Wind Power Fail: Texas Heatwave Triggers Record Fossil Fuel Demand

Essay by Eric Worrall

Echoes of the 2021 Texas ice storm outage – Texans are once again learning the hard way that you can’t count on renewables during extreme weather events.

Texas Heatwave Highlights A Major Problem With Wind Power

By Irina Slav – Jul 13, 2022, 5:00 PM CDT

A major heatwave has hit Texas and put the Lone Star State’s energy grid under severe stress.

At the same time, low wind speeds mean that wind turbines in Texas are operating at just eight percent of their capacity.

Ultimately, intermittency is a major problem for wind power, especially during periods of hot weather when demand increases and wind speeds fall.

Texas is suffering a major heat wave. Three-digit temperatures are straining the state’s grid and earlier this month prompted ERCOT, the Lone Star State’s grid operator, to ask Texans to conserve energy. It also severely affected wind power generation.

Bloomberg reported this week that wind turbines in Texas are operating at just 8 percent of their capacity because of low wind speeds. This is really unfortunate because demand for electricity is on a strong rise because of the weather.

There is a certain irony that the biggest wind energy generator in the U.S. cannot utilize its capacity to serve its citizens at a time of peak demand. But it is certainly no surprise that this is happening. Wind power generation depends entirely on the weather; when the weather is unfavorable, generation drops.

Europe was reminded of the importance of wind speeds last year when these fell below average, causing lower than normal wind power output and partially contributing to the energy crunch that hit much of the continent in the autumn. The wind industry recognizes this fact: wind industry journal WindPower Monthly had an article that explained how wind park output depended more on wind speeds than on turbine performance, regardless of the age of the turbines.

Read more: https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Wind-Power/Texas-Heatwave-Highlights-A-Major-Problem-With-Wind-Power.html

On Tuesday ERCOT received permission from environmental regulators for fossil fuel generators to exceed pollution limits, to satisfy a record demand for power.

U.S. Central states, Texas power use to break more records this week

Tue, July 19, 2022, 11:19 PM

July 19 (Reuters) – Power use in Texas and other Central U.S. states will likely break all-time highs in coming days as homes and businesses crank up their air conditioners to escape a lingering heat wave, regional electric grid operators forecast on Tuesday.

Grid operators in the region have already started taking early steps to ensure they have enough resources to keep up with soaring demand.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the grid for more than 26 million customers representing about 90% of the state’s power load, got permission from the state’s environmental regulators to allow power plants to exceed their air permit pollution limits on Monday.

Last week, ERCOT met demand in part by urging customers to conserve energy to avoid taking much bigger actions to reduce usage, like rotating outages.

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which operates the grid for almost 18 million people in 17 states from North Dakota to Texas, has not taken as many steps as ERCOT to control usage.

SPP, like ERCOT, has asked its members to postpone maintenance on some critical equipment like power lines and generating plants, a common step grid operators take to ensure resources will be available during times of high demand.

Extreme weather is a reminder of the February freeze in 2021 that left millions of Texans without power, water and heat for days during a deadly storm as ERCOT scrambled to prevent a grid collapse after an unusually large amount of generation shut.

Read more: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-central-states-texas-power-131933439.html

I’m at a loss for words. How many more times does this have to happen, how many Texans have to die, before Texan politicians accept they backed the wrong horse? If the Texan state government is worried about air pollution from fossil fuel generators, they should increase their fleet of reliable zero carbon nuclear reactors.

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July 20, 2022 6:21 am

Maybe it will slow the invasion across the border? Thorium Liquid Salts Cooled Reactors would supply the needed electricity.

fretslider
Reply to  Anti-griff
July 20, 2022 8:16 am

Whether we like it or not, the borders are open.

“15,000 Illegal Boat Migrants Reach Britain This Year, Double Last Year’s Record Pace”

It’s only July. But seriously, we have really major shortages in housing, education and health. And native people who have queued up for years for a house get bumped down the lists – for the newcomers – just like that. How would you feel about that?

I do know of one entity that has done exceedingly well out of the migrant crisis. Domino’s Pizza (Dover branch).

Officials spent over £38,000 in taxpayers’ cash at a Domino’s branch near Dover
Staff at the now-closed Tug Haven holding centre used government credit cards
The huge purchases of pizza with popular toppings were made over five months

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11021741/Home-Office-spent-39-000-taxpayers-cash-Dominos-pizzas-hungry-Channel-migrants.html

Right now they’re being ‘held’ in 4 star hotels.

“Migrants ‘are staying in four-star hotel rooms at £125-a-night on the taxpayer’ as Britons struggle to afford spiralling energy bills amid cost of living chaos”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10380855/Migrants-staying-four-star-hotel-rooms-125-night-British-taxpayer.html

I wonder what Margaret (Thatcher) would make of all this?

Last edited 23 days ago by fretslider
Ben Vorlich
Reply to  fretslider
July 20, 2022 9:29 am

I wonder what any PM prior to Blair would make of the incompetant chancers (Major not being a chancer) that have taken us into the mess we’re in now.
Taking Back Control:
Non-EU net migration remained positive at 251,000 in the year ending June 2021, with 81,000 non-EU nationals emigrating compared with 332,000 immigrating. (Government Official Data). Total well in excess of 600K – my guess.
Still not completed Brexit with regard to Northern Ireland.
Two stanouts from an extensive list

fretslider
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 20, 2022 9:40 am

Major ran away from the Circus to become a banker

Strange, but true

Diogenese
Reply to  fretslider
July 20, 2022 10:22 am

Try the two million a that have walked in that we know of , many are not counted .

Reply to  fretslider
July 20, 2022 1:22 pm

I thought Thatcher was one of the originators of CO2 as a pollutant as a measure to control the coal miners?

pigs_in_space
Reply to  Dennis Topczewski
July 20, 2022 10:18 pm

Actually she recantred once out of power and having installed that idiot nutcase Houghton in the job for life of promoting said scam on the basis of being good stewards of creation!
Good steward of old people freezing to death, he was designed to cull the aged, cos they cost too much to look after especially in those mass bank scamming operations they call OLD PEOPLE’S HOMES.

Gerry, England
Reply to  pigs_in_space
July 21, 2022 5:52 am

Baroness Thatcher had the ability to learn that global warming was bullshit once the evidence was presented. You have to question the motives of those who don’t.

Mike S
Reply to  Anti-griff
July 20, 2022 9:44 am

Nuclear is not the answer in a state that has so much wind and solar. Nuke has to run all the time. They need power plants that come on line when needed and drop off when not.

Drake
Reply to  Mike S
July 20, 2022 9:59 am

They have PLENTY of gas plants that can increase and decrease output when needed, just not enough BASELINE power overall.

SO any type inexpensive BASELINE power plants, coal, or nuclear, are needed to increase total dispatchable generation capacity.

Use gas plants for varying output as required.

STOP all subsidies for solar and wind, and require each individual wind or solar “farm” to provide a means of dispatching contracted output 25/7.

chadb
Reply to  Drake
July 20, 2022 10:18 am

Definitely stop subsidies. However, why should ERCOT require contracted output 25/7? Wouldn’t that also prevent any resource that has unplanned outages (i.e. all of them)?

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  chadb
July 20, 2022 5:48 pm

Everyone wants contracted output, be it water, power, sewer, school teachers, raw materials for a plant, or nurses at your local hospital. My company has contracts with its suppliers that guarantee delivery, just like we require with electricity or any other utility. Of course there are unplanned outages but if you sign a contract to supply something and you pay a penalty of some sort for not meeting the contract, then you spend a little more on maintenance, etc. so you can deliver. Or you own five generating units and you commit 80% and sell the rest at the spot price. Then you can cover your contract if one unit goes down.

Drake
Reply to  chadb
July 20, 2022 6:15 pm

Nope. Those reliable dispatchable power providers would surely create a mutual insurance pool to cover each other in the case of an unplanned outage.

Unreliables have outages all the time, solar MOST of the day, and wind whenever the wind does not blow, OR blows too hard. No sensible reliable generation company would share their risk with that clown show without an extremely large payment schedule.

That is what I am talking about when I speak of 25/7 sic. delivery requirement for wind and solar. At this time, they have NO requirement to deliver “energy” 24/7.

This is

John_C
Reply to  chadb
July 21, 2022 10:26 am

I expect my contracted services to have a plan for whenever the service encounters emergency events. I expect them to have a tested and working plan for expected events. I expect them to successfully implement that plan for regularly occurring events.

So, the Sun goes down every night. Unless the solar power is provided as an “at will” supplement (eg the grid buys power if the grid wants it and they can provide it) then the solar power provider needs to deliver the power regardless of whether the Sun is shining ‘right now’. They can do that by having other power sources on contract, or by operating their own.

The wind may blow, or blow too hard, or stop. It changes frequently, and the actual power available is irregular on the scale of minutes, with low output periods that can extend for weeks. Again, the options should be selling power on the spot market without guaranteed sales, or the power contractor providing an alternate source when the windmill is not producing/under producing/over producing power.

All power plants need maintenance, you expect that planned maintenance includes the planned provision of power while the maintenance is performed. This explains why many fields do overnight maintenance in summer, low demand, mild weather.

The issue is intermittent supply displacing baseline power. The solution is to require contracted power to actually be supplied. I don’t really care if my 100MWs are generated by coal or pixie dust, but it must be supplied all the time. If it can’t be guaranteed, it shouldn’t be first in line.

jeffery p
Reply to  Mike S
July 20, 2022 10:25 am

Are you being tongue-in-cheek? Neither wind nor solar run 24 * 7 and while darkness is generally predictable (night time), winds nor clouds are not.

Nationally, we should use nuclear to provide baseline power and natural gas power plants for additional power on demand.

Derg
Reply to  Mike S
July 20, 2022 11:11 am

A sphincter says what?

Bryan A
Reply to  Derg
July 20, 2022 12:14 pm

A sphincter says what???
<blockquote>Nuclear is not the answer in a state that has so much wind and solar. Nuke has to run all the time. They need power plants that come on line when needed and drop off when not</blockquote>

Dave Fair
Reply to  Bryan A
July 20, 2022 1:33 pm

They need less unreliable power. Why would you design a system that needed to (at great cost) double its capacity only at certain, irregular times?

Drake
Reply to  Dave Fair
July 20, 2022 6:16 pm

Because they HATE poor people.

Willem post
Reply to  Mike S
July 20, 2022 11:52 am

This energy systems analyst finds your comment absurd;
starting and stopping a power plant requires much more Btu/kWh, and adds much more wear and tear/kWh, just like a car.

The variations of wind and solar require other plants to ramp up and down their outputs to counteract act those variations, 24/7/365.

Feeble Biden-in-the-cool-basement wants to issue an executive order declaring an emergency, and wants to spend $500 billion, for starters, for wind, solar, and batteries, and grid expansion/reinforcement

The absurdity of it all is off the charts.

Last edited 23 days ago by Willem post
nw sage
Reply to  Willem post
July 20, 2022 2:57 pm

He just wants to spend – spend it on his own grift program. Spend because NO ONE ever chases down where it all goes/went.

Reply to  Mike S
July 20, 2022 1:24 pm

So much wind and solar? So the current issue is actually not happening? The wind never stops and the sun always shines? You have some magical method for storing last months wind energy to use today???

Iain Reid
Reply to  Mike S
July 21, 2022 12:22 am

Mike,

how can you hold that view when it is so very obvious that renewables cannot do the job 365 days of the year. Anything less is not acceptable.

Nuclear takes time to build and is expensive in the west, however if non CO2 emitting generation is the aim, nuclear is the only technology that works, unless geography and rainfall allows large hydro generation. I don’t think that applies to Texas?

How much longer is the obvious going to be ignored?

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  Iain Reid
July 24, 2022 3:19 pm

Apparently, as long as it takes to FORCE everyone out of their (almost) perfectly working fossil fueled automobiles and into buying those wonderfully ‘perfect’ EV’s! Then when there isn’t enough electricity to charge the batteries in those ‘perfect’ EV’s, what will they do? In many parts of the world, RIGHT NOW, there seems to be a lack of enough electricity for every day use, WITHOUT adding 30 million or so electric vehicles! I see nothing but trouble ahead.

Audrey
Reply to  Mike S
July 21, 2022 4:23 am

During the Texas Snowpocalyse, the only power source that was consistent was nuclear (though even that one plant had a shut down at the end due to poor winterization). Baseline consistency is a must and the test results are in. Gas and nuclear were the best performers. Unfortunately, the green energy industry has too many grifters and Congress critters with their hands out and nothing will change until the gravy stops flowing.

Last edited 22 days ago by Audrey
Bryan A
Reply to  Anti-griff
July 20, 2022 12:11 pm

IF they we’re available at utility scale
WHICH THEY’RE NOT … YET
And they have proven to produce reliable electricity.
WHICH THEY HAVEN’T … YET

I for one would LOVE to see a working Thorium Reactor producing electricity at Grid Scales … BUT … they’re just not there yet

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  Bryan A
July 20, 2022 5:50 pm

The technology is there, the ability to get a permit without bankrupting the company is not there, and that is completely political.

Ron Long
July 20, 2022 6:28 am

Good report by Irina Slav and good catch by Eric. What I’m wondering is: when ERCOT allowed electricity generators “to exceed their air pollution limits.”, was this removing the limit for CO2 emissions, or some other actually noxious pollution? Green growing plants need to be represented here with regards to limiting their basic “food”, CO2.

Greg
Reply to  Ron Long
July 20, 2022 7:26 am

I think there is probably solid legal ground for scrapping the “air pollution limits”. These were certainly based on the EPA’s CO2 regulations which have just been throw out by SCOTUS. Someone needs to follow through on that.

Maybe ERCOT should make that exemption permanent and wait for EPA to sue, or someone sue directly.

Where does ERCOT stand on this? Is it full of ex-CAL liberals living in Austin, or would they be willing to push back/

Last edited 23 days ago by Greg
oeman 50
Reply to  Ron Long
July 20, 2022 8:57 am

Only new fossil units have any sort of CO2 limits. The limits in force are normally particulates, SO2 and NOx. Since this is “ozone season,” I would bet they are allowing them to exceed NOx limits.

nw sage
Reply to  oeman 50
July 20, 2022 3:02 pm

I like the “ozone season” analogy. Makes me want to get a permit and go hunting ‘ozones’. I wonder if we can shoot them with ‘assault rifles’?

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  nw sage
July 24, 2022 3:24 pm

Not if Biden has anything to say about it! He’s burning the midnight oil (!) to find a way to stop ‘assault rifles’! so far his best idea is to use an EO! They are rapidly approaching the point of being termed unconstitutional.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Ron Long
July 20, 2022 12:34 pm

And, as we here all know, CO2 is not a pollutant!

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  Mike Lowe
July 24, 2022 3:25 pm

Without CO2 there wouldn’t be any plants, and therefore, no humans, either.

fretslider
July 20, 2022 6:34 am

I’m at a loss for words. How many more times does this have to happen, how many Texans have to die, before Texan politicians accept they backed the wrong horse?”

If people die I would imagine their numbers will be added eagerly to the ‘heat death’ count.

See! Look, we told you so…

So, climate change (and seriously, that has become as meaningless as the accusation of racism) has been shown to be the problem, people have died, it’s not the parlous state of the grid – which could if maintained properly save lives.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  fretslider
July 20, 2022 8:59 am

Those could also be classified as Covid deaths, depending on how close it is to the election.

John Bell
July 20, 2022 6:36 am

Okay, but nuclear is not exactly zero carbon, to mine and transport and process the uranium and build the facilities, etc. But still, I am very PRO nuclear.

fretslider
Reply to  John Bell
July 20, 2022 6:57 am

Carbon-based lifeform declares war on…. Carbon.

“The Ehrlich Wars” featuring cheap energy machine-guns etc

The sequel to Catch 22

Greg
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 20, 2022 7:32 am

Enviros seem very upset about concrete. With the massive blocks needed for wind turbines they must need way more than constructing a nuclear power plant.
Mining and burial of nuclear is not “zero carbon either”.

nw sage
Reply to  Greg
July 20, 2022 3:08 pm

WHAT BURIAL?? The US Gov just SAID they would take it, not that they have any intention of really doing it.

fretslider
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 20, 2022 8:22 am

Do they use furniture polish to clean solar panels or glass cleaner?

All those pressurised cans or plastic spray bottles….

Last edited 23 days ago by fretslider
Derg
Reply to  fretslider
July 20, 2022 11:15 am

C’mon Fretslider! They don’t need to clean them. You are supposed to place the solar panels in front of windmills so the oncoming wind blows the dust off 😉

Mr.
Reply to  fretslider
July 20, 2022 11:40 am

Greenies don’t clean themselves.
Why would they worry about solar panels?

Mike Bryant
Reply to  fretslider
July 20, 2022 11:51 am

They use illegal aliens…

Reply to  Mike Bryant
July 20, 2022 10:24 pm

Mike
Those are the “good paying renewable energy jobs” Brandon keeps harping on. Doesn’t everyone know that using a broom & water hose is a highly technical profession? [sarc alert!]

Derg
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 20, 2022 11:13 am

It cracks me up that they need to run electricity to the windmill 😉

another ian
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 20, 2022 9:07 pm

Eric

Re that “zero carbon” – here is a start

Some years ago there was a comment on another blog from a bloke who delivered a semi-trailer load of Mobil 1 oil to a small wind farm in SE Colorado – every fortnight

Gunga Din
Reply to  John Bell
July 20, 2022 8:15 am

“Carbon” is not the problem.
Going “zero carbon” is the problem.

James B.
Reply to  John Bell
July 20, 2022 9:38 am

Nuclear is less toxic than solar or wind, to build or retire at end of useful life.

nw sage
Reply to  John Bell
July 20, 2022 3:05 pm

mining, construction and transport CO2 are constants (relative to total output) for ANY major electrical prime mover. They are therefore ignored in the relative cost comparison.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  nw sage
July 20, 2022 3:19 pm

No, that can’t be true. The mass of material that has to be moved around to generate a gigawatt-hour of electricity is miniscule for nuclear. Sure there is less uranium metal in a tonne of ore than there is coal in a tonne of coal but that kg or so of uranium lasts a long long time. The calculations for cost of nuclear electricity can assume that fuel is free, to a first order of magnitude. It’s the construction that gets you, and makes nuclear a hard financial pill to swallow, as it turned out..

pigs_in_space
Reply to  Leslie MacMillan
July 20, 2022 10:28 pm

don’t forget, only a small percentage of nat Uranium is fissile.
It’s what takes a lot of (not free)energy, actually enriching it, and what prevents lots of new North Korea wannabees from making bombs from it.

Tom Halla
July 20, 2022 6:49 am

Until Texas changes the financial incentives, too much investment will go to wind. While subsidy mining, the investors in wind do not have to pay for the required backup power suppliers.

Last edited 23 days ago by Tom Halla
kybill
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 20, 2022 8:21 am

Until Texas changes the financial incentives, too much investment will go to wind

All of the future investment in wind and solar should be required to go to storage. Make the investors back-up there contribution.

eurobrowarriormonk
Reply to  kybill
July 20, 2022 3:46 pm

storage for what? What are you gonna build storage for? you have to have an excess amount of energy before you have a need for storage. i guess you could do like some european countries. Use the electricity from hydro to fill up their hydro storage. madness.

oeman 50
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 20, 2022 8:59 am

The financial incentives are federal, the investment and production tax credits.

Drake
Reply to  oeman 50
July 20, 2022 10:07 am

And Texan wind and solar developers, with all that open land, are mining those “credits”.

NOW if ERCOT required ALL “energy ” producers to provide dispatchable power 24/7 to be able to contract to sell their “energy”, the wind and solar problem would soon no longer be a problem.

Also, ANY town, business, etc. who has claimed to be net zero through so magical contracting of “energy” from “renewables” MUST be the first to be disconnected from the grid when “renewables” fail to provide sufficient output to maintain grid minimum capacity. You know, load shedding of the imbecilic first.

Steve Case
July 20, 2022 6:52 am

“If the Texan state government is worried about air pollution from fossil fuel generators, they should increase their fleet of reliable zero carbon nuclear reactors. (Bolding & Underscore mine)
____________________________________________________________

For God’s sake quit buying into the bullshit.

CO2 is not pollution and it’s carbon dioxide not carbon.

July 20, 2022 7:03 am

When the weather is extremely cold, the entire Texas energy infrastructure
had problems. Not only the power plants.

When the weather is extremely hot, it appears that only the power plants
have problems. The remainder of the energy infrastructure seems to work.

The main problem is Texas spent far too much money on windmills and thought they could get away without 100% fossil fuel backup.

Texas did not solve the 2011 winter weatherization problem
(3.2 million Texans affected by rolling blackouts in February 2011)
by investing so much money in windmills after 2011)
and they managed to create a new problem with very hot days
to accompany the old problem with very cold days.

Mybe in the future the Texas grid will have a problem
in the Spring or Fall too!

JamesD
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 8:03 am

There was no “weatherization” problem during the winter blackout. What happened is that idiots deliberately load shed booster compressors stations on transmission line, which fed natural gas power plants, They even load shed half the cooling water pumps at their nuke, which shutdown half the reactors. The ERCOT report recommends identifying key energy infrastructure sites in their load shed (translation: don’t load shed gas compressors and nukes), making sure an experienced staff member is always on shift (translation: the people who did the load shed were probably unqualified, except they qualified in the woke category), and offer retention incentives for qualified staff (translation: Gen X dudes are tired of being passed over for promotions and have been leaving.). These are actual recommendations in the ERCOT report.

griff
Reply to  JamesD
July 20, 2022 8:39 am

And that would have happened on a 100% fossil fuel grid too, wouldn’t it?

fretslider
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 9:26 am

No, it wouldn’t

Wake up at the back

We never had issues with supply before wind and solar – apart from the occasional strike

Last edited 23 days ago by fretslider
Reply to  fretslider
July 20, 2022 2:12 pm

3.2 million Texans hit by rolling blackouts in February 2011.

MarkW
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 3:59 pm

Just eyeballing the chart, it looks like Texas had around 10% renewable power in 2011.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=13991

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  MarkW
July 24, 2022 3:36 pm

Yep, just enough to begin having problems!

pigs_in_space
Reply to  fretslider
July 20, 2022 11:05 pm

That comment has to rate as the dumbest of the never ending list of dumb things Griff types.

He competes in the prize for the schoolboy ignorance
and stupidity game.

If fossil and nuclear were unreliables like wind how come they have service lives often approaching 3-4 decades, giving reliable power at 1/4 of the price I pay today.

whereas any wind farm subsidised by a mandatory levy of 20% on top of my electricity bill can never produce its claimed power output, and lasts a mere 5-8years.

I stare out of the window today, and the farm is doing nothing, as the same Anticyclone which heated up western Europe is coming to park here for a few days.
NO WIND, or hardly any, just like in Germany and France for most of the last 2-3 months.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 9:38 am

No there wouldn’t have been a shortage of power as gas, oil, coal and nuclear aren’t directly reliant on the weather. Therefore there wouldn’t be a shortage of dispatchable capacity to meet peaks in demand.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 20, 2022 2:14 pm

There was a shortage of non-wind power in February 2021. Low wind power is a regular problem with windmills and was not a major cause of the February 2021 blackouts. You are rewriting history to make a wrong point.

MarkW
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 4:00 pm

Of course if they hadn’t been wasting money on unreliable power, there would have been more fossil fuel plants.
No rewriting of history is needed.

Reply to  MarkW
July 21, 2022 12:27 am

The energy infrastructure could not handle extremely cold weather. That was known in 2011. the problems were not fixed by 2021 when the next episode of extremely cold weather happned and the electric grid still could not handle extremely cold weather (colder and longer lasting cold weather than in February 2011).

I am reporting on what actually happened.

You are speculating on what could have happened if ERCOT had sense.

Drake
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 10:12 am

griff,

Wind and solar output are 100% REDUNDANT generation capacity.

A coal, nuclear, natural gas and hydro electric grid needs no help from non reliable generating capacity.

All costs associated with wind and solar are a net loss to the greater good of society and negatively effect the poor the most.

So, why, griff, do you hate the poor so much?

Joe
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 10:19 am

Wind lost 70%~95% power for 9 days

natural gas / coal lost 35% power for 14 hours 25%~30% for another 36 hours

guess which was worse

Reply to  Joe
July 20, 2022 2:18 pm

Wind power averages perhaps 25% of capacity in February with a possible week, and individual days, at a much lower percentage. Wind did not “lose” unless you think it is supposed to produce the same power as a percentage of nameplate capacity at all times.

Drake
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 6:23 pm

It does not, and that is why you speak of an average output. BUT power is needed when power is needed, and wind and solar have NO WAY of providing power when it is needed, except by coincidence.

So no, I don’t think wind is supposed to produce the same power as a percentage of the nameplate capacity, and that is why I don’t think unreliable generation capacity should be built at all unless they are required to provide set outputs when the sun isn’t shining and wind is not blowing. That cost, lets call it insurance, would price unreliables out of existence.

Reply to  Drake
July 21, 2022 12:30 am

You could say wind “loses” power every time the wind is weak, which could be several times a day.
The statement makes no sense.
Wind power is highly variable,
It does not “lose” or gain power

Redge
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 10:35 pm

unless you think it is supposed to produce the same power as a percentage of nameplate capacity at all times.

Yes it should otherwise the Misleadia and the Greens should stop quoting nameplate capacity when us how good windmills are and how “cheap” wind power is

Reply to  Redge
July 21, 2022 12:31 am

Windmills belong in museums, and not connected to electric grids. I have been saying that for many years.

jeffery p
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 10:28 am

Never happened, so no.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 10:50 am

As has been explained to you a dozen times, and will no doubt have to be explained to you several dozen more times.

No it wouldn’t.

Derg
Reply to  MarkW
July 20, 2022 11:17 am

Griff is as dumb as Simon…not sure they ever will understand.

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 2:04 pm

A 100% FF grid would have had stockpiles of Coal and Natural Gas fuel sources to allow for extra generation capacity both in Texas and ERCOT and adjacent zones.

Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 2:11 pm

The weatherization problem causing blackouts did happen in February 2011 when wind power capacity was low and was not a factor. So it did happen to a nearly 100% fossil fuel and nuclear Texas grid in February 2011.

MarkW
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 4:04 pm

Over 10% of the Texas grid was wind and solar in 2011

Reply to  MarkW
July 21, 2022 12:35 am

Cold weather should not affect solar or wind power. 90% fossil fuel and nuclear in Texas is close enough to 100% to me, compared with 2021. … The 2011 blackouts could NOT be blamed on solar and wind power, and they were not blamed in the August 2011 FERC report on the February 2011 blackouts,

Drake
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 21, 2022 8:47 am

90% is close enough to 100%?

If you do not have 100% when 100% is needed, then the grid must shed loads to get DOWN to the available generation capacity.

If a business, just about ANY business, “earns” 90% of its operating expenses, it is going to go bankrupt, unless it is a crony capitalist endeavor to be bailed out by governments. Unreliable generation IS crony capitalism, Without the government subsidizing the construction and production and requiring utilities to purchase the output, there would be NO grid scale wind or solar in the WORLD.

Bryan A
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 22, 2022 6:43 am

Richard
It only takes a 5% shortfall to trigger an event which is why 100% FF grids maintain 20-25% extra capacity. But 100% renewable grids must also maintain back-up…back-up from 100% FF (or there’s a need for Hundreds of Billions of Mega-batteries and the clear acreage to place them). So if 100% FF back-up capacity (or nonexistent mega-batteries) is needed for a 100% renewable grid to be stable, why have the redundant renewables in the first place?

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  griff
July 24, 2022 3:35 pm

Texas has had 100% fossil grid for MANY years, Griff, LONG before anyone had a wet dream about ‘renewables’! There was never a problem with a lack of electricity then. The problem has only appeared since they started relying on the UNRELIABLE wind mills!

chadb
Reply to  JamesD
July 20, 2022 10:23 am

Thank you. The 2021 blackout has so many different uninformed takes. When I looked deeply into it I was surprised that given what led to the rolling black outs the guys at ERCOT managed to keep it rolling blackouts rather than a hard system failure. That was insane.

Reply to  JamesD
July 20, 2022 2:09 pm

It was not a coincidence that the February 2021 blackouts happened 10 years after the February 2011 blackouts during the coldest period since 2011 — extremely cold weather that lasted longer than the cold weather in February 2011.

The August 2011 FERC report said the entire Texas energy infrastructure was not able to function properly in unusually cold weather. That has been true since the 1980s, and has been getting worse since the 1980s. The weatherization problem was never fixed, and in fact there were actions that made it worse. Buying lots of windmills without the optional blade deicers did not help.
Training personnel on how to handle an extreme cold period
would have helped too.

If Texas wants lots of windmills, which does not make sense, they need 100% fossil fuel backup that functions perfectly in extremely cold weather.

— Texas also needs well above average spare generating capacity, not the well below average spare capacity they have now.

Texas also needs much higher interconnection capacity with other grids, not the low-capacity interconnections they have now.

With wind power you have to be prepared for hours with little wind and even a full week with very low wind output as a percentage of nameplate capacity.

If they can be trusted, ERCOT allegedly had forecast that wind power could go as low as 6% of capacity for a week during February 2011 — way below the average for the month. They should have had fossil fuel backup that functioned in extremely cold weather to cover a week with low wind energy.

The actual wind power averaged less than 6% of capacity during that week in 2021 because so many windmills had icing problems. Then even worse for a few hours before the blackouts — that should have been easily offset by fossil fuel back up.

Texas wind power did not “fail” — it did what wind power regularly does — highly variable output that can be extremely low for hours or days. The right question is: “Why would you want a highly variable unpredictable source of power on your electric grid?”

eurobrowarriormonk
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 4:02 pm

AS far as fossil backup/ i would add. This is a world of limited resources. if you have a million dollars to invest in energy and you put a million dollars into wind and solar then you get nothing out into coal or gas. This whole situation is just complete madness. That such simple truths seem to need to be pointed out is proof of that

MarkW
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 4:06 pm

If it doesn’t work when you need it the most, then by definition it has failed.
Best to just get rid of it and install power sources that can be relied on.

Reply to  MarkW
July 21, 2022 12:40 am

Wrong.
Failure is based on engineering design
Windmills produce highly variable power by design. If not equipped with optional blade deicers, they may have to be shut down due to icing.

Weather dependent power is not designed for electric power on demand. That’s one cause of the problems.

Bryan A
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 21, 2022 6:56 am

And Wind & Solar are Highly Weather Dependent and as such, per your own words, are NOT designed for Power on Demand. Wind & Solar then are the “That’s one cause of the problems” something modern society doesn’t need and can’t afford.

Drake
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 6:26 pm

Why is fossil fuel “backup” needed? Because of “redundant” unreliable generation capacity.

You are another griff, you hate poor people too.

Reply to  Drake
July 21, 2022 12:42 am

Another griff?
You must not read my comments.
If you find any sentences you believe are false,
why not cut and paste at least one sentence,
and then explain why I was wrong?

That would be more intelligent than
a false charter attack.

Drake
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 21, 2022 8:53 am

But you, like griff, support the notion that unreliable generation is OK?

If so, you must hate poor people.

BUT I have read your comments for quite a while here, and some of your posts are in many cases contrary to others, so are you just trolling? Ex. You state that wind is “designed” in X way so you can’t blame wind for the failure of wind output, while also expounding “Greene’s law” which to paraphrase says 1 windmill at 0 wind = zero output, and 1000 windmills at zero wind equals zero output. So what IS your GAME anyway?

Bryan A
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 21, 2022 6:50 am

If Texas wants lots of windmills, which does not make sense, they need 100% fossil fuel backup that functions perfectly in extremely cold weather

If Texas were capable of producing 100% of their Energy needs from Fossil Fuel (back-up), why would they need unreliable/costly Wind and Solar?
Wait…
Are you from the Department of Redundancy Department?

Reply to  Bryan A
July 21, 2022 8:11 am

They don’t need solar and wind power in Texas,
They are both unreliable when reliability is the primary objective for an electric grid. They are also expensive when you include the cost of back-ip fossil fuel power.
Solar and wind are green dreamer virtue signaling.

Windmills belong in museums
“Solar panels” belong in tanning salons

griff
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 8:38 am

‘Texas did not solve the 2011 winter weatherization problem’ – you said it yourself. That’s what took out the grid.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 9:39 am

Once again, griff, for the obviously hard of hearing and comprehension:

The gas pumps failed because they had been converted to electric pumps instead of the original gas-driven pumps. All because of ‘deadly’ CO2. And then wind power failed dramatically, because of its inherent unreliability.

So the problem was caused by Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming ‘prevention’ policies, not by any fossil fuel power generation. If everything had been left alone and protected from eco-loons, it all would have worked fine, just as it always had.

Drake
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
July 20, 2022 10:13 am

But griff wants MORE money spent on propping up unreliable energy supplies in detriment to the overall wealth of mankind.

griff, why do you hate the poor soooo much?

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
July 20, 2022 2:24 pm

The wind power shortfall was expected — that’s what wind power does at random — and should have been easily offset by fossil fuel backup that functioned in extremely cold weather.
Sufficient fossil fuel back up did not function properly in extremely cold weather
Result: Blackouts
Griff is right.
For once.

eurobrowarriormonk
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 4:07 pm

no he is not right. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. we live in a world of limited resources. if all your available resources for energy are put into wind and solar then you have none for coal and gas. this is complete madness.are we really at the point where simple concepts such as there is only so much stuff out there have to be explained like everyone is a 5 year old child?

Reply to  eurobrowarriormonk
July 21, 2022 12:45 am

The Texas energy infrastructure did not function properly in extremely cold weather. Low wind output was only a small part of the problem.
You are ignoring reality.

MarkW
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 4:08 pm

Wind quit, fossil couldn’t take up the slack, therefore the fault lies with fossil.
The solution is to get rid of the unreliable power source.

Reply to  MarkW
July 21, 2022 12:49 am

Wind power is weak frequently.
That is known before any windmills are purchased. Fossil fuel or battery backup is required. Texas was not able to provide that backup in extremely cold weather. The backup obviously worked for 10 years after the February 2011 blackouts. What happened in February 2021? Very cold weather struck again.

Some commenters here want us to believe the very cold weather in February 2021 was just a coincidence, not the cause of the blackouts.
They are promoting disinformation.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 10:26 pm

Another hard of hearing and comprehension commenter

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
July 21, 2022 12:50 am

A childish generic character attack.

Redge
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 10:40 pm

The wind power shortfall was expected — that’s what wind power does at random — and should have been easily offset by fossil fuel backup that functioned in extremely cold weather.

Or just leave out unreliables and stick with fossil and nuclear to save us all the cost of unreliable energy

Reply to  Redge
July 21, 2022 12:50 am

Exactly right

pigs_in_space
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 11:17 pm

You are a cretin.
Can’t you read?

If you force gas power plants to use electric powered pumps when there is no electricity you get ZILCH out unless you believe in perpetual motion!

There are loads of places in the world WAY colder than Texas. I can think of northern China and most of Russia as 2.
In all those so called “underdeveloped” countries I have never had a power outage once, especially at -35C
Even their communal heating simplyl works in winter, because people plan maintenance properly and ANTICIPATE unexpected events without using fatally unreliable sources of energy to keep them running.

Can you imagine anyone using wind power in Harbin or Mudanjian?
The Chinese are not complete cretins defending the indefensible – like you that is!

Reply to  pigs_in_space
July 21, 2022 12:55 am

And you are rude.

US states with very cold weather produce electricity, and their grids often include solar and wind power.

Texas rarely has very cold weather, as they had in February 2011 and February 2021.

The Texas energy infrastructure can not handle unusually very cold weather, and they refuse to spend the money to fix the problems.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 10:51 am

As long as the grid and the pipelines are dependent on wind and solar, the weatherization problems can’t be fixed. It has nothing to do with fossil fuel power.

Reply to  MarkW
July 20, 2022 2:25 pm

Wind and solar power just add news problems to the existing weatherization problems.

MarkW
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 4:08 pm

New problems that can’t be fixed.
What are you going to do when you have gotten rid of everything except wind and solar?

Reply to  MarkW
July 21, 2022 12:58 am

Buy candles, flashlights and gas powered generators?

Reply to  MarkW
July 21, 2022 12:57 am

Baloney
49 other states do not have winter weatherization problems.
I’d bet all of them have some wind and solar power too.

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 2:07 pm

What took the grid out was a lack of available reliable FF generation facilities and their associated fuel used for both heating and electricity.

Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 2:21 pm

ERCOT actually made the 2011 weatherization problems worse.
Buying lots of windmills was not any part of the recommendations in the August 2011 FERC report on the February 2011 blackouts.

Bryan A
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 21, 2022 6:59 am

Exactly, Texas was investing in New Politically correct Wind when they should have been building more Coal Generation

Reply to  griff
July 21, 2022 8:18 am

You are correct but the root cause was grossly excessive investments in unreliable wind power. Made even more unreliable by saving money by not buying optional blade deicers.

Windmill blade icing and low wind output were a problem in 2021 but the main problem was fossil fuels not able to perform in extremely cold weather in 2021, just like in 2011.

Texas increased windmill capacity rapidly in the past 10 years without blackouts until EXTREMELY cold weather in 2021 that some people here falsely dismiss as the primary cause of the February 2021Texas blackouts. They must think the extremely cold weather was just an unrelated coincidence?

Mike Bryant
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 11:55 am

Winter is easy… require all buildings to have gas heat…

CoRev
July 20, 2022 7:21 am

It’s simple arithmetic, on a daily basis solar generated electricity can never fulfill peak demand. Peak demand occurs ~6PM when even on the longest sunlight day solar generated electricity in well started on the down slope.Every day before and after solar generated output is further down that slope. Worse, many, many days sunset is earlier than when peak demand occurs providing zero or near zero electricity to fulfill peak demand.

This article shows us that wind power, on an annual basis, usually is diminished during annualized peak demand.

As Eric so well stated: “How many more times does this have to happen, how many Texans have to die, before Texan politicians accept they backed the wrong horse?”

CoRev
Reply to  CoRev
July 20, 2022 7:58 am

This comment is pointed to nick Stokes and Griff who should try to refute the claim.

If they can not it is a message to be shouted everywhere.

griff
Reply to  CoRev
July 20, 2022 8:38 am

Well in UK and Germany 6 pm ish is when the start using the pumped storage, will be using grid storage, make use of demand management.

And of course no renewable grid relies on just solar or just wind and also makes major use of long distance HVDC.

CoRev
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 8:59 am

Griff, I’ll put you down in the category of “can not refute”. Thanks.

You also ignored the issue with wind. Do you have a comment on that?

MarkW
Reply to  CoRev
July 20, 2022 10:54 am

Like Nick, griff’s only gambit left is to distract.
Unlike Nick, he isn’t any good at it.

Meab
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 9:24 am

HVDC doesn’t solve the intermittentcy problem of wind and solar. The whole continent is dark at the same time and, often, a high pressure system causes low wind conditions over much of the continent.

There is only a tiny amount of pumped storage, nowhere near enough to back up the grid.

Even you aren’t this stupid, griffter. So why are you intentionally spreading false information?

Editor
Reply to  Meab
July 20, 2022 1:39 pm

He is actually that stupid judging from his postings in others blogs he has posted in where I used to correct him repeatedly with hard data, he ignores it because he is 100% brainwashed and inherently stupid.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 10:01 am

What are byou on about. Pumped storage in the UK is short term to cope with sudden peaks in demand. A huge investment is required to make it possible for PS to cover 24 hours of no wind.
For example
The proposed Coire Glas pumped hydro storage project in the Highlands of Scotland could deliver 1.5GW and 30 gigawatt-hours of long duration .
At maximum output that’s 20 hours at 3% of demand possibly at a cost of £1bn-plus

SSE Renewables renews call for policy action on long-duration energy storageSSE Renewables has today reiterated its plans to build a major new £1bn-plus electricity storage facility as it welcomed the UK Government’s commitment within its new Energy Strategy to develop appropriate policy to encourage investment in large-scale, long-duration electricity storage (LDES).
Responding to the energy crisis will require a range of flexible, home-grown, LDES technologies to strengthen the contribution of cheap but variable renewables and deliver enhanced system stability. A recent report by Aurora showed that the UK may need an eight-fold increase in long-duration electricity storage capacity by 2035.

While you’re posting nonsense can you explain the total lack of Solar PV on the UK Grid today http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ or why gas was in excess of 45% all day?

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 20, 2022 2:42 pm

All these storage schemes, including batteries, underscore just how much more heat is available from combustion (or, of course, from nuclear reactions) than from any other source. A 100-tonne loaded rail car lifted 43 metres has the same potential energy as 1 kg of diesel. Mind you, a heat engine burning that diesel would be only 25% efficient, so let’s say 4 kg of diesel, about an Imperial gallon.

Drake
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 10:17 am

All of this pumped storage, grid storage (ridiculously expensive batteries?) and “demand management” makes “energy” even more expensive and would be unnecessary without unreliable wind and solar, which only waste resources that could otherwise be used to improve the lives of the poorest of society.

griff, why do you hate poor people so much? What did they ever do to you to make you so callus??

Patrick B
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 10:37 am

“Demand management” – i.e. we’re turning your power off.

Just got a bid on a whole house generator. It’s expensive but probably worth it.

Mr.
Reply to  Patrick B
July 20, 2022 11:50 am

Spot on.
“Demand management” sounds so much more un-threating than –

“We’re just gonna pull the plug on you whenever we like.
And still keep billing you for grid connection time.”

Drake
Reply to  Patrick B
July 20, 2022 6:31 pm

Expensive is relative. Unless you are 100% electric, you can get a BU generator for under $5,000.00 us. Of course someone has to install it, but that is not, in general, very hard.

If you have natural gas you probably won’t even need a larger meter, since the engine uses so little.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 10:53 am

First griff tells us that the goal is a grid that relies solely on wind and solar.
Then he tells us we don’t need to worry about the problems with wind and solar because no grid relies on just those sources of power.

If grid didn’t exist, us skeptics would have to invent him.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 12:09 pm

Germany’s pumped storage power over the past week averages as much as UK’s solar
power today- 0.0000 GW. That’s only 1/2 GW < Sunday’s wind minimum & UK’s current
pumped storage & 1 1/2 GW < Monday’s wind minimum. UK’s much-dirtier-than-coal
wood chips- which you seem ashamed about- have cranked out a consistent 2GW since
early July- >> than both hydros combined! The wind finally came back from its
ill-timed holiday during the heat wave. Battery power wouldn’t even last 10 minutes.

TX heat & occasional heavy downpours means most reservoirs are used for city water
& flood control, with power generation being less important. Like Oz, it’s feast or famine
as Oz would be flooded if they used their pumped storage now. With extended TX
heatwaves, water can’t be wasted on pumped storage even if the wind were blowing.

Last edited 23 days ago by Old Man Winter
Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 2:36 pm

Demand management means shutting off people’s electricity, right?

pigs_in_space
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 11:23 pm

Another pure Cretin statement from Griff -1st prize for persistence!
And just HOW MANY pump storage systems are there in the UK, and how far are they from MAJOR population centres like LONDON.

Pump storage in a flat country like Germany is totally non existent- which proves you have never been there!

WTF you are hopeless!
Only ignorant school kids can make as many simple errors as you do!
marks 0/10

Dr. Bob
July 20, 2022 7:37 am

Never let a good crisis go to waste. Every heat related death in Texas is another example of how Climate Change is deadly to all of us and we need more, not less, wind and solar to make us safe from such dangers.

Reply to  Dr. Bob
July 20, 2022 10:14 am

If there is no crisis….create one so you can seize power to solve the crisis…..tell the people you are saving their asses….and they should love you.

tgasloli
July 20, 2022 7:59 am

“…wind turbines in Texas are operating at just 8 percent of their capacity…This is really unfortunate…”

No, this was predictable.

Doonman
Reply to  tgasloli
July 20, 2022 10:59 am

Exactly. And solar panels do not produce electric current when the sun doesn’t shine. I suppose in a greenie world that’s unfortunate too. Just as heat stroke is unfortunate, but only for those who suffer it..

Reply to  tgasloli
July 20, 2022 2:29 pm

And 6% — I believe for a week, was predicted by ERCOT
as a possibility in February 2021.
And it happened — actually less than 6%.
ERCOT couldn’t handle their own worst case forecast

Drake
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 20, 2022 6:35 pm

The issue was unreliable generation. Not some “forecast”. When you rely on unreliable generation capacity, this crap happens.

All unreliables are just excess expenses due to the need of 100% “backup” generation capacity, therefore unreliables are a waste of resources and manpower, which costs impact the poorest among us the most.

Richard, why do you hate the poor?

Reply to  Drake
July 21, 2022 1:00 am

“Richard, why do you hate the poor?”

Why do you post rude and false character attacks?

nw sage
Reply to  tgasloli
July 20, 2022 3:28 pm

There IS of course a sokution to the wind turbine problem — ad a requirement that each wind turbine farm be equipped with enough battery storage to store 100% of the RATED output for the designed period the farm is needed to produce power. That way it will be so expensive everyone will move out of Texas (except oil millionaires). Once everyone moves out, the power need drops to zero and the batteries can go away. Problem solved!

Gunga Din
July 20, 2022 8:11 am

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the grid for more than 26 million customers representing about 90% of the state’s power load, got permission from the state’s environmental regulators to allow power plants to exceed their air permit pollution limits on Monday.”

Question:
Is CO2 still considered to be “pollution” in the permits?

Retired_Engineer_Jim
July 20, 2022 8:17 am

If 8% isn’t enough, then double the number of wind turbines, and get 16%. (Is \sarc really needed?)

And how is solar doing in Texas? The sun must be shining during this heat wave.

chadb
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
July 20, 2022 10:27 am

Sure its shining, but solar panels are less efficient when they are hot. More solar would help with the 2-5 part of the 2-8 conservation request, but that is only half of the time of greatest concern.

RevJay4
July 20, 2022 8:32 am

Seems like the folks at ERCOT went from retard to full potato. My apologies to retards and potatoes for using them as an example. I guess lawsuits are required to get the ERCOT morons to live up to their duties and responsibilities to the customers.
Just sayin’.

Reply to  RevJay4
July 20, 2022 1:30 pm

Full potato!

griff
July 20, 2022 8:33 am

Texas power failed in winter because fossil fuel failed.

If it had had 100% fossil fuel, it would still have failed.

If a heatwave – clearly climate change related – increases power demand to record levels, are you really saying in a 100% fossil fuel grid, they would have built enough power to meet the extra demand?

Clearly Texas needs more solar, which works in heatwaves, to balance wind which works at other times. and it needs to winterise its gas plant!

CoRev
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 9:06 am

Griff, every solution to an unneeded problem, including renewables on a grid, adds costs to that grid. Regrettably is is also clear that adding intermittent renewables subtracts from reliability. Incidentally that’s the “R” in ERCOT.

So how expensive must the electricity grids get before the renewables warriors realize how bad is their policy?

I think you will see that in the US the voters have reached their limits.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 9:30 am

Did gas-fired steam turbine generators fail because there was tons of ice on wind turbine blades? I don’t think so.
Did gas-fired steam turbine generators fail because there was thick snow and ice on solar panels? I don’t think so.
Did gas-fired steam turbine generators fail because they had to rely on mandated wind and solar powered pumps and compressors? Seems most likely..

Last edited 23 days ago by Right-Handed Shark
CoRev
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
July 20, 2022 9:39 am

The ERCOT plan includes reliance on ~50% of renewables output to meet daily demand. Renewables failed to meet this planned need, further stressing the fossil fueled generators.

chadb
Reply to  CoRev
July 20, 2022 10:30 am

The ERCOT plan includes reliance on ~50% of renewables output to meet daily demand.

It does no such thing. The basic assumption at ERCOT is: plan for 0 wind during the peak hour. That is because the peak (almost) always comes in late July or early August when wind is 5-10% of capacity factor. The problem is that gas installations have not kept up with population growth, and that is because growth has outstripped projections.

Last edited 23 days ago by chadb
eurobrowarriormonk
Reply to  chadb
July 20, 2022 4:21 pm

yeah if you are making plans for zero wind then you do not build more windmills you build more coal and gas! this world has lost its mind.

chadb
Reply to  eurobrowarriormonk
July 21, 2022 5:16 am

Zero wind at times of peak demand. However, it offsets fairly expensive natural gas during the shoulder months. It is like having a diesel and sail on a boat. If the wind is great use it. Otherwise turn on the motor.

CoRev
Reply to  chadb
July 20, 2022 4:26 pm

I think you need to look up the ERCOT annual plan. There’s a demand line on it crossing midway of the renwables sources.

chadb
Reply to  CoRev
July 21, 2022 5:15 am

Annual generation, not capacity requirements.

CoRev
Reply to  chadb
July 21, 2022 9:20 am

Chadb, you do know energy is not dispatched to meet annual demand? However, when a plan is based upon a 50% value for dispatchable electricity, that plan’s success is not based upon another source’s, gas, failure.

Perhaps you can help by refuting my original statement re: solar not meeting peak demand?

fretslider
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 9:36 am

“If a heatwave – clearly climate change related…”

And your evidence is?

Assuming you have any?

Over to you friar griff

Last edited 23 days ago by fretslider
Gunga Din
Reply to  fretslider
July 20, 2022 9:53 am

The new griffon.
Head and forelegs of a unicorn, back end that which produces BS.

MarkW
Reply to  fretslider
July 20, 2022 11:01 am

In griff’s world, the climate never changed prior to the evil gas CO2 being introduced to the atmosphere.

I’m still trying to figure out how a temperature increase of about 0.2C since 1970 can be responsible for a heat wave that is 10 to 15F above average.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 9:42 am

Once again, griff, for the obviously hard of hearing and comprehension:

The gas pumps failed because they had been converted to electric pumps instead of the original gas-driven pumps. All because of ‘deadly’ CO2. And then wind power failed dramatically, because of its inherent unreliability.

So the problem was caused by Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming ‘prevention’ policies, not by any fossil fuel power generation. If everything had been left alone and protected from eco-loons, it all would have worked fine, just as it always had.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
July 20, 2022 12:40 pm

Griff either can’t understand your point because he’s too thick, or won’t understand it because it contradicts his deeply-held beliefs. These possibilities are not mutually exclusive, of course.

Gunga Din
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 9:48 am

Solar doesn’t work at night. Pinwheels aren’t delivering as advertised there day or night.

If a heatwave – clearly climate change related…”
WOW! You claim Texas NEVER had a heat wave before CAGW?!?!

Drake
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 10:21 am

All liberal ideas always fail. When they fail, it is always because “we just didn’t go far enough, spend enough, control enough peoples lives, etc.

So, as always, you are saying we need to spend MOOOOORE, then it will work!!!

But the MOOOOOORE money you want to spend could be improving the lives of the poorest humans.

So griff, why do you hate poor people so much?

MarkW
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 10:58 am

When griff gets hold of a good lie, he just can’t let it go.
Fossil fuel plants lost about 5% of capacity, the vast majority of that was due to converting the pumps that moved gas through the pipes to wind and solar as power, instead of the gas already in the pipes.
Wind and solar on the other hand lost over 90% of their capacity.
Had the changes to the pipelines not been made, and had there been no wind and solar, the drop in available power would have been only a few percent. An amount that is easy to make up.

Doonman
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 11:01 am

Yes, fossil fuels refuse to burn in the winter, a well known fact. It’s unfortunate.

Editor
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 1:41 pm

The lie from this English mutt is so pathetic since it has been shown to this cave head repeatedly that the main failure was the intermittent set up was causing numerous disruptions to the grid which is why it eventually failed.

pigs_in_space
Reply to  griff
July 20, 2022 11:56 pm

You really love polishing turds Griff.
You also believe in perpetual motion machines.

If exists a negative feedback engine when you rely on unreliables for pumps for reliables to work then you get 100% unreliable generation.

I can’t understand why plonkers like you carry on lying about physics and elementary concepts ad nauseam!

HOJO
July 20, 2022 8:50 am

One of the silliest and damaging things you can do is listen to the Greendeathians They set every on up for failure and then laugh all the way to the bank as Texans suffer. Virtue does not mean having less and being poor to show how wonderful our new world is as we slowing die and they get what they want.

Doug
July 20, 2022 9:00 am

Natural gas generation is the stop gap while nuclear power plants get built . This is the only way to solve the problem. Wind and solar are being forced upon us before storage can be developed

Fraizer
Reply to  Doug
July 20, 2022 9:19 am

There is no grid level storage.
There will never be sufficient grid level storage.
It is not a matter of developing/building it, it is a matter of physics.

John_C
Reply to  Fraizer
July 21, 2022 10:38 am

Grid level storage:
Natural Gas, Coal, U, and hopefully Th.

Fraizer
Reply to  John_C
July 22, 2022 4:26 pm

None of those are grid storage.

Duane
July 20, 2022 9:06 am

Wind power plants are subject to typical seasonal norms, depending upon location, that vary quite a bit in wind speed. That is not a “fail” it is fact and is also a design input factor.

In Texas in the great plains area, particularly west Texas where most of the wind turbines are located, the average wind speeds are highest between October and June, and lowest for the three months of July, August, and September. However, during those three hot but less windy months, wind speeds are highest during the middle part of the day when power demands are highest, and lowest during the evening hours when power demand is lower. This is due to solar daytime heating of the atmosphere. So even if the daily or monthly averages are lower the generators are producing more power when more power is needed.

The Texas power grid by the way is terrible and extremely unstable, unlike the other 49 states … because it is both 1) entirely unregulated, which discourages grid interconnectivity between utilities within the state, and 2) completely disconnected from the grids of all its border states, which does not just discourage interconnectivity but actually prevents interconnectivity

Hey, it’s Texas, that’s their mentality.

Last edited 23 days ago by Duane
CoRev
Reply to  Duane
July 20, 2022 9:14 am

Duane, “So even if the daily or monthly averages are lower the generators are producing more power when more is needed.” but still not meeting demand. Definitely not meeting demand at daily peak.

So, why add renewables other than virtue signalling and adding costs?

I totally agree with your comment re: interconnectivity.

Drake
Reply to  Duane
July 20, 2022 10:25 am

Why do you, like griff, hate poor people so much Duane?

All unreliable “energy” generation requires 100% backup by dispatchable generation capacity, so ALL monies spent on trying to make unreliables “work” is money that could have been used to benefit the poorest of society.

Your hate is quite disturbing.

chadb
Reply to  Duane
July 20, 2022 10:33 am

With the very limited interconnections ERCOT gets to avoid federal oversight.

Patrick B
Reply to  Duane
July 20, 2022 10:44 am

“However, during those three hot but less windy months, wind speeds are highest during the middle part of the day when power demands are highest, and lowest during the evening hours when power demand is lower. This is due to solar daytime heating of the atmosphere. So even if the daily or monthly averages are lower the generators are producing more power when more power is needed.”

You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. In fact during the summer, the pattern is usually the exact opposite – decreasing turbine production as demand climbs.

ERCOT Wind Integration Report 7-19-22.png
Joel
Reply to  Patrick B
July 21, 2022 6:48 am

Must agree with the fact that the wind speeds are lowest during the heat of the day. Whoever says differently simply is not looking at the ERCOT data.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Duane
July 20, 2022 12:33 pm

The Texas power grid by the way is terrible and extremely unstable, unlike the other 49 states..”

Uhhh … California has a stable power grid?
Then why does the “Green Dream State” have all the rolling brownouts and blackouts?

TexSwede
July 20, 2022 9:08 am

On July 13 between 1200 and 1400, wind dropped to 750MW out of an installed capacity of 35,162MW. That is 2% not 8%. Actual lows during the hot afternoons were worse than 8%.

David Dibbell
July 20, 2022 9:59 am

ERCOT has this web page giving a snapshot of real-time conditions if anyone is interested.
https://www.ercot.com/content/cdr/html/real_time_system_conditions.html

From other references, total installed wind capacity is about 34GW, record output is about 29GW. Installed solar is around 9GW (which I assume is grid-connected, not behind-the-meter residential/commercial.)

Right now, noon CDT, ERCOT demand is 70GW, solar PV output is 8GW, Wind output is 8.7GW.

chadb
July 20, 2022 10:15 am

I don’t understand. Wind has never been strong in the summers in ERCOT. The system operator never planned for wind to produce at those times. Notice that the system is at record demand levels. The problem is not that there is too much wind, but that there is not enough natural gas. Since wind is not planned for peak production times removing every wind turbine from the state wouldn’t do anything to solve this problem. New gas would not be installed to meet a new higher peak, rather existing gas would be run in April when wind produces massive amounts of power.
The average cost of power from a wind turbine in Texas is lower than from Natural Gas. It just flat out is, especially now with the price of gas. Not having wind would do nothing but raise the average bill. It is absolutely absurd to suggest that installing wind (which operators and generators alike knew would be weak during heat waves) somehow prevented Natural Gas turbines from being installed faster. Note – they have been installed in order to keep up with demand, just not fast enough.
The actual problem in Texas is that Illinois, New York, and California sent more people to Texas than the grid operators expected. The population (and electricity demand) grew too fast for the operators to make adjustments.

CoRev
Reply to  chadb
July 20, 2022 1:16 pm

“The average cost of power from a wind turbine in Texas is lower than from Natural Gas.” Is that with or without the subsidies? Is that based upon FCOE of LCOE or even a 3rd cost estimate?

You also claimed: “It is absolutely absurd to suggest that installing wind (which operators and generators alike knew would be weak during heat waves) somehow prevented Natural Gas turbines from being installed faster.” Subsidizing ssome forms of electricity over others will typically reduce investment and maintenance in then non-subsidized forms.

Show me wrong.

chadb
Reply to  CoRev
July 21, 2022 5:22 am

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/Texas/
Natural Gas Net Summer Capacity 128GW. To be fair, this includes portions of Texas that are outside of ERCOT (the region in question right now). If you look at 2010 there was 69GW of Natural Gas capacity, and in 2000 it was 55. Over a 10 year period the Natural Gas capacity nearly doubled. There was nothing “holding back” investment in new Natural Gas generation in Texas.

CoRev
Reply to  chadb
July 21, 2022 9:53 am

Chadb, I’m not sure to what you are responding.

BTW, did you notice your 128GW was for “Net summer capacity (megawatts)”? Capacity is not dispatchable electricity. Wind and solar are prime examples of how capacity seldom achieves reality.

My comment: “Subsidizing some forms of electricity over others will typically reduce investment and maintenance in then non-subsidized forms.” was based upon on article like this: https://www.windaction.org/posts/34882-negative-electricity-prices-and-the-production-tax-credit
Which concludes: “Our findings lead us to conclude that the PTC should be allowed to expire under current law. PTC-driven negative prices directly conflict with the performance and operational needs of the electric system and with federal energy policies supporting well-functioning competitive wholesale markets. We urge policymakers to: (1) reconsider a national energy policy based on a tax incentive so large it incents wind producers to pay system operators to take their wind power; (2) address the reality that wind energy, while an important part of the energy mix, remains unpredictable and cannot be relied upon, especially during periods of high demand; and (3) ensure policies promoting wind do not undermine the conventional technologies that are needed to maintain reliability.”

Can you refute my claim that solar will not fulfill peak demand?

chadb
Reply to  CoRev
July 21, 2022 11:16 am

Can you refute my claim that solar will not fulfill peak demand?

Go back and look at my actual words. I never disputed that. Peak demand in ERCOT tends to be ~5-6 at night. Solar peaks near noon, and then will taper off as the sun sinks. Even though the sun is still up the angle means solar power will dip substantially as the temperature is still heating up.
If wind and solar prevented investment in combustible generation then why did natural gas capacity double from 2010-2020?
I go back to what I said elsewhere. In 2019 the generation peak was 74.5GW. Earlier this year ERCOT predicted 77GW of peak demand. The record so far is above 80GW. ERCOT underestimated their demand by two nuclear reactors. That’s a big miss. The problem here isn’t underinvestment in thermal generation. The problem is that a whole lot more Californians and New Yorkers moved to Texas than expected (and so pushed up demand).
Also – I wholeheartedly agree that subsidies should end. Both the production and investment tax credits.

CoRev
Reply to  chadb
July 21, 2022 1:24 pm

Then we are in violent agreement.

chadb
Reply to  CoRev
July 21, 2022 1:57 pm

I think where we missed eachother is around the following:
When I flip a switch I really don’t care how the power was generated. What I want is
1) The light turns on
2) It’s cheap
What we disagree on is that I firmly believe that solar produces power more cheaply than burning natural gas. That is, if you own a natural gas generator and have some land nearby you can fill your contracts more cheaply by installing solar, then powering down the gas turbine when the sun is shining. Similarly, if you own a gas turbine you can fill your contracts more cheaply by putting up a wind turbine and powering down the gas turbine when the wind is blowing. This is for an entity that just sells me electricity (remember, I don’t care how they produced it). The fuel cost is high enough that new installs save money in ERCOT. You absolutely make sure that there is enough gas power to meet peak demand, because demand peaks at 5:00 on summer nights (when both wind and solar are low).
The current issues in ERCOT have to do with the fact that demand has grown far faster than projected.
When I said that what you heard was “we need to produce all our power from wind and solar because that’s the cheapest way to do it.” I didn’t say that because I’m not a moron. The problem is that most people who advocate for wind & solar are actually advocating for 100% wind, solar, and storage. I don’t. I advocate for “if you can save me money by installing a solar panel and ramping down your gas turbine 4 hours a day then by golly go for it. However, you get $0 tax credits.”
When I crunch the numbers I think ERCOT will get to ~70-80% decarbonized power generation under that scenario (they are already past 40% and have another 10GW of solar in the pipeline). However, I don’t advocate for that. I simply argue it is the most economic outcome. In contrast I don’t think the Southeast can get much past 20% (atrocious wind, mediocre solar).

Last edited 22 days ago by chadb
CoRev
Reply to  chadb
July 21, 2022 4:08 pm

You puts word out that that I don’t remember writing.

I not sure I agree with this: “Similarly, if you own a gas turbine you can fill your contracts more cheaply by putting up a wind turbine and powering down the gas turbine when the wind is blowing.”
There are just too many lies associated with wind costs.

Unless the NEEDED backup costs are included with wind, and both sources are cost using the same formula, and I prefer the FCOE, these cost comparisons are suspect.

I see 2 big issues seldom fully considered in cost comparisons.
1) I mentioned wind’s need for backup.
2) The different life cycle lengths for wind vs themal generation.

chadb
Reply to  CoRev
July 22, 2022 5:25 am

I put it from the perspective of the power plant on purpose. You already own the gas turbine – that is a given (at least in ERCOT, different in MISO) in order to meet peak demand. The question is whether the capital investment in wind/solar is more or less than the offset fuel cost.
This is especially true with the spot price of natural gas at $7.35/mmBTU. If you already own the gas turbine then it isn’t right to try to burden the cost of wind with the cost of a gas turbine. That gas turbine has to be built either way (again, in order to meet peak demand). However, the cost of fuel is so high that you are better off adding in wind/solar and ramping down the turbine when possible (fuel savings offsets the capital outlays). Maybe I’m wrong. But the finance guys seem to agree that it makes financial sense.
But that is ERCOT. MISO and SPP are different. In those grids wind is frequently producing at 20-40% during peak demand hours. That is a tougher situation, because it is less clear how much dispatchable capacity is needed. However, those grids aren’t growing, so you don’t have to add new turbines.
As difficult as it is for me though, I will let this one go now. The thread is already 2 days old.

Kit P
July 20, 2022 10:32 am

This old power retired power engineer continues to be impressed with the contribution of wind to the grid in Texas and the PNW. I was an early predictor of failure.

Some people make up reasons to label the efforts of other a failure. Is nuclear power a failure because electricty is not ‘too cheap to meter’?

My first commercial nuke plant is still running and exceeding orginal design paramaters. New constrcution is not needed for at least 10 years and most likely 40 years. But the EIS is done.

Texas Governor Bush and POTUS Bush set out to show the econmics and viablity of modern windpower. It was part of a compromise to get needed fissil plants built.

So 30 years later I am impressed with the amount of wind reducing the demand for natural gas.

Of course it has also been demonstrated the need for wind to have a 100% backup.



Mr.
Reply to  Kit P
July 20, 2022 12:13 pm

Of course it has also been demonstrated the need for wind to have a 100% backup.

They could have learned this from the lived experiences of remote mining operations and cattle stations that have used solar & wind for supplementary power to keep the main battery banks charged for over 40 years now.

Saves lots of $$$ on diesel generator fuel usage.

But no way would these remote communities do away with their industrial-scale diesel generators.

There’s life and death considerations out there attached to the basic necessity for constant, reliable electricity supply.

It’s not 1850 any more (although that’s a fact not appreciated by many energy supply planners these days)

CoRev
Reply to  Kit P
July 21, 2022 4:31 am

Is wind actually cheaper than its backups? With a life cycle a fraction of gas generation does adding wind to the grid actually work out to lower costs to the end user?

I really don’t know, as there are so many lies associated with implementing wind.

As for solar, that I am sure of implementing it just adds costs to the grid. Solar always needs backup, and the cost of this idling backup is almost never included in the cost calculations.

Kit P
Reply to  CoRev
July 21, 2022 2:23 pm

I do not know either. Lots of people make blanket statements about the future like they are true.

When it comes to the econmics of producing electricty, predicting the future is complicated.

For example, you have a project to build a new nuke plant based on the price of natural gas at a local hub. However, when the nuke goes on line price of natural gas goes down because demand went down.

What I am saying is that more information is available after you do something. If 5% of electricty comes from wind and that lowered the overall cost, we know something about the 5% case. It does not mean that the same result for 10%.

But we have a better model.

MikeMaguire
July 20, 2022 10:52 am

A noted meteorological feature of the bIg heat waves are the lack of wind because there is very little surface pressure gradient.
When you need electricity for cooling the most is when wind turbines generate the least amount of it.

Lots of high angled solar though during widespread heat waves….for numerous hours on either side of solar noon.

Joesurfer
July 20, 2022 12:06 pm

It’s always a given that during extreme heat waves and cold snaps, winds tend to die off. Big high pressure systems in summer create stagnant weather and in the winter winds die off during a cold snap resulting in severe dropping temps, especially at night.

Mike Lowe
July 20, 2022 12:29 pm

I must protest at those who describe windmills and solar as the “unreliables”. It is gratifying to see that they can certainly be relied upon to fail to come to the rescue of those types of power generation which have been relied upon for decades!

July 20, 2022 1:45 pm

I object to the phrase “wind power fail”

Wind power is highly variable.

Being low for one hour, one day, or even a full week, is not a “failure”

That’s what wind power does when working as designed.

The failure is thinking unreliable wind power
is suited for an electric grid when reliability
is the key objective.

July 20, 2022 2:10 pm

Reducing US emissions of CO2 to zero will have no impact on any potential CO2 driven warming due to the actions of China and India compounded by the need to provide electricity to hundreds of millions if not billions of people who have no electricity.

July 20, 2022 2:42 pm

Those pesky Texans failed to learn
Greene’s Law of Windmills:

“One windmill + no wind = no electricity
One bazillion windmills + no wind = no electricity”

Which followed my famous 1997 climate prediction:
“The climate will get warmer,
unless it gets colder”

Which followed my 1990 Iron Law of Leftism:
“If leftists are in favor of it,
And leftists are in charge of it,
Then it will fail.”

I am hoping for a Nobel Prize or at least
a Nobel Prize Participation Trophy.

Loren C. Wilson
July 20, 2022 5:33 pm

So far no Texans have died because of a power outage this summer because we haven’t had one yet. I checked ERCOT’s very nice summary page this afternoon and we have about 3-4 GW of reserves during the peak hours. Of course, I will not be running the dishwasher, washing machine, or dryer until the power demand from my AC drops a bit. However, the wind has dropped out every day during this several week-long hotter than normal spell. The wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine, but coal and gas always burn and uranium (and thorium) always fission.

Trying to Play Nice
July 21, 2022 4:36 am

There was no mention of record temperatures. Does this mean the grid has not been upgraded to meet rising demand? Or does this mean that the grid is dysfunctional because of the large percentage of “renewable energy” sources? I don’t think the heatwave is the problem as they are pretty common in Texas this time of year.

Izaak Walton
July 21, 2022 4:55 am

Eric,
Did you ask “how many Texans have to die, before Texan politicians accept they backed the wrong horse?” after the Uvalde or do you think that thoughts and prayers are a sufficient response to mass shootings but not blackouts?

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 21, 2022 8:28 am

Great job at letting us know you’re an anal sphincter without actually telling us you’re an anal sphincter!

Joel
July 21, 2022 6:57 am

It is so odd that discussions about grid reliability and rolling brown outs are currently in those locations where they have a lot of renewable energy. It would take a smarter man than me to understand the connection though.
In case anybody missed the sarcasm this is the truth: Wind and solar power are parasites on traditional thermal sources of energy.

CoRev
Reply to  Joel
July 21, 2022 1:30 pm

To your truth add: Storage of renewable electricity is a parasite on the whole grid. If not storing renewables excess, then storage is pulling from dispatchable sources. Another unnecessary cost.

July 21, 2022 8:11 am

But, But, BUT, the greenies claim the “Extreme Events” will end when we reach Net Zero and are CO2 free.

July 21, 2022 8:49 am

Gazprom has always fulfilled and intends to continue fulfilling all of its obligations. The attempts of our partners to shift their own mistakes onto Russia and Gazprom have no basis. 

So what is happening with energy supplies? Look, in the first half of 2020, gas in Europe cost 100 euros per 1000 cubic meters. In the first half of last year [2021] – 250 euros. Today, it’s 1700 euros per 1000 cubic meters. So what is happening? I have already spoken about this many times. I don’t know whether it is worth going into the details about the energy policy of European countries, who neglected the importance of traditional energy sources and took a bet on non-traditional ones. They are great experts in non-traditional relations, so in the field of energy they also decided to rely on non-traditional sources, such as solar and wind. But the winter turned out long and non-windy – and that’s it. 

Vladimir Putin, 2022

Bruce Cobb
July 21, 2022 9:41 am

Wait, isn’t ERCOT the place where “The impossible becomes possible”?

Leveut
July 21, 2022 10:12 am

Because of subsidies, wind power is effectively free. That’s the problem, along with environmental idiocy

DavidC
July 21, 2022 1:02 pm

When Texas has more than 20 days of 100 degree weather within a 26 day time frame, the power supply is going to be close to capacity. This summer will likely exceed 40 days of 100 degrees. In the 90s and early 00s, there was about 20% spare capacity in the grid supply. Bush deregulated the grid and the electricity generators decided to make money on the excess capacity by selling it to Oklahoma below cost. The following years they said they needed more resources to build new generators, because they didn’t have enough to meet capacity guidelines. As a compromise, ERCOT reduced the amount of required spare capacity and allowed additional fees on the electric billing for new plants. Then TB Pickens got involved, convinced ERCOT that going green with windmills would solve the spare capacity issue, be cheaper than new gas/nuclear plants, get Fed subsidies, and look good for everyone. And also add a $5 fee for new power lines to west Tx for eternity. Since the Fed was paying for some of it, and politicians wanted to look like they were doing something, wind generation expanded beyond the spare capacity requirement, and into the peak demand curve. More green money and expansion has increased unreliable generation into the top of the summer baseload range. If wind and solar aren’t generating enough, the natural gas generators have to come online. And if there aren’t enough regular plants online, ERCOT sends out a call for generation and small scale power generators can sell to the grid at spot energy prices. If the spot price exceeds the cost of fuel, they won’t come online, which was one of the issues with the Feb 2021 blackout. Natural gas prices were way higher than the offered spot price for electrical generation. The other issue in Feb 2021 was the electric pumps on the gas distribution network. Obama’s EPA put emission regulations on the natural gas pumps in the pipelines, so instead of putting emission controls on all those pumps, they were replaced with electric pumps tied to the local grid. That was poorly documented, like most of wildcat work is. So when rolling blackouts where on-going, they didn’t know which pumps had power until it was lost.

Andy May
July 21, 2022 5:51 pm

I live in Texas and Eric is right. We have hundreds of years of natural gas and build all these useless wind mills to get the federal subsidies. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Dr. Deanster
July 21, 2022 6:22 pm

Three words. If you are going to go renewable … Off-Shore Solar.

It’s the only renewable that doesn’t destroy habitat (it actually creates it) and doesn’t kill raptors, bats and other innocent fauna.

But … I’d say nuclear is the best option.

observa
July 21, 2022 6:40 pm

They just can’t bring themselves to admit the words unreliable and not dispatchable so they tie themselves up in semantic knots trying to avoid the bleeding obvious-
Former carbon pricing mastermind Greg Combet backs proposed fix for Australia’s energy crisis (msn.com)
We know what capacity really means you blithering idiots.

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