 megawatts and is designed to discharge 80-megawatt hours of electricity in four-hour periods. It contains enough batteries to run about 1,000 Tesla cars, and the equivalent energy to supply power to 15,000 homes for four hours. The company declined to disclose the project’s cost.

The project marks an important point in Tesla’s strategy to expand beyond the electric car business. Developing battery packs is a core expertise for the company, which is designing packs for homes, businesses and utilities. It markets them partly as a way to store solar electricity for use after sundown, a pitch that works well for states with a booming solar energy market such as California.”

I’m posting all of these long excerpts because I’d say battery farms are here, like it or not, like the whirlygigs, plastic-laminated rooftops and electric cars. Since they’re going to build them come hell or high water, why not encourage them to build in proximity to wind and solar farms so they can store all the juice those their temperamental generators can make in one of Elon Musk’s custom-made battery farms.  A few hours of MWs can then be released in a consistent flow for short periods if and when the regular grid is in need – cold waves and heat snaps, or during break-downs.  I don’t know much about electric grids, but some pretty smart people on WUWT claim that the unreliability, the intermittency of the wind power is what done in the rest of the grid on Valentine’s Day, and that that intermittency is capable of wearing down and actually destroying interconnected generators.  Why not let the greens have their cake but restrict their input to times when it is needed and only when it can be delivered safely to the rest of the system?  

In other words, let your new empressario of electrons, your emperor of amperes, that ringmaster of elemental razzle… (what’s his name again?) er. Mush?… let him swear responsibility in perpetuity for the toxic end result of a battery conflagration or some innovative disposal or recycling method –  then let him do his thing at some key locations around the state?

This implies that future projects are limited to only what can be connected to a battery farm, and would require existing wind farm and solar to re-wire to a safe battery storage. But at least it gets that crazy up-and-down zigzag of power generation out of David’s graphs.

The question then becomes one for legal minds, of how to get the grid and the wind mills to separate themselves. I put it to the men and women of the jury that the proof is in. It just needs to be culled from the record to show the minute by minute progress of the catastrophe, and then some bold soul to pass legislation to wit: that any power company that wants to hook up to the Texas grid has to be able to deliver it in a smooth, reliable flow during any crisis or else pay back what they were contracted to deliver during the critical period – and at the going rate during the crisis. This, I would argue, is a reasonable stick to go along withe obvious carrot of reaping higher rewards during critical seasons and times of day.   Apparently gas generators need such as stick as well.

And it’s what the Texas legislators, PUC and Governor Abbott need to bring about by consensus and responsibly.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Bill Parsons
March 6, 2021 1:01 pm

Just for fun, try to find out how much it costs. You can’t, the cost is considered a company proprietary item, regardless of who’s footing the bill.

Tom
March 2, 2021 6:42 pm

There needs to be regulation that stipulates every power source MUST be dispatchable to 125% of typical peak load (enough to handle once-in-25-year events without issue, whatever that % is). So if you’re peddling Solar or Wind you need to pay for the Gas Peaker and/or battery storage costs.

Last edited 7 months ago by Tom
griff
Reply to  Tom
March 3, 2021 12:00 am

Texas wouldn’t pay out for that, would it? It wouldn’t pay out for a 1 in 25 year winter event it had been warned about, would it?

Drake
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 12:24 pm

It would not be an issue of paying out. Since wind and solar would not be economically feasible and coal, gas and nuclear already can do so by declaring their output at 80% of actual unit capacity, the problem of unreliable power would soon be gone. No one would be able to afford to build wind or solar since those sources can’t guaranty ANY output. Problem solved.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  griff
March 6, 2021 1:03 pm

It’s not the state that pays out, you nitwit. It’s the energy provider that needs to be made to guarantee the delivery. You are as thick as two planks.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  Tom
March 3, 2021 5:41 pm

The generators can typically handle a maximum 120% of rated capacity. I used to work at a natgas / fuel oil peaker plant, and every time we ran, we ran at 110-115% of rated capacity. So all they’d need is to build enough natgas / coal / fuel oil / nuclear to handle the typical peak load, plus a bit extra, and you’ve got your 125%… assuming, of course, the the DOE and EPA stipulate that in a weather emergency, they can open the throttles wide and run the generators at max.

That’s what bit ERCOT hardest… DOE wouldn’t allow the generators to go beyond what DOE deemed ‘environmentally responsible’.

Joe Houde
March 2, 2021 6:53 pm

Lies and nonsense. 10% wind was NOT the culprit. Yiu should be ashamed

Derg
Reply to  Joe Houde
March 2, 2021 6:59 pm

Wind is unreliable. Nobody would hire an unreliable worker so why do grid operators do it?

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  Derg
March 3, 2021 12:09 am

Joe Houde has self described as a liberal. Facts don’t matter only the truth (their version of it that is).

WBrowning
Reply to  Derg
March 4, 2021 6:30 am

Solar isn’t any better. During all the fires in CA last summer our rooftop panels fell to 10% or less output, that lasted for weeks on end, then I had to go up and hose the ash off.

lee
Reply to  Joe Houde
March 2, 2021 7:09 pm

“At one point during the storm, solar was producing no electricity while wind produced about 1% of its potential output.”

Perhaps you just misread? Perhaps NOT.

MarkW
Reply to  lee
March 2, 2021 7:49 pm

The high priests of global warming have declared that it is not possible for wind power to create problems. Only a true heathen would doubt their words.

OweninGA
Reply to  MarkW
March 3, 2021 5:33 am

Then anoint me a heathen. If the hard math doesn’t add up (racist or otherwise) then I don’t “believe”.

griff
Reply to  lee
March 3, 2021 12:01 am

And gas plant etc was producing what? 0%?

Other countries – states -have wind turbines which work in the cold. Scotland went down to -23C earlier this year: no turbine failures.

Derg
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 12:26 am

Which is true but wind is still unreliable. Would you hire an unreliable worker?

fred250
Reply to  Derg
March 3, 2021 2:15 am

griff IS an unreliable worker.

PROVABLY WRONG in at least 97% of cases.

Gas plants INCREASED THEIR OUTPUT BY 450%,

So what are you yabbering about this time ?

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  fred250
March 3, 2021 10:51 am

Besides, according to the charts we saw recently, wind was providing 25% of all power, normally. When the windmills stopped they produced a fraction of that, if any, and the solar panels frosted over and stopped working, too, and the other backup systems were unable to make up for the lack, with the exception of Gas at +450%, until the gas lines also froze up! I didn’t see ANYTHING about “10%” anywhere, as if it really matters.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  IAMPCBOB
March 3, 2021 5:48 pm

The gas lines didn’t exactly ‘freeze up’… ERCOT did rolling blackouts, which cut power to the electric-motor-driven natgas compressors, which cut off gas flow to the generators, which shut down natgas generators.

It was Obama who mandated that natgas compressors change over from natgas-driven to electric-driven… because they apparently thought that burning the natgas in a boiler to generate steam to drive a turbine to generate electricity to send to the grid to drive an electric motor was somehow magically ‘more environmentally responsible’ than burning that natgas right at the natgas compressors to drive the compressors.

Liberals are not deep thinkers. I think that’s abundantly clear by now.

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:55 am

“And gas plant etc was producing what? 0%?”

.

Let’s have a look at what gas is producing in the UK at the moment, griff

comment image

That “wind” bar is pretty darn hard to see, ITS SO, SO SMALL !!!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  fred250
March 3, 2021 6:50 am

Not to mention IMPORTED power, netting the ins and outs, is NINE TIMES what “wind” provides. There’s the real game, and the real hidden problem. The more states and countries that embrace this mass stupidity, the more likely it is that the whole grid comes crashing down.

JamesD
Reply to  fred250
March 3, 2021 12:50 pm

Let’s not confuse things with data.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 3:34 am

It’s not the temperature it’s the humidity! Being cold and prepared for it is different from being below freezing in heavy freezing rain.

Consider what happened, not what might have happened.

Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 4:35 am

-23°C is fine. Its when its around -2°C that you get massive icing and freezing fog, Same goes for UK rail. above freezing by day and ice melts runs into cracks washes off all the antifreeze and freezes at night..

tygrus
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 5:08 am

Griff, have you not been paying attention? Gas peaking plants held their end up.
Nat gas generators increased output, I think it was by 450% vs before the storm. The biggest source in the network during shortage was … gas. Fossil & nuclear couldn’t maintain 100% but 80% was doing better than the available renewables. More wind & solar could not have been relied upon. These articles have listed the contributing factors & possible mitigations, sharing the blame around.
If batteries you want then 4000MW for 25hrs requires 100GWh so budget about 35 to 50B USD (project cost, not just batteries). How many GW for how many hours were needed? Who’s going to pay for that? For 90% of that backup capacity to sit idle 99% of the time. A dam for hydro pumped storage .. which precious valley of nature to flood? Would you like to allow more power lines across the countryside? The neighbours had shortages with not much to spare during the worst. More emissions to build excess & mitigate if you’re worried about that.

There are costs (not just $$$) in all the options and reality is rarely average. You need a mixture.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 5:34 am

And right now the UK’s 24GW of wind is producing just 0.49GW. Just as useless as the capacity in Texas. Meanwhile CCGT is meeting over 56% of the demand, producing 23.4GW.

The point is that wind is guaranteed to fail when there is no wind. Which is also what happened in Texas. It needs 100% backup.

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 3, 2021 10:56 am

Make that AT LEAST 100%! There are OTHER costs associated with Wind.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  IAMPCBOB
March 3, 2021 5:57 pm

Especially if the bird blenders are ‘winterized’… they have electric heaters in their blades and gearbox… so if the wind’s not blowing, those heaters are still drawing from the grid to deice the blades and warm the gearbox in case the wind does blow. So you need ~110% backup for wind turbines.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 6:28 am

Griff as I type this I have https://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ open in an adjacent tab.

Demand 41.01GW
CCGT 23.39GW (57.03%)
Nuclear 3.80GW (9.27%)
Biomass 2.97GW (7.24%)
Wind 0.55GW (1.34%)
French ICTs 2.99GW (7.29%)
Dutch ICT 0.81GW (1.97%)
NEMO ICT 1.00GW (2.44%)
OCGT 0.47GW (1.15%)
Coal 2.23GW (5.44%)
Solar 1.40GW (3.41%)
Hydro 0.53GW (1.29%)

From this data I don’t need to look out of my window in Derbyshire to know that the UK is under a blanket of cloud with no wind.

Sum total of wind and solar 1.95GW, or 4.75% of demand.

Fortunately for both of us Soon to be gone Coal is at 5.44% of demand, Interconnectors 11.7% of demand. Over three times as much as the unreliables you love so much. The temperature outside my house is 5’C so I’m very glad that mathematically challenged greenies haven’t managed to close all coal generation and the interconnectors are still working.

BTW German wind turbines are pushing out 3GW up from just over 1GW. Spanish wind about 3GW, I don’t have the actual number but only 14% of Denmark’s electricity is being generated by wind.

These Green Energy hostile weather conditions are across all of Western Europe.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 6:46 am

Also known as “what happens when compression of gas in the gas pipeline feeding the gas plants is required to be power by electricity, generated by wind power, as opposed to being powered by natural gas.”

Editor
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 7:18 am

Scotland is normally a cold place in the winter, it used to be under the ice cap 20,000 years ago, thus winterized power production was planned from the start, it was the OBVIOUS way to go.

Texas winters rarely get very cold or snowy for long, certainly not the awesome record cold they suffered under. It is understandable they didn’t spend a lot of money winterizing the equipment. They will winterize some of it for the future, but doubt they will winterize wind power.

Gas plants INCREASED production, despite that some it shuts down but the rest picked up the slack .It was wind power that dropped way down below the usual production levels, some of it from icing up but some of it weather related too.

Texas needs to INCREASE baseload power reserve for future emergency weather events that require a sudden boost of RELIABLE power production. Wind power isn’t reliable as wind goes up and down or vanish entirely for a while.

You should spend more time reading the post before making shallow off the cuff statements.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
March 3, 2021 7:30 am

Griff never will understand, what baseload power is and why it’s need.

ronk
Reply to  Sunsettommy
March 3, 2021 4:17 pm

there is one other factor no one seems to mention, the increase in the need for power, the number of people, and companies moving to texas require higher energy needs, I don’t think the companies in texas keep with the new demand

AWG
Reply to  ronk
March 3, 2021 5:12 pm

Especially with uncontrolled borders. Texans are going to be screwed by adding the costs of hundreds of thousands of new wards of the State, all of whom will be using electricity and other utilities as much as anyone else.

For those with the wherewithal, get out of ERCOT, get propane or diesel generator to cover the blackouts in the summer months and the occasional blackouts in the winter.

Politicians are not the answer. They are the problem and their vanity, corruption, ego and arrogance will guarantee that the cancer metastasizes.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 7:18 am

Sorry dude, it was not the cold that did it, it was the freezing rain and snow.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 7:28 am

Can you prove there were no failures?

Brooks H Hurd
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 7:38 am

Griff,
Texas had an ice storm as the temperature was dropping. It’s not the temperature, but rather the humidity that lead to the wind turbines icing up. Cold climate regions of our planet do not have Texas humidity.

Once the wind turbine blades were covered with thick layers of ice the high relative humidity of Texas reduced sublimation, so the ice remained on the blades. The problem is not that Texas added some renewables to their grid. The problem is that they relied on renewables for too much of their grid power and there was no back up for the renewables when they failed. That is why the wind power failed to work in Texas.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 7:52 am

It’s not the cold, it’s the cold AND humidity. Unless you have both, you don’t have a problem.
Actually the output of the gas plants was going up, 450%, even while the output of wind and solar were plummeting. You’ve been told this many times. I’m not surprised that it has slipped your mind again.

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 10:46 am

Texas has the opposite problem, high Summer temperatures. It seldom gets that cold even in West Texas. I grew up there. Storms like we saw this year are few and far between, so spending enormous amounts for ‘winterizing’ would NOT be cost-effective, Griff! Especially considering that storms like that only occur every 25 to 30 years. Now, if they happened EVERY year, like they do in more northerly climes, THEN it might be doable! But one size does NOT fit all!

buggs
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 10:49 am

Yeah, we have wind turbines up here north of the 49th parallel and they don’t completely fail due to cold. To be honest I’m not sure I’ve heard of a failure locally due to cold alone.

But they do shut down all the time due to too much wind. By all the time I would estimate15-20% of the time (our location which is thought to be near ideal due to frequent winds is actually detrimental more often than expected – by expected I mean by those that don’t live here but sold the turbines to the politicians). Then when we’re really cold (<-30 C) they don’t operate much because we usually end up either in high wind situations (need to be shut down) with extreme wind chills (that would fall into the 15-20% estimate previous) or we get the functional equivalent of the doldrums with no wind blowing.

I suppose we could rely on solar. But it has in inherent problems at this latitude as well. The less than 8 hours of sunlight a day at very low angle of intensity is a wee bit of an issue. The snow being present for 4-6 months of a year present problems with the panels being covered most of the time. Certainly at some points in the shoulder seasons the panels retain enough latent heat to melt of lighter snowfalls but that ain’t happening in January. -20C ambient means those panels are at -15C and snow doesn’t melt at that temperature for some strange reason.

Thankfully we have back up in the form of natural gas and hydroelectricity (which is awesomely green so long as you don’t talk about the wildlife/environmental impact caused by permanently flooding tens of thousands of acres). They provide about 99% of our power. No rolling blackouts, no absolute power failures (unless we get really heavy wet precipitation that freezes and downs aerial power lines).

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 11:05 am

At least wind is PREDICTABLE.

Its still producing BASICALLY NOTHING

Here is the UK grid 6 hours later

comment image

JamesD
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 12:49 pm

No. Gas fired electrical generation almost doubled.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joe Houde
March 2, 2021 7:15 pm

Of course wind is the culprit. The other forms of energy production could be brought back up to speed. The windmills could not be brought back up to speed.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 3, 2021 3:41 am

Tom, that is a good way of putting it. It the grid goes down for everyone for any reason, at some point, an order is given: bring your turbines back up to speed.

If you can’t bring your turbine up to speed your technology as useful as bull nipples. The wind is not “always blowing somewhere”. If you are a provider to the grid you should build your own backup. That is, invest in the infrastructure necessary to provide power on demand. It is not the distributor’s problem to generate power.

It has a cost, and for wind it is 100% backup. So, do it. Tell us the cost, because it is not going away. If we think the benefits outweigh the risks, we will pay. Personally I don’t see a viable business case for wind powered electricity. The energy investment is too high for the energy returned.

fred250
Reply to  Joe Houde
March 2, 2021 7:37 pm

FACTS, joe,…… not your ACDS based LIES and whinging !

The anti-carbon agenda should be shouldering a large proportion of the blame for the ERCOT debacle.

Last edited 7 months ago by fred250
czechlist
Reply to  fred250
March 3, 2021 9:56 am

I read an ERCOT report in 2017 which predicted this debacle. Too summarize – wind and solar “steal” maintenance and supply funding from traditional energy producers at consumer’s risk. As a Texan, I blame the Public Utilities – not ERCOT. To paraphrase Rumsfeld – you go into weather with the energy generation you have.

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  fred250
March 3, 2021 11:04 am

If it weren’t for the anti-carbon agenda, there wouldn’t BE a problem! Texas survived for many decades and through MANY storms like this without ANY problems!

MarkW
Reply to  Joe Houde
March 2, 2021 7:48 pm

Would you care to actually refute the data presented? Or do you just want to accept your word for it?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Joe Houde
March 2, 2021 8:55 pm

Joe, please elaborate

Wind is over 20% of total installed grid generation capacity and as Dave M showed the other day it has provided 20-40% of Texas generated power in February for the last 5 years.
It was supplying 42% the week before this collapse.

Clearly Texas screwed up investing ~80 billion in useless generation over the last 15 years
Half of that would have produced a resilient grid with vanishingly small chances of blackouts

That’s how it is

To bed B
Reply to  Joe Houde
March 2, 2021 10:52 pm

Amusing that on a day it provides 70% it is hailed as the end of coal. On the day it only produces 1% of the electricity and there is an insufficient to avoid a black out, its a minor player. What makes it hilarious, unless you’re Texan, is that the weather decides which it will be.

What makes it so stupid that I want to cry in my coffee is the instability and government policies due to renewables shut down the fossil fuel power that could have taken up the slack. Read the article, please.

griff
Reply to  To bed B
March 3, 2021 12:02 am

1% after it failed due to inadequate winterisation?

Derg
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 12:29 am

It is still unreliable Griff. One minute it blows and the next second it stops for a minute where does the power come from?

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  Derg
March 3, 2021 11:12 am

Tell me, Griff, just how much power do the windmills in Scotland produce when the wind STOPS??

To bed B
Reply to  IAMPCBOB
March 3, 2021 1:17 pm

Tell me, Griff, just how much power do the windmills in Scotland produce when the wind BLOWS TOO HARD?

We had a blackout because of instability in the grid as the windmills are suddenly feathered as the wind speed exceeds a limit.

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:15 am

Wind turbines are ALWAYS UNRELIABLE, griff

Why the manic DENIAL ?

Last edited 7 months ago by fred250
fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:38 am

1% …… like UK wind at the moment (3rd March 10:25 GMT)

comment image

Just say ..

THANK GOODNESS FOR GAS, hey griff-liar !

Bill Toland
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:48 am

Griff, wind didn’t reach 1% due to inadequate winterisation. It reached 1% because the wind stopped blowing. Which shows how useless wind power actually is.

Joseph Campbell
Reply to  Bill Toland
March 3, 2021 8:18 am

Bill: Is there a chart that shows wind speed in Texas at the time in Feb. when wind simply dropped off. I can find plots of wind power production but I cannot find a chart that summarizes actual wind speed during the critical period…

Itdoesn't add up...
Reply to  Joseph Campbell
March 3, 2021 1:24 pm
Last edited 7 months ago by Itdoesn't add up...
It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 5:38 am

It failed due to inadequate wind speeds. The lack of winterisation was just the icing on the cake.

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 3, 2021 11:10 am

Even if there WERE ‘winterization’ available, the lack of wind would STILL prevent any power generation from IDLE WINDMILLS! Griff simply can’t understand that!

MarkW
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 7:56 am

Adequate winterization would make unaffordable wind power, even more unaffordable.
Regardless, no amount of winterization will enable wind turbines to produce power when there is no wind.

BobM
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 8:18 am

OK, Griff. Let’s say every turbine gets winterized. Then will they work all the time? And especially during an emergency?

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  BobM
March 3, 2021 6:07 pm

No, then they’ll sit there idle when there’s no wind, sucking energy from the grid to run heaters in the blades and gearbox… had the turbines been winterized the problem would have been exacerbated.

William Ballinger
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 8:53 am

Griff,

Why did commercial shipping companies and all the world’s navies stop using wind power for propulsion? Reliability You can’t depend on either the strength or direction if you need to move on a schedule.

Wind works to pump water into a tank, as long as the tank is large enough to hold enough water to see you through the windless period.

Even sailing enthusiasts never completely depend on the wind, they have fossil fuel engines as backups.

Wind as part of a baseload for power is just stupid.

BTW, where are you going to get all the material needed to convert all power generation and transportation to renewables. (of course you refuse to consider that CO2 is a renewable, as plant use it for food and give us food and oxygen)

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  To bed B
March 3, 2021 11:08 am

As I stated above, without WIND and SOLAR there would not be a problem! These problems only started after those UNRELIABLE’S came on the scene.

John
Reply to  Joe Houde
March 3, 2021 2:31 am

First of all, wind is not 10% of Texas generating capacity. Regardless, prior to the storm wind and solar (primarily wind) were supplying nearly 70% of the electricity to the Texas grid with NG about 15%. During the storm, wind/solar averaged about 6% and as low as 1% while NG was supplying, you guessed it, almost 70%. So while weather dependent electricity crashed by -90% or more, NG increased by +450%. The author is right, this will happen more and more as the greenies mandate and subsidize wind/solar over dispatchable power.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Joe Houde
March 3, 2021 5:08 am

Yiu and all the other Chinese bots should be ashamed. 10% wind was not the culprit. The 34% average down to 1% was the culprit. Read the article next time.

Editor
Reply to  Joe Houde
March 3, 2021 7:07 am

Joe,

I see that made a scream comment then ran away……., do you have anything more than this?

What lies and what nonsense?

MarkW
Reply to  Sunsettommy
March 3, 2021 7:58 am

I’m confident that Joe is now telling his fellow basement dwellers about how he schooled a bunch of deniers.

DHR
March 2, 2021 6:59 pm

“…massive battery farms…” And just how massive would these farms be to provide many thousands of megawatts for days? And where would the power to charge the batteries come from. And don’t forget, batteries don’t do well in the cold so they would have to be in heated buildings. Where would that heat come from? And would that heat source survive several days of extreme cold? So many problems. So few answers, other than gas, coal and nuclear.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  DHR
March 2, 2021 7:20 pm

Massive battery farms are a myth as far as I know.

There’s one in Australia that can provide electricity for a couple of minutes and then its done, so I don’t see how something like that is going to help matters any. It may be massive, but it is not a substitute for sustained electrical generation.

griff
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 3, 2021 12:11 am
LdB
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:06 am

ROFL more Australian project speculation, the SA battery is the only one likely to happen depending if they can get the creative accounting working so someone else pays for it.

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:17 am

And they WILL NOT PRODUCE ANY ELECTRICITY.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  fred250
March 3, 2021 6:10 pm

Not only will the mega-battery facilities not produce any power, they actively increase the cost of electricity to end-consumers.

They buy power when it’s plentiful and cheap (raising the cost of the power by increasing demand), then sell it back to the grid when it’s sparse and expensive. That’s how they make their money. On the backs of every single rate payer. They’re parasites, not a solution.

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:53 am

The very best way to stop grid failures getting worse…

is to GET RID OF UNRELIABLE GENERATION.

Like wind, which is just 1% of UK demand (3rd March 202 10:25 GMT)

comment image

When you have large amounts of UNRELIABLE SUPPLY on your grid..

the only thing you can expect is UNRELIABILITY !

Julian Flood
Reply to  fred250
March 5, 2021 3:51 am

Fred, where did you find that graph? Is it in the public domain? myname7 at gmale

JF

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 5:47 am

How about the MWh? Anything more that 2 hour duration?

tygrus
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 6:08 am

Australia would need 6x that 7GW capacity for backup (another 30 to 50 years to build). Then, how do you get 8hrs to several days worth of backup power if you didn’t have coal & gas (it’s a pity Australia doesn’t have nuclear power plants)? Start adding it up the real costs.

Green power projects going ahead expect subsidies/grants/credits before building. If they were wonderful & cheap they wouldn’t need the extra $Millions.

The UK power grid is saved because it’s neighbours can supply more power (together >5000MW) than the UK batteries (~1000MW) eg. French nuclear from across the channel.

The average weather doesn’t stay average. The weather dependant (wind&solar) generation don’t follow demand. The difficulties & costs to make it reliable increase faster than the increase in wind&solar reliance. Think of this when you’re having a cold bath & stuck at home with a flat BEV waiting for the snow storm to pass, blue skies to come & the wind to blow a lot more when you need it.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  tygrus
March 3, 2021 5:17 pm

“The UK power grid is saved because it’s neighbours can supply more power (together >5000MW) than the UK batteries (~1000MW) eg. French nuclear from across the channel.”

Yes, the neighbors of the UK are the only thing keeping the UK above water by feeding them electricity.

The same situation exists in California.

If either one of these two tried to depend solely on their own resources, they could not supply the electricity they need.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 7:30 am

I notice none of your “figures” show MW hrs. 1200 MW for 1 minute is worthless as a backup.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Jim Gorman
March 3, 2021 8:57 am

Griff is so stupid he can’t distinguish between MW (power) and MWh (energy).

MarkW
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 8:00 am

50% larger, so instead of supplying power for 2 minutes, it will now supply power for 3 minutes.
It doesn’t take much to impress you.

I don’t know if griff simply can’t understand the meaning of grid level batteries, or he doesn’t want to understand.

JamesD
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 12:59 pm

7 GWhr? Won’t make a dent, until the blow up.

Tony Taylor
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 3, 2021 2:51 am

Tesla’s Big Battery in South Australia was introduced with much fanfare as an alternative source of supply, but in reality it is really just a network support device. It’s worked well in this capacity, regularly propping up the network under fault conditions and more Big Batteries are planned, but their shills have walked back their talk of alternative supply and are rightly categorising the batteries. Whether a suite of renewables supported by battery back-up are sustainable in the long run is highly debatable.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Tony Taylor
March 3, 2021 6:56 am

Actually, not debatable. It isn’t sustainable. “Rare Earth metals,” it should be self-evident, are far more limited in terms of supply than fossil fuels, and batteries tend to give you minutes, not hours or days, even when installed on large scale. Batteries can keep things from crashing until the REAL power plants can ramp up their output, that’s about it.

MarkW
Reply to  Tony Taylor
March 3, 2021 8:02 am

Like most AGW shills, griff only reads the original headlines. He never reads the actual article, and he never, ever, reads the walkback.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 3, 2021 5:46 am

During a hot spell the Big South Australian Battery was used to try to deal with peak demand. It provided a total of 120 MWh for just over an hour at 100MW, and then was out of action entirely until the heat abated. It could not afford to recharge at A$14,000/MWh.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 3, 2021 5:22 pm

Thanks for the info. 🙂

These big batteries are not ready for primetime.

Meab
March 2, 2021 7:07 pm

Backup batteries cannot make wind and/or solar reliable. The Hornsdale power reserve in Australia was the world’s biggest back-up battery when it was built in 2017. Hornsdale can provide a total of 70 MW for just 10 minutes or 30 MW for 3 hours. That’s TINY. What it does is buffer a wind farm so that when the wind dies off it gives the utility just enough time to bring a Natural Gas fired turbine on line. To store enough energy to prop up a wind or solar farm the size of one nuclear power plant (1000 MWe) for one single night would require a battery about 90 times bigger than Hornsdale but Hornsdale cost over $70 million US dollars. Even a battery 90 times larger than Hornsdale costing $6.0 billion wouldn’t be big enough to buffer the wind or solar farm through a single day of calm or cloudy weather, let alone a week.

rd50
Reply to  Meab
March 2, 2021 7:41 pm

To Meab
Yes I agree with everything you wrote.
However, this entire post is completely wrong, not only your post.
What is MISSING is I don’t care what could have been used to provide energy when wind and solar failed. So give me a gas plant, a coal plant a nuclear plant. I will take any and all of them. However when the electric distribution system itself is DESTROYED by the cold, I don’t care how much reserve you have. You can’t distribute it. The WIRES ARE DOWN.

fred250
Reply to  rd50
March 2, 2021 9:20 pm

That was NOT the cause of most of the ERCOT problems.

griff
Reply to  fred250
March 3, 2021 12:15 am

No: that was forseeable and foreseen failure to winterise, which would have taken out power even if it had been 100% fossil fuel etc

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:19 am

WRONG AGAIN, griff

The BIG FAILURE was going into wind and solar in the first place

In doing so they have INTENTIONALLY BUILT UNRELIABILITY into their grid.

Utter stupidity !

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:50 am

Looks like UK has FAILED TO WINTERISE its WIND power, hey griff 😉

1% of demand at 10:25 GMT on 3/3/2021

comment image

Thank goodness for GAS ..

you know, FOSSIL FUELS, hey griff, you poor dopey git.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  fred250
March 3, 2021 5:27 pm

Griff’s windmills are nothing to write home about now, are they.

It’s a good thing the UK isn’t totally dependent on windmills. They would be out of luck, wouldn’t they.

That is the goal of the alarmists isn’t it, to run the world on windmills and solar?

They need a new plan. This one is not going to work.

Think Nuclear, Griff. That’s the future.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 7:35 am

Do you understand the term “rolling blackout”? That isn’t because of downed transmission lines. That is a permanent blackout until repaired.

MarkW
Reply to  Jim Gorman
March 3, 2021 8:07 am

The number of things that griff understands could easily be counted by the fingers of one hand.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 8:06 am

Is there anything that griff knows, that is actually correct?
Power from natural gas plants increased by 450%. It would have gone up more had the regulators not required pipe line compressors to be powered from the grid.

Meab
Reply to  rd50
March 2, 2021 9:30 pm

Wires can and do go down in wind and ice storms. That knocks off PARTS of the grid, NOT the whole grid. I just lived through a huge windstorm that knocked much of our state’s power down. The wires were fixed and power was restored to most people in ~12 hours. However, without backup power, a grid powered by wind and solar could easily go down for a week or more even if the wires remain intact the whole time. Wires going down IS NOT what caused the majority of the Texas grid to fail. None of this post was wrong, sorry.

griff
Reply to  rd50
March 3, 2021 12:14 am

which is exactly the cause of the SA grid fail: 23 power pylons were knocked down, transmission line failed.

(They also set the trip switch on the wind farms wrongly: they needn’t have gone out. The Germans solved that problem back in 2008…)

even with pure coal SA would have lost power, due to line fail.

(The pictures of those pylons are astonishing: bent flat to the ground!)

LdB
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:12 am

The wind farm operator was fined $1M which was trivial for the damage it caused. The fines are set to be increased due to backlash at ridiculously low fines the regulator can hand out on these half arse renewable generation companies.

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:46 am

“even with pure coal SA would have lost power, due to line fail.”.

LYING yet again, hey griff..

The line fail would not have disrupted any power from the old coal fired power station.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  fred250
March 3, 2021 4:17 am

Agreed. The population had been suckered so much they they cheered when the coal-fired power plant was blown up with great ceremony. When the wind turbines kicked offline (due to inappropriate software settings) it overloaded the interconnecter feeding the state which then popped offline. The wind turbines could not reconnect because there was no line frequency to sense to bring the power in sync with the line conditions.

You cannot start a grid that is mostly supplied by wind, using wind power. The grid has to be stable and running at the time you bring a turbine on line.

My father worked as an engineer for Ontario Hydro when this same condition occurred with a grid that was nearly 100% hydro powered. One generator over- sped a little and another in the same plant slowed to compensate. They started consisting up and down trying to match each other but the builder saved money by leaving out “brakes” and they could not slow the over-speeding unit quickly enough to gain control.

After a time the whole station started cycling up and down while another station did the same at another location. Then pairs of stations started oscillating up and down. Eventually the whole Ontario grid collapsed as they pulled everything off line.

No one knew how to start up again. There was no protocol for initial conditions. They telephoned around and no one had a plan. They finally decided to start the oldest generator first and that set the line frequency signal. The second oldest then used it to synchronize their units and they came on line. Slowing, one phone call at a time, the whole grid came up. This happened with a grid that was fed by 100% reliable and despatchable power sources.

Now, try that with wind turbines in a varying wind regime. SA’s failure was systemic (inherent in the design) and once down, it could not restart in a coherent fashion.

Only when part of it was reliably connected to the out-of-state grid could the wind power be allowed to tap the frequency, and reconnect a little at a time. That took more than a day.

TonyG
Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
March 3, 2021 7:36 am

“No one knew how to start up again.”

I think this is going to be a growing problem.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 5:58 am

Grids are supposed to be resilient to the loss of the largest supply source if they are well designed. That means there should have been enough capacity available to make up for the loss of the Heywood interconnector. There was back before they became reliant on wind.

Wind farms were shutting down in the storm because of high wind speeds, which reduced the available generation. There was not enough reserve left to cope with the loss of the transmission line, which should have been a survivable loss.

It is no accident that the SA government later invested in a large capacity of emergency diesel generators at great expense.

fred250
Reply to  Meab
March 2, 2021 7:46 pm

Hornsdale has been making a MOTZA just stabilizing the grid fluctuations introduced by the erratic behavior of wind.

That is its only real purpose.

It would not be required at all if the SA had not gone down the MANIC anti-carbon path

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  fred250
March 2, 2021 10:14 pm

Yup, and in so doing, it increases the cost of electricity to end-consumers… it buys electricity to charge the batteries when it’s plentiful and cheap, and sells it back to the grid when it’s sparse and expensive.

griff
Reply to  Meab
March 3, 2021 12:12 am

yes, exactly. Grid stabilisation is the current major use for batteries.

Here’s a real world case:
How batteries stopped the UK’s power cut being a total disaster | WIRED UK

Derg
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 12:34 am

You could just build a nuclear, coal or gas plant and have reliability cheaper.

Why do you want to waste money?

MarkW
Reply to  Derg
March 3, 2021 8:08 am

It’s not his money, so he doesn’t care how much the policies he supports waste.

LdB
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:14 am

Now all you need in UK is something to charge it with … build more wind farms because we want a good laugh at the slow moving train wreck.

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:22 am

Again. THEY WOULD NOT BE NEEDED if not for the idiocy of installing copious amounts of UNRELIABLE SUPPLY.

They are an OVERLY EXPENSIVE, niche, stop-gap solution for a problem of their own making.

They DO NOT PRODUCE ANY ELECTRICITY

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:36 am

What REALLY SAVES the UK grid is GAS

Just like its doing right now (3rd March 10:25 GMT)

comment image

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 6:08 am

Actually if you read the official reports you will find that grid batteries underperformed against contract (only about 65% of what they were supposed to do), and their overall contribution was modest. It was automated load shedding blackouts that stopped the whole grid collapsing, when the grid frequency fell to 48.8Hz.

Moreover, wind generation was the first to fail at Hornsea offshore wind farm, and substantial embedded capacity onshore was also lost as it was tripped out, and also blacked out by the load shed trips.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  Meab
March 3, 2021 4:01 am

I disagree with the first statement. Batteries (or supercaps) can turn intermittent power sources into reliable, despatchable ones, at a cost.

There are two types of cost: monetary and energetic. If the energy investment cost of building, maintaining and rebuilding “the system” is more than ~8 times the energy returned, it is not useful. The reason for this is the total consumption has to be divided into the energy needed to build and service the system, and the remainder can do something useful like heat a home or power transport vehicles.

At 7:1 an eighth of the energy economy will be reinvested in maintaining the system, and 7/8ths will be doing other things like running your TV or melting aluminum.

Wind turbines yield about 1.33:1 without counting the storage or backup needed. It is simply not a reasonable return on the energy investment.

The only reason they exist at all is the economic return on economic investment ratio has been skewed by incentives and contractual obligations forcing the grid operators to take the power at full price if it is available. That is a formula for a financial, energetic or reliability disaster, or combination thereof, most probably all of them.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
March 3, 2021 7:08 am

If the energy investment cost of building, maintaining and rebuilding “the system” is more than ~8 times the energy returned, it is not useful.

At 7:1 an eighth of the energy economy will be reinvested in maintaining the system, and 7/8ths will be doing other things like running your TV or melting aluminum.

Contradicting yourself, it seems.

The first statement should probably read “If the energy returned is not more than ~8 times the energy investment cost of building, maintaining and rebuilding “the system”, it is not useful.”

As for this:

Batteries (or supercaps) can turn intermittent power sources into reliable, despatchable ones, at a cost.

I’d have to disagree as a practical matter. Unless by “at a cost” you mean a cost so high as to make it useless, which it of course IS.

observa
March 2, 2021 7:17 pm

It’s the same in South Australia with wind and solar effectively dumping on the grid when we as consumers need level playing field power. It just needs a simple regulatory change. Namely no tender of electrons to the grid unless the supplier can reasonably guarantee them 24/7/365 along with FCAS (ie short of unforeseen mechanical breakdown) or they can keep them and use them themselves.

The problem is purely a political one that lots of mums and dads were told to invest in rooftop solar and dump on the grid and now the Green morons have to fess up to a fallacy of composition that blind freddy could see coming. They can’t do that without more questions being asked about what else did they get wrong so the morons obfuscate while ever more grids fail with inclement weather. Catch22 for the morons who think batteries will save them from the inevitable.

R K
Reply to  observa
March 2, 2021 10:02 pm

Observa
Whilst I don’t disagree with the general part of your comment, you are not correct in talking about tendering electrons to the the grid. Electrons don’t get produced and sent anywhere – electrons stay within the confines of the atom of a particular conductor except for the outer electron or valence electrons which jump to higher energy states and to other atoms. This movement of electrons is quite slow, look up “electron drift” to see. One electron can take up to 17 minutes to pass through a metre of conductor material.
What a power generator is providing to the grid is voltage and voltage is an electromagnetic force consisting of a very high force or mass of photons. The photons do energise the electrons and are intergral to the flow of power, and that flow is measured as amps. That stupid woman Audrey Zibelman who came to Australia as head of the AEMO, spoke last October about renewables producing green electrons, showing how little she knows about the theory of electrical energy. She is far from alone but in understanding electrical theory. To give you some idea of the EMF of voltage – a 100 watt light bulb gives out about 2.9 billion trillion photons per second.
Most electricians I have spoken to don’t know what reactive power is, but I won’t go into that here. Hope the above clarifies your understanding of electrons a bit better

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  R K
March 3, 2021 6:20 am

Perhaps you could educate the new US Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm, who wants interconnectors to supply ions to Texas.

griff
Reply to  observa
March 3, 2021 12:16 am

They don’t ‘dump’ on the grid: they predictably feed into it, allowing the operation of remaining fossil fuel sources around that known and expected power feed, buffered by the battery (which provably has saved SA consumers money at peak demand times)

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:26 am

WRONG AGAIN

The SA battery does not SUPPLY ANY ELECTRICITY

Its only job is to try to correct for all the erratic fluctuations due to the UNRELIABILITY of wind turbines.

If SA still had a reliable coal fired supply, there would be absolutely ZERO NEED for the horrendous waste of money.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 8:13 am

I see that griff still believes that being able to forecast that tomorrow will be windier than today, counts as wind being perfectly predictable.

Because wind and solar can, and do, cut out on a moments notice, you have to keep a fossil fuel plant on hot standby, ready to take over with just a few minutes notice (that’s how much power even the biggest battery farm can provide).
Hot standby means the plant is burning almost as much fuel, while producing no power, as it would have actually generating power.

Tom Abbott
March 2, 2021 7:27 pm

It sounds like Texas needs to add some reliable power plants to their inventory. Enough to fill in for all the windmills when they quit working.

And they should probably fix that natural gas pumping problem by putting the pumps back on natural gas rather than making the pumps dependent on the condition of the electrical grid. The electrical grid goes down, the natural gas pumps stop working, and then the natural gas power plant has to go offline. Somebody wasn’t thinking ahead when they made those changes.

Phil
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 2, 2021 8:33 pm

Somebody wasn’t thinking ahead when they made those changes.

That is too kind. The decision makers did not care what the consequences would be and they still don’t. You cannot reason with these people.

Anon
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 2, 2021 8:56 pm

And all of that will cost money. But, since we were all promised that Green Energy is cheaper, where will that money come from? (wakey, wakey) And the irony is, since the government subsidized renewable energy, it will need to do the same for fossil fuel producers. Who in their right mind would build a coal or gas plant now, knowing it will be undercut by government subsidized solar and wind? There would be no profit in it. Furthermore, such a producer would take a huge negative PR hit from green energy proponents. But this last freeze makes government subsidizing fossil fuels inevitable. How ironic. (lol)

The only thing that keeps green energy affordable is by skimping on the back-up power system and things like winterization. Then you just play the odds and hope that you never need them and no one is the wiser. However, they threw those dice and lost.

Now it is time to pay-up.

And the dominoes continue to fall:

Chipmakers lament high taxes and levies on electricity in Germany

The high electricity price makes the location unattractive,” he said in an interview with the Handelsblatt. His company pays “less than half the electricity price” in Singapore.

https://www.thegwpf.com/green-suicide-high-electricity-costs-drive-german-high-tech-to-asia/

Sweden Wrestles With Power Shortage As Cold Weather Hampers Supply

On Friday, the Holmen forestry company closed down large parts of its paper mills in Braviken and Hallstavik due to the high electricity price.

“We are watching the market with our hands on the handbrake. And if the calculation doesn’t add up, we have to close. This week, we operated at half speed,” said Holmen CEO Henrik Sjölund.

https://climatechangedispatch.com/sweden-wrestles-with-power-shortage-as-cold-weather-hampers-supply/

And how much carbon dioxide are you going to reduce in the atmosphere when that plant relocates to Asia? (lol)

And with your corporate and personal tax base eroded, after these companies leave, how will you keep up with the energy subsidies?

The whole thing is a scam. (unless wealth re-distribution is your real goal).

Last edited 7 months ago by Anon
griff
Reply to  Anon
March 3, 2021 12:17 am

But so would winterisation have cost money…

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:44 am

Is UK wind “winterised”

Because it sure isn’t doing much at the moment. !

comment image

Anon
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 4:43 am

Yes. But when you promised your constituents cheaper energy and can’t deliver, you start cutting costs where ever you can. A bit like a contractor using cardboard in obscure locations, instead of drywall, taking the chance that a home owner will never hang a picture in that location.

And you might even do it based on an “informed” expert opinion:

ASSESSMENT of HISTORIC and FUTURE TRENDS of
EXTREME WEATHER IN TEXAS, 1900-2036

2036 EXPECTED AVERAGE TEMPERATURE

• About 3.0°F warmer than the
1950-1999 average
• About 1.6°F warmer than the
2000-2018 average

https://climatexas.tamu.edu/files/Climate-ExecutiveSummary-Flyer.pdf

And that puts us in the same position as the government in Chernobyl, when they went to purchase a robot from the Germans to clear the reactor roofs: “they gave them the propaganda number”.

They forgot Hillary Clinton’s refrain about the need to have public and private positions on all important issues. (lol)

MarkW
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 8:19 am

The winterization that was needed for fossil fuel and nuclear amounted to applying more heat in currently unheated portions of the plant. Enough to keep those areas above freezing. Extra cost, a tiny fraction of 1% of the cost of building such plants.

The winterization that was needed for wind and solar, either electric heaters or inflatable boots for the blades. Both add to the weight and cost of the blades. The extra weight will also mean the bearings have to be bigger. The extra weight of the blades and bearings means the tower has to be stronger.
All of which adds a lot to the cost of each turbine. On a percentage basis, it’s way more than the winterization costs of fossil fuel and nuclear.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  MarkW
March 6, 2021 1:31 pm

I’ve done work as a contractor at two FF power plants, one in NY state on the Hudson and one in NJ, at Jersey City. The is very little, if any, auxilliary heat. The most temperature controlled environments are the offices, control rooms, and the turbine floor. These plants are much more like an oil refinery, with lots of unenclosed spaces, than a factory, like a car manufacturing plant. Even those plants that look like a giant building are little more than a wind screen wrapped around the equipment. I’m not sure how much “winterizing” could actually have been accomplished, outside of potential issues with cooling water. That can get you into trouble pretty quick.

Richard Page
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 11:21 am

“But so would winterisation have cost money…” Exactly Griff – the energy firms have been caught out trying to do things on the cheap – cheap unreliables, cheap out on maintenance and infrastructure and rake in as much cash as possible. And they are being allowed to do this, keep on doing this and get away with it by the whole ‘Green Energy’ scam. Can you not see that this approach, by doing things on the cheap ‘n’ nasty, is simply going to destroy infrastructure and lives? It’s a bad deal for everyone except the rich elite who don’t care who they put in danger as long as their profits are safe.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Anon
March 3, 2021 12:19 am

You’re entirely correct: wealth distribution was always the real goal of the Green movement.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Graemethecat
March 3, 2021 1:28 am

It is difficult to see that when the results are not distribution of wealth, but rather destruction of wealth…

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Graemethecat
March 3, 2021 3:20 am

Someone made money from the new regulation that NG pumps be converted to electricity, just need to ferret out who!

MarkW
Reply to  Graemethecat
March 3, 2021 8:20 am

From workers, to them.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 2, 2021 10:18 pm

Especially considering that it’s more efficient to have the compressors run directly from natgas, rather than piping that natgas to a generation plant, generating electricity, backhauling that electricity to the electric-motor-powered compressors… all entailing losses of efficiency.

Kind of like when Biden nixed the Keystone XL pipeline to ‘save the planet’… all it accomplished was having to move that oil via truck and rail, increasing the fuel costs of moving it and introducing the possibility of spills.

The climate loons never think beyond the ‘that sounds like a good idea!’ phase. They are not deep thinkers.

David Stone CEng
Reply to  LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
March 3, 2021 12:25 am

There are incapable of logical thought at all, they have no technical knowledge and all bow down to Marx. Marx more or less stopped Russia, and China is not really doing a lot better on that diet. Just wait until the Chinese people catch on, they will despite Chinas attempt to censor the internet.

JamesD
Reply to  David Stone CEng
March 3, 2021 1:18 pm

No technical knowledge? AOC knows how to mix drinks. And she cares.

Anon
Reply to  LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
March 3, 2021 6:01 am

“Much of history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.” ― Thomas Sowell

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 3, 2021 7:13 am

Well, in fairness, this wasn’t so much about them “not thinking” as it was about following government Eco-Nazi “policy” that mandated that “decision.” As for the idiots in Washington, who “required” the use of (wind generated) electricity to power the gas compression, well they are simply incapable of thinking. At least intelligibly.

fred250
March 2, 2021 7:41 pm

Wind and solar have one constant..

THEY BUILD UNRELIABILITY INTO A ELECTRICAL SUPPLY GRID

———-

Texas needs to STOP RELYING on UNRELIABLES.

GREATLY INCREASE the percentage of RELIABLE COAL-FIRE ELECTRICITY. (they have plenty of coal)

Weather-harden the gas supplies so that cold doesn’t cause supply issues.

Make sure there is sufficient gas in stock for extreme weather events.

And certainly don’t rely on wind and solar for pumping that gas.

The blame for the WHOLE DEBACLE can be place totally at the feet of the scientifically unsupportable ANTI-CARBON agenda.

Mark E Shulgasser
March 2, 2021 7:45 pm

The link to ‘corporate media’ is wrong.

Rud Istvan
March 2, 2021 7:51 pm

Grid math is actually pretty simple, for being so complex mathematically. (Pun intended). In a non-renewable grid, reserve grid inertia supplying reserve capacity is usually at least 10 and more normally ~15%. So an unreliable renewable penetration below 10% is fairly easily accommodated, even tho the renewables do not pay for it.
Above those penetration levels, the grid is automatically at risk. And the ERCOT renewable wind penetration was maybe 25% in winter. So a dark disaster inevitably ensued. Was never a question of if, only when.

fred250
Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 2, 2021 8:11 pm

Built in UNRELIABILITY !

What could possibly go wrong 😉

griff
Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 3, 2021 12:19 am

There are multiple European grids with annual percentage from renewables over 30, 40 and even 50%. Grids are still reliable. The UK is building grid storage and more connectivity to other grids as the make up of its grid changes, recognising the need to provide stabilisation capacity.

LdB
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:26 am

Rubbish they get stability from neighbour countries same as the UK does by leeching from your neighbour. In fact Europe is held up on Nukes, Gas, Coal and hydro generators.

If you actually cared for the truth the numbers don’t lie the total generation percentages for Europe as a whole

45.5% Fossil Fuel
25.8% Nuclear
13% Hydro
NON renewables: 84.3%

11.3% Wind
4.1% Solar
0.2% Geothermal
0.1% Biomass
Renewables: 15.7%

Tom Abbott
Reply to  LdB
March 4, 2021 8:41 am

So Europe is in the danger zone at 15.7 percent.

Europe has to be considered as one big grid. The more unreliable power sources they introduce in the future, the more they gamble on crashing their entire grid.

People better take the lesson of Texas and of the Southwest Power Pool. That lesson is: Power grids can only accomodate a certain amount of unreliable power such as windmills and solar before they cause the grid to become destablized.

This means that unreliable power generation cannot be relied upon to provide base load power to the grid. If you have a certain amount of power your grid needs everyday, you have to have the capacity to provide that power using conventional power sources such as coal, natural gas and nuclear. Counting in any way on windmills and solar is rolling the dice on the economy and even on life and death.

It appears Texas and the Southwest Power Pool are very close to that unreliable limit. Texas needs more conventional power generation. Another big conventional power plant of one form or another would have Texas sitting pretty.

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:33 am

Yes and ALL OF THEM rely on the availability of COAL, GAS and Nuclear to maintain that tenuous semblance of stability.

At the moment UK wind is 1% of supply

You really are making a manifest FOOL OF YOURSELF griff-tard !

comment image

(2021-03-03 10:25 GMT)

Just say..

THANKS GOODNESS FOR FOSSIL FUELS… !

Last edited 7 months ago by fred250
Bill Toland
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 3:08 am

Griff, the national grid in the Uk is still reliable because there is just enough reliable energy capacity to operate the grid when wind and solar contribute nothing. However, most of Britain’s nuclear power stations will close in the next decade and there will then be a shortage of reliable capacity. Blackouts will then become inevitable. What happened in Texas was because there was insufficient reliable energy capacity when solar and wind contributed nothing.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Bill Toland
March 3, 2021 6:28 am

The UK grid has been at considerable risk of blackouts more than half a dozen times over the winter. Yesterday the loss of load probability reached 16%. We ate very close to having insufficient capacity already. Shut the remaining coal, and we will be in problems.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 8:25 am

I see that griff is still trying to pretend that the German grid is completely independent of other countries grids.
The only reason why the German grid is stable is because it is connected to the nuclear powerred grid in France, the hydro powered grid in Norway and the coal powered grid in Poland.

Itdoesn't add up...
Reply to  MarkW
March 3, 2021 1:00 pm

They’re connected to 9 countries already.

JamesD
Reply to  MarkW
March 3, 2021 1:26 pm

Maybe it will be better after they commission the huge gas pipeline from Russia.

JamesD
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 1:25 pm

In the real world the Russians are building a huge gas pipeline to Germany.

Lrp
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 4:14 pm

just keep lying

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 5:46 pm

“There are multiple European grids with annual percentage from renewables over 30, 40 and even 50%. Grids are still reliable.”

Aren’t all those grids interconnected, Griff?

Willem Post
March 2, 2021 7:54 pm

Perry is telling as it is.
Failure to winterize
Solar panels covered with snow
About 45% of wind turbines frozen.
They need power, even when they are not running, about 5600 were not running
Insufficient quick starting gas plants to take up the slack when wind and solar were awol.
Gas plants having to shut down because the power was cut to gas compressors, i.e., no d/g back-up that would keep the gas flowing.
Overbuilding unreliable wind, because of subsidies
In California, overbuilding solar resulting in HUMONGOUS DAILY DUCK CURVES.
How many more idiocies need to be piled up for folks to finally see the light?
This was not only a lack of sane “policy”; it was disorganized idiocy for decades.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  Willem Post
March 2, 2021 10:30 pm

We were a victim of that HUMONGOUS DAILY DUCK CURVE in CA today… a large area in my region went dark… stores, streetlights, traffic lights, everything. Clouds rolled in and the lights went out.

Stores and restaurants closed (I was in the drive-through queue to get JITB at the time) immediately. I saw the lights in a liquor store across the lot go dark, saw people drifting out of the stores, saw the store owners come out and lock their doors, and that was it. I drove a couple miles to a Taco Bell, instead. Haven’t been to the Bell in decades… their chicken taco bowl is surprisingly good, and comparatively inexpensive.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Willem Post
March 3, 2021 7:43 am

How many more idiocies need to be piled up for folks to finally see the light?

Unfortunately, it not the light that they will see.

It is the darkness.

Luke
March 2, 2021 8:47 pm

The Big Ol 5-3
Lol

observa
March 2, 2021 9:33 pm

Welcome to Greenland in the news again watermelon doomsters-
Mining magnets: Arctic island finds green power can be a curse (msn.com)
You’re not going to let the commies have it all are you?

And don’t forget the flowers tradeoff required too for your Green Utopia-
Race for EV batteries pits conservationists against green energy (msn.com)

As Mark Mills pointed out you gotta fast track digging BIG time if you’re gunna save the planet from the dreaded fizz in your beer and soda pop.

March 2, 2021 11:11 pm

“we should end subsidies for all energy sources while making wind and solar pay for the reliability costs they impose on the grid”. I wish this message could get through to Boris Johnson and all the other government idiots in the UK. Instead, Boris wants more and more unaffordable and unreliable offshore wind to make the UK “the Saudi Arabia of wind”. It is seemingly impossible to get the simple mesage through to the lunatics running the asylum formerly known as the UK.

David Stone CEng
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
March 3, 2021 12:30 am

Boris doesn’t do technical, and so far hasn’t bothered to ask anyone who actually knows anything. The same with Covid, but I won’t go there, far too depressing.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  David Stone CEng
March 3, 2021 7:56 am

Boris also probably doesn’t pay the electricity bills. Almost 23% of all UK domestic electric bills are for ‘environmental and social obligations.Environmental levies are forecast to cost £11.2 billion in 2020/21 and £12.5 billion in 2024/25. More and more people are falling into fuel poverty and the same is happening in Germany and across Europe

Steve Gouldstone
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
March 3, 2021 4:16 am

Agreed.

A pity all these ‘smart meters’ can’t charge green zealots the true cost of their ‘renewable’ electricity AND switch off their electricity and gas at night when there’s no wind. Now that would be a smart thing to do, perhaps they’d put two and two together.

Chris Morris
March 2, 2021 11:16 pm

The point has been made that even if all the thermal plant was at 100% load, the lack of contribution from wind and solar would still have forced blackouts. That is the easiest way to understand the problem.

David Stone CEng
Reply to  Chris Morris
March 3, 2021 12:30 am

Only because they force thermal plants to close.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Chris Morris
March 4, 2021 8:48 am

That tells us that Texas needs more thermal plants to cover the electricity deficit.

They need enough conventional power plants to cover all their needs. The arctic storm just showed them they are a little bit short of being able to do that.

ren
March 2, 2021 11:47 pm

It would be foolish not to prepare for cooling during a time of declining solar activity. Stratospheric intrusions will be more frequent in North America during the winter.comment imagecomment image
https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_int/

griff
March 2, 2021 11:58 pm

This again? If every fossil fuel hydro and nuclear plant had operated at full blast and they were the ONLY means of power, if no renewables had ever been built, Texas would still have had blackouts, because it was the combination of extreme weather plus lack of winterisation and connections to other grids which took out the power. 4 GW more of fossil fuel would be 4 GW more of frozen plant. (And if the argument is cheaper renewables drive out natural gas… really, words fail me…)

As we saw in SA and California it is the same story: extreme weather, itself more likely due to climate change, plus poor grid connection/availability, plus incompetent grid management, plus record demand, takes out a grid.

Nothing to do with renewables: completely avoidable.

I note SA and Australia in general have forestalled future problems by large grid scale battery installations..

Derg
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 12:39 am

At what cost?

Wind is an unreliable worker. Why higher an unreliable worker? You need to pay more more to get reliability out of it, so why do it?

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:40 am

Hey griff-tard,

did you know that in the UK , wind is currently producing JUST 1% of demand

Thank Goodness for GAS , hey !

comment image

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:43 am

SA and Vic HAVE NOT forestalled any future problems.

They STILL don’t have enough RELIABLE DISPATCHABLE supply for extreme weather events

Batteries DO NOT SUPPLY ELECTRICITY.

They are only there to try to stabilise the grid from the erratic fluctuations of wind and solar.

Willem Post
Reply to  fred250
March 4, 2021 1:31 pm

fred,
Plus any electricity passing through the batteries have at least a 20% loss, on a HV AC-to-HV AC basis.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 2:50 am

Wrong, griff. Those “massive” SA batteries can carry only part of the grid load for just a few minutes. And they cost tens of millions of dollars with relatively limited life and NO ability to actually produce electricity. Poor value, compared with the cost of building reliable inexpensive modern coal-fired generating plants – which would make windmills and solar completely pointless!

observa
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 6:06 am

The batteries make dough providing FCAS for the problem the unreliables created in the first place dopey-
Spot price arbitrage with battery storage – a review of 2020 performance – WattClarity

Notice how the uni got their $2.05mill battery grubstake off consumer power bills in the first place Griff? That’s your poor people Griff. Same old story with the fallacy of composition if ever more battery providers horn in on the FCAS action driving down returns but not really providing any serious power 24/7/365. That’s when the pollies get nervous and rush out the backup diesel gennys like Tasmania and SA did when the rolling blackouts looked likely.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 6:53 am

Wrong. Peak demand was forecast at 75GW by ERCOT. Dispatchable capacity was only 69GW. There was simply not enough capacity to meet demand even if none of it had failed.

Moreover, a significant amount of capacity was lost due to grid mismanagement by ERCOT, who should have started imposing rolling blackouts instead of waiting until blackouts were imposed by automatic load shedding. Worse still, the blackouts cut fuel supplies, because they were poorly targeted. Again, grid mismanagement.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 4, 2021 8:54 am

“Moreover, a significant amount of capacity was lost due to grid mismanagement by ERCOT, who should have started imposing rolling blackouts instead of waiting until blackouts were imposed by automatic load shedding.”

It sounds like this is going to be a major factor in the partial failure of the Texas grid.

It was reported that Texas was within minutes of having the whole grid go down, so they obviously waited until they could not wait any longer, and delaying that long created its own problems.

Last edited 7 months ago by Tom Abbott
Chuck no longer in Houston
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 4, 2021 1:34 pm

They were within minutes and a fraction of a hertz from a complete cascading blackout. As bad as it was, this would have been much, much worse. At this point, large diesel gen sets would have to have been trucked to a generating plant deemed most likely to restart simply to get the required pumps and ancillary equipment needed to start the plant. Once one plant is up, other plants might be able (might!) to use the power from the first running plant to get themselves started. Maybe not – it depends on the interconnections and the load on the first plant. So trucking large gen sets around the state would then be required. A power engineer’s nightmare. Ask me sometime about my time on the destroyer at sea when both engine rooms went dark and the forward emergency diesel failed to start due to fudged PMs (i.e. no regular charging) on the forward starting battery bank.

Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 7:40 am

CC isn’t responsible for extreme weather, extrem weather events are decreasing, following a certain scientific logic 😀

MarkW
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 8:28 am

I see that griff still believes that if he tells the same lie over and over again, it will somehow become the truth.

BTW, there is no evidence that extreme weather is becoming more common. That’s just another lie that you repeat.

TonyG
Reply to  MarkW
March 3, 2021 10:48 am

I would say that reporting on extreme weather is what’s becoming more common. Also, the definition of extreme has been “adjusted”

JamesD
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 1:30 pm

Frozen plant? Name one. The gas plants went down because the compressor stations were load shed.

Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 1:59 pm

Griff, you don’t understand Texas’s deregulated grid. Federal subsidies for wind and solar encourage their building as investors have greater confidence they can get a return on their investment. The opposite is true of gas and coal. This is why Texas added a 20,000 megawatts of installed capacity of mostly wind and some solar over the past 5 years while losing a net of 4,000 megawatts of gas and coal. Further, the federal Production Tax Credit allows wind producers to make a profit even when prices on the grid go negative–they can pay the grid to take their power and still make money on the federal tax credit!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
March 3, 2021 6:59 pm

“Nothing to do with renewables: completely avoidable.”

How do you avoid the wind not blowing?

Richard Hughes
March 3, 2021 1:20 am

I think one failure should have been anticipated.

Having worked for a water and waste water utility in the UK. It is mandated that all significant pumping stations and treatment facilities have back up (diesel….) generators in the event of grid failures

Klem
March 3, 2021 2:13 am

What happened in Texas would make the far left socialists swoon, they would be opening champaign and toasting themselves over this.

The crippling of capitalism is a lifelong goal, I’m sure they secretly wish the same for the entire country. Some of my self loathing lefty neighbors might harbor these thoughts, though they would never admit it.

Never vote Left, folks.

AGW is Not Science
March 3, 2021 6:38 am

Great summary, Chuck, but one criticism; the following needs correction (shown):

This inexpensive but unreliable power has acted as a powerful disincentive to build needed natural gas power plants.

There is nothing “inexpensive” about unreliable wind and solar power. The problem is that with government mandates and subsidies, and with the true costs not all being reflected in the “price” of such electricity, a false impression of its supposedly being “inexpensive” develops.

  • Unreliable wind and solar power require real power plants to back them up, essentially at 100%, in order to ensure adequate supply when the wind and Sun don’t cooperate, or when the wind turbines or solar panels are covered in ice or snow, or get blow apart in storms, rendering them useless. This duplication of electric generation is extremely expensive.
  • Unreliable wind and solar power, with their unpredictable and often wildly fluctuating output, make managing the power grid much more difficult – and much more expensive.
  • Unreliable wind and solar power require fossil fuel plants to be operating inefficiently in “standby” mode, ready to be ramped up when the Sun and/or wind don’t cooperate, which drives up the cost and wastes energy.

So let’s restate the truth of the matter, as follows:

“This unreliable power, whose price is artificially depressed by not reflecting all of its true costs, has acted as a powerful disincentive to build needed natural gas power plants.”

I also find it laughable that the “free market” is being blamed for the Texas problem. Without government (“Federal and state tax policy”) tax incentives and mandates for “priority” to be given to accepting unreliable wind and solar power into the grid with preference, there wouldn’t be a problem. As Warren Buffet openly admits, (paraphrasing) “the only thing that makes wind farms a worthy investment are the government tax credits.”

If the “free market” was allowed to function, there wouldn’t BE any “win farms” or “solar farms,” and utilities wouldn’t accept any “excess” generation of electric from solar panels or windmills without being paid to do it. Utilities would reject such poor quality power outright without government interference.

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
March 3, 2021 1:34 pm

Thanks. Merely looking at how the Texas market responds to the price – wind and solar are “inexpensive” to the grid, which is why their unreliable power jumps in line, hurting the financials of the baseload plants. I’ll try to work it in in the future, but the piece was already on the long side for the site where it first appeared.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Chuck DeVore
March 4, 2021 7:22 am

My pleasure, Chuck. I noticed I have some typos in there.

Willem Post
Reply to  Chuck DeVore
March 4, 2021 1:27 pm

Wind and solar are much more expensive to the grid, than a traditional plant of equal MW, i.e., a lot of grid expansions/connections, plus grid filling-in, peaking and balancing services, for little kWh.

Add in those costs, plus all sorts of subsidies per kWh, and wind and solar sink like a stone.

willem post
March 3, 2021 6:40 am

TEXAS

Texas does not import electricity, because it has minor connections to nearby grids. 
Texas prides itself going it alone. Don’t mess with Texas.

NOTE: New England imports about 19% of its electricity, because it has major connections to New York and Canadian grids. 

The New York Times, February 20, 2021, displayed a very revealing and useful graph, based on Energy Information Administration, EIA, data, of Texas electricity production, by source, a few days before, and a few days after, the major winter snow storm, which started early evening, February 14, 2021. You can google it, but it is behind a paywall. The graph showed:

GAS
Gas plant output was about 43,000 MW. The output decreased to about 29,000 MW about one day later, a 33% reduction (largely due to piping freeze-ups), then output went up and down, at an average of about 29,000 MW, to quickly/seamlessly counteract the output changes of other sources, especially of wind and solar.

COAL
Coal plant output was about 11,000 MW. The output decreased to about 8,000 MW about one day later, a 27% reduction (largely due to piping freeze-ups), then the output was about 7,000 to 8,000 MW

WIND
Wind plant output was about 9,000 MW, from an installed capacity of 30,904 MW (about 15,000 wind turbines); the capacity factor was 9000/30904 = 0.29. The output decreased to about 1,000 MW about one day later, an 89% reduction (largely due to freeze ups of 12,000 MW of capacity (per ERCOT, the grid operator), i.e., about 12000/30904 x 15000 = 5,825 wind turbines, or 5825/15000 = 39% of all wind turbines. Then output increased to about 4,000 MW for about a day, then decreased to about 1,000 MW, etc., due to wind-velocity variations, i.e., bouncing around at a low level, due to a lack of wind. The relatively few wind turbines on the Texas Gulf Coast were unaffected by the snow storm, and performed as usual.
https://windexchange.energy.gov/states/tx#capacity

NOTE: Wind turbines, whether producing or not, require electricity for self-use, i.e., each of those frozen wind turbines and all operating wind turbines would demand 30 to 60 kW from the grid, 24/7, for self-use, where ever the electricity would be available. See explanation in this URL
https://windfarmrealities.org/?p=1594

NUCLEAR
Nuclear plant output was about 4,000 MW. The output became about 3,000 MW about one day later (largely due to piping freeze-ups), a 25% reduction

SOLAR
Solar plant output was near zero on the early evening of February 14, 2021. The output increased to 3,000 MW, from an installed capacity of about 13,000 MW during the following midday. On a sunny day, peak midday production from 13,000 MW of panels is about 13000 x 0.8 = 10,400 MW, but peak production was only 3,000 MW, i.e., 6,000 MW/ 0.8 = 7,500 MW of panels, or 7500/13000 = 58% of all panels, were covered with snow. Then solar output went to near-zero again, starting late afternoon/early evening, etc. Solar is almost never there when it is needed.

NOTE: In New England, which is much smaller than Texas, a wide-spread snow storm would cover almost all panels, at least for a few days, longer if icing would occur.

None of the above had anything to do with the Texas distribution and transmission grids.

This had to do with an unusual freeze-up, which: 

1) Temporarily, a few days, reduced output of traditional sources.
2) Covered 39% of wind turbines with snow and ice.
3) Covered 58% of solar panels in many areas

Texas should be:
 
1) Investing in insulation to protect critical power plant and grid systems
2) Retrofitting wind turbines with freeze protection systems, as do New England and northern Europe, a multi-year effort.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  willem post
March 3, 2021 8:12 am

The NYT is too ready to blame freeze-ups. In reality, most of the reduction in wind output was because of lower wind speeds. Even if none of the turbines had frozen, wind would have been barely more than 1GW right when demand would have peaked on the evening of the 15th. Spending on de-icing wind would have been a poor investment.

So far as loss if generation is concerned it omits to mention the poor grid management that led to huge underfrequency events that caused plant to trip offline in a cascade. That has nothing to do with freezing, or with lack of gas supply. It was the consequent load shedding that then caused problems with lack of supply of gas due to compressors on pipelines being blacked out, and pumps on water supplies ditto.

Yes, there were some losses directly due to inadequate winterisation affecting instrumentation and water supply, including the loss of some nuclear. But it is only a minority part of the picture.

Willem Post
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 3, 2021 6:51 pm

The Gulf Coast wind turbines were unaffected
More than 5800 of 15000 wind turbines were frozen, i.e., their whatever generation was lost

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Willem Post
March 4, 2021 3:30 am

I’m not sure about that. Anemometers at many coastal locations between Corpus Christi and the border appear to have ceased operating. In some cases the whole weather station appears to have been blacked out, but in others it looks like the anemometer simply froze up. Those that did manage to report throughout show winds dropping to below turbine cut in speeds.

The drop in wind speeds appears merely to have been a few hours later on the coast, presumably as the weather system moved through.

Itdoesn't add up...
Reply to  Willem Post
March 4, 2021 5:44 am
willem post
Reply to  Itdoesn't add up...
March 4, 2021 6:31 am

My data are from ERCOT, which stated 12,000 MW was frozen, about 5800 wind turbines, 39% of all wind turbines

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  willem post
March 4, 2021 7:20 am

Not suggesting they weren’t frozen. In fact, the non performing anemometers suggests that freezing problems may have extended down to the coast. The key point is that the wind died, so frozen or not, wind was useless.

Willem Post
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 4, 2021 1:19 pm

Had the winds been strong, the 5800 turbines would still be useless.

Itdoesn't add up...
Reply to  Willem Post
March 4, 2021 2:19 pm

But wind is frequently close to zero when there is a cold spell (and also in extreme heat). Just had another several days of that in the UK, with prices for balancing power running as high as £4,000/MWh again.

Itdoesn't add up...
Reply to  willem post
March 3, 2021 10:34 am

I don’t regard import dependence as a sign of grid resilience. Rather the reverse. See California. A limited connection can make sense. A good grid design tries to locate generation not too far from demand, with the grid mainly functioning to handle local imbalances and sharing out a problem when a generator or link goes down: that can usefully include a limited amount of cross border sharing. A poor design has massive power flows surging across it in and generation located at a distance, worse still in a different country. Of course, sometimes that is almost unavoidable when exploiting e.g. a major hydro resource. That’s why there are treaties over many large hydro projects with international implications.

Willem Post
Reply to  Itdoesn't add up...
March 3, 2021 6:46 pm

DNAU,

Germany has strong connections to nearby grids
when winds are strong, it exports at low prices
when winds are weak, it imports at high prices

Germany balances some the wind with its left-over fossil plant capacity, but the rest of the balancing has to be done by others, who do not mind, because it is moneymaker.

willem post
Reply to  Willem Post
March 4, 2021 7:35 am

Germany has had increased grid instabilities, due largely to its high level of unstable wind and solar generation.
The German grid has very strong connections to nearby grids to spread those instabilities all over the place, and have THOSE grids deal with them.

Most of those countries do not mind, because they obtain that electricity (subsidized and expensively generated in Germany) at very low, or negative wholesale prices. Germany boasts about “we are green” and “be like us”, etc.

When Germany is short, because of a lack of wind and solar, those countries are happy to supply Germany at high wholesale prices.

German electricity ratepayers are screwed both ways, in addition to paying for various energy subsidies, taxes, fees and surcharges.
Germany and Denmark have the highest household electric rates in Europe, by far.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Willem Post
March 4, 2021 7:54 am

The interesting times will come as they close coal, lignite and nuclear. As it is, I doubt the Norwegians are too happy with the effects of the newly opened direct interconnector to Germany.

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/VyrHt/2/

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Willem Post
March 4, 2021 8:57 am

…and still recently had a near meltdown of its grid that almost resulted in a wide scale blackout. And now have blackouts/power interruptions on a smaller scale with great frequency – something that was unheard of before the mass stupidity of “climate policy” was invoked.

Not to mention what happens when those “connections to nearby grids” consist of more of the same unreliable wind and solar stupidity.

And, of course, ignoring the result in terms of cost overall – they now are in the top three countries (not counting small island nations) for the most expensive electricity in the world.

All while their CO2 emissions increased, as opposed to declined, due to the stupid and needless shutdown of nuclear generation.

JamesD
Reply to  willem post
March 3, 2021 1:34 pm

What “piping freeze up” was at the nuke?

Itdoesn't add up...
Reply to  JamesD
March 3, 2021 3:03 pm

I’ve told you several times already.

Coach Springer
March 3, 2021 7:04 am

Missing from an otherwise comprehensive article: Why is wind cheap enough to sell at negative prices?

Last edited 7 months ago by Coach Springer
Reply to  Coach Springer
March 3, 2021 1:29 pm

Prices often go negative at night when the wind is blowing and demand is lower. Because of the federal Production Tax Credit, wind producers can pay the grid to take their power and still make a profit as they get the tax credit based on how much electricity they produce.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Coach Springer
March 4, 2021 9:03 am

Because that’s what happens when you generate power when it’s not needed, at the whim of the weather; you give it away.

Because the government interference with electricity generation as they try to push their “Climate Nazi” policies rewards them for producing when the electricity is not needed (see Chuck’s post below).

Because the price of wind power does not reflect all of its costs, by a long shot (see my separate post).

Matthew Schilling
March 3, 2021 7:16 am

We are being driven back to caveman status by village idiots.

To be dependent on wind and solar is to be dependent on the vagaries of nature, the very thing man has always sought to escape. First World man had done so to an amazing degree. But we are being frog marched relentlessly backward by clueless, sanctimonious idiots.

It’s as if a pack of rabid dogs were working a business plan. It seems like someone has bolted the drumbeat dynamo of Moore’s Law onto criminal insanity.

There are millions of people who self identify as “green” who have an irrational, hysterical phobia toward atmospheric CO2 – something fundamental and essential for every green plant. Help! I have fallen into a Kurt Vonnegut novel and I can’t get out!

Willem Post
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
March 3, 2021 10:48 am

Matt,
They are not village idiots.

They are liberal arts psychology majors, etc., who are coddled by glib-talking wind and solar lobbyists, which makes them feel important.

They psychology majors get taking points from these lobbyists, which they echo all around.

All these folks are part of a highly subsidized RE cabal that is s….g us up and down, already for at least two decades.

willem post
March 3, 2021 7:18 am

TEXAS

Here is an image of the Texas 2020 generation, by source. When wind is near zero many hours of the year, quick-starting, high-efficiency, combined-cycle, gas-turbine, CCGT, plants have to take up the slack, plus they have to ramp up and down to counteract the variations of wind., 24/7/365
https://www.newsweek.com/how-much-power-texas-renewable-coal-gas-wind-turbines-1570238

Typically, CCGT plants operate near rated capacity to maximize production and revenues. However, with higher levels of wind electricity on the grid, they would have to vary their outputs from about 50% to 100% of rated capacity to counteract the variations of wind; operating below 50% needs to be avoided, because CCGT plants tend to become unstable.

Payments would need to be made to CCGT plant owners for forcing them to: 

1) Generate less electricity, than without wind, i.e., operate uneconomically 
2) Provide counteracting services, 24/7/365. 

As CCGT plants perform the peaking, filling-in and balancing, to counteract variable, intermittent wind and solar electricity on the grid, they would:

1) Operate at varying outputs, which would be produced at lesser efficiency
2) Have lower-than-normal outputs, which would be produced at lesser efficiency
3) Have more frequent cold starts and stops, which would decrease inefficiency
4) The more wind and solar on the grid, the more extreme the output variations, and the more frequent the start/stops.

Less efficient plant operation, and additional wind turbine build-outs means: 1) more Btu/kWh, 2) more CO2/kWh, and 3) more wear and tear, and 4) more grid augmentation/expansion/storage.

PS HOW DO I ATTACH AN IMAGE FROM MY MAC DESKTOP?

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  willem post
March 3, 2021 8:16 am

When you type a comment, SE of the comment box is a little picture icon. Click, and you will be invited to point to an image in your computer folders to be uploaded.

willem post
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 3, 2021 8:40 am

Thank you.

I went to Preview, clicked Export, in the window selected png to convert it, saved it to my desktop, and, voila, image appeared!!

willem post
Reply to  willem post
March 3, 2021 8:38 am

Here is the image, I hope

texas-electricity-generation-statista.png
AGW is Not Science
Reply to  willem post
March 4, 2021 9:06 am

3) Have more frequent cold starts and stops, which would decrease inefficiency

Fixed it for ya

Willem Post
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
March 4, 2021 1:16 pm

AGW,
Thank you

Brooks H Hurd
March 3, 2021 7:48 am

One issue that the article pointed out was that many Texas gas compressors were run by electric motors. This, as the article pointed out, was the reason why natural gas supplies dropped. If 20% of your grid power comes from renewables without backup and you use electric motors to compress natural gas the obvious result is a drop in gas pressure in the pipelines.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  Brooks H Hurd
March 3, 2021 11:42 am

Right. Gas pumps powered by electricity coming from sources the gas is built to backup is nonsensical.

“We’re locked out!”

  • “Don’t worry, we have a spare key.”

“Great! Where is it?

  • “Inside the top drawer of my dresser.”

“Inside the house?”

  • “Yep… wait… we’re locked out!”

(Face palm)

Last edited 7 months ago by Matthew Schilling
Brooks H Hurd
March 3, 2021 8:35 am

Like Texas, California relies on solar and wind for a large percentage of the state’s grid supply. Unlike Texas, California imports more than 30% of the electricity used in the Golden State. Last summer California had rolling black outs because there was too little power available from neighboring States to make up for the unreliable renewables. California is making the energy situation even less stable by pushing all electric homes and EVs while California is shutting down fossil fuel plants. The last remaining nuclear plant will shut down in less than 4 years.

It won’t be long before California will be importing more than 50% of its electricity. This over reliance on unreliable electricity sources will result in massive electricity shortfalls. After the recent energy disaster in Texas, the power industry in California needs to do something to prevent a similar disaster here. Recently, I started to see TV ads advising Californians to power down between 4PM and 9PM. The deceptively titled website below explains the plan.

https://www.energyupgradeca.org/time-of-use/

I suppose that when the inevitable blackouts happen the State of California will be blaming its residents for the blackouts.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  Brooks H Hurd
March 3, 2021 9:09 am

CA’s coming problem will be mitigated by the exodus of tens of thousands of people – fewer people; lower need. Further, new inhabitants traipsing in from the Third World are used to rolling blackouts. So I expect the issue to become less urgent, as time passes.

Bruce Cobb
March 3, 2021 8:53 am

Once upon a time, there was a three-legged stool. It was not your ordinary stool, though. Each leg was different and had its own attributes, but together, they made for a very dependable stool, even if it wasn’t always taken care of properly. The names of the three legs were “Coal”, “Nuclear”, and “Gas”.
Then one day, some very evil, stupid and greedy people called “Blue Greenies” came in with a fourth leg they claimed was far superior (even though it wasn’t). To make way for their fourth leg, called “Renoobles”, they kicked the Coal leg several times, weakening it. Thenceforth, they would always laugh and point at the Coal leg, saying how wobbly it was (even though it still held up quite well, when allowed to).
Now, the Renoobles leg was sometimes strong, and sometimes very weak, so the trick was for the other three legs to make up for when the fourth leg was weak, or even nonexistant. It was up to the other three legs to figure out what to do and when, in order to accomodate this fourth leg. It was suggested that a carpenter be brought in, to further stabilize the stool which was now acting a bit strange. Maybe a brace here and there would do the trick. This got to be quite expensive though, and was annoying to the carpenter – but that’s a different story.
One day, the stool wobbled mightily, and nearly collapsed. Immediately, the evil stupidgreedy people blamed the other three legs, saying they didn’t do their job. Many people without brains eagerly believed them, as they believed in “Renoobles”. It was a big mess, and very sad. The End.

Rhee
March 3, 2021 9:58 am

Chuck, thank you for bringing this nicely detailed summary of the problems that affected TX power last month. I had suspected a fair amount of what you have presented, having worked at Reliant Energy some years ago in the customer service call center departments on a team to improve the call center reps’ ability to handle inquiries and complaints. Part of that was learning about myriad failure modes that could affect power delivery to consumers, and having to deal with ERCOT to get information about their role. It seemed to me that this was a nearly perfect storm of interconnected feedback loops where the power generation sources were hitting the others like a complex chain of dominoes all over the state. I don’t feel any satisfaction for understanding this, just disgust over agencies such as ERCOT and others who didn’t live up to their contractual responsibilities to the consumers.

Harry Passfield
March 3, 2021 11:21 am

Interesting story in the UK Daily Mail today:

The largest and oldest electricity co-operative in Texas has filed for bankruptcy protection after it received a $2.1 billion bill from ERCOT, the state’s grid operator. – that’s Brazos.

See Daily Mail online.

March 3, 2021 11:43 am

YOU CANNOT BUILD A RELIABLE ENERGY SUPPLY FROM UNRELIABLE ENERGY SOURCES.

Wind and solar should be ancillary energy sources, best installed at end-users and only to lower the overall demand on the grid. To put such crappy energy sources in the center of the grid and then pretend that the other reliable sources can be retired is just stupid.

In fact, the greater wind and solar energy placed in the grid means that you need to increase the available back up power sources, not decrease them. It’s just dumb or consciously ignoring the realities of unreliable and hyper-expensive energy sources.

Wind and solar are the least green energies on the plant. The most reliable is nuclear and coal, with nuclear the safest of all.

JamesD
March 3, 2021 12:44 pm

Someone finally caught the switch of compressor drivers from natural gas to electric due to Obama’s Cost of Carbon. There is one thing left that needs answered. Why did the cooling pumps at the nuke go down? Were they “load shed”?

Itdoesn't add up...
Reply to  JamesD
March 3, 2021 12:51 pm

I answered that already for you. The feed pipe to a pressure gauge froze, so the gauge gave a false reading that tripped out the water supply pumps and in turn the reactor.

Chuck no longer in Houston
Reply to  Itdoesn't add up...
March 4, 2021 1:44 pm

He has “load shed” on the brain. And as I have explained, the pumps and ancillary equipment in an online gen plant are being powered by said gen plant for all practical purposes. A load shed event will have no effect on a running gen plant’s equipment. One of the two reactors at STP unit 1 was shut down following the tripping of a feedwater pump (or pumps) due to a faulty sensor (which may, or may not, have been related to the cold).