Wind Output Plaguing Texas (ERCOT weathers on)

From MasterResource

By Ed Ireland — August 21, 2023

“Failures of wind and solar during severe weather events are a problem, but a larger problem is that failures are not confined to severe winter storms. In fact, these failures occur on a daily and even hourly basis. During the summer months, wind tends to die down in the afternoons, causing large drops in wind-generated electricity. Later afternoon rain storms can reduce solar generation significantly.”

Texas is blessed with mineral and natural resources. Texas is the largest crude oil and natural gas producer in the US. It would be the world’s 4th largest producer if Texas were a country.

For reasons of politics and government intervention over a quarter-century, Texas is the largest wind power producer and second-largest solar producer in the U.S. and will likely surpass California, the leading solar power state, within a year.

We long have been told that wind and solar can replace coal, oil, and natural gas for power generation, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Wind and solar are dilute, intermittent sources that depend on the weather. If the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, they may work to some extent, but the weather changes constantly, and so does their ability to produce electricity.

An epic failure of wind and solar in Texas was during Winter Storm Uri in February 2021. While there were failures in all types of generation, including coal, nuclear, and natural gas, due to the sub-freezing and even sub-zero temperatures, wind turbine freeze-ups were a major problem for the ERCOT system. (Ruined margins for the reliables from wind/solar had a major negative effect too in setting up the failure, a separate story.)

Less than two years later, in December of 2022, wind and solar failed again during Winter Storm Elliot, but the State had learned some lessons from Uri and was prepared with sufficient natural gas, coal, and nuclear-generated electricity.

Failures of wind and solar during severe weather events are a problem, but a larger problem is that failures are not confined to severe winter storms. In fact, these failures occur on a daily and even hourly basis. During the summer months, wind tends to die down in the afternoons, causing large drops in wind-generated electricity. Later afternoon rain storms can reduce solar generation significantly.

Peak Demand, Unreliable Supply

The summer of 2023 has been a very hot one as a result of two weather overlapping events: El Nino and the eruption of the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruption, with El Nino bringing in hot air from the west and the HTHH forming a heat cap, resulting from the extremely large volume of water vapor accompanying the eruption.

The enhanced greenhouse effect? Not so much because the GHG ‘signal’ has a winter, night, high latitude character–not one of Texas summer afternoon. Abruptness (Spring was relatively normal) fits nature, not the human influence.

The resulting summer heat has stressed many power grids due to higher-than-normal cooling demand. The combination of these two weather events has produced very hot summer conditions in the US and other parts of the world and added another layer of stress to power grids.

In Texas, the higher-than-normal air conditioning loads coupled with its high installed capacity of wind and solar have been challenging for the load management on the ERCOT power grid for two reasons: (1) the wind tends to subside on hot afternoons, and (2) solar panels lose capacity due to the high temperatures. This leads to a double whammy for the Texas power grid of losing electric generating capacity from both wind and solar.

These losses are documented on the ERCOT “Dashboards” as shown below for Thursday, August 17, 2023:

Note that the Maximum Capacity for solar is 21,162 megawatts (MW), while its summer capacity is only 12,636 MW. The “Maximum Capacity” for wind is 38,695 MW, while its Summer Capacity is only 10,427 MW. The low summer capacity for wind is due to the fact that winds die down in hot afternoons, so wind turbines fail to produce anywhere near their capacities. Solar panels are less efficient in converting sunlight to electricity at warmer temperatures. Note that the solar panels in this example were performing near their “Summer Capacity” earlier that day on August 16, 2023, but this screenshot was taken at 8:30 PM when the sun was setting, and the temperature had declined.

With Coal and Nuclear operating at their maximum levels (coal is actually producing over its Summer Capacity), the power grid is dependent on natural gas to keep the lights on and the air conditioning running, and it did its job, producing 60% of the power being produced on the grid.

Nevertheless, the ERCOT power grid dropped below its acceptable minimum level of 3 MW, as shown in the graphic below, which is an automatic voluntary conservation notice.

This low level of operating reserves is reflected in the “System-wide Prices” graph shown below, which shows that spot prices for natural gas reached $5,000 per megawatt for a few minutes, which is the maximum price allowed on the ERCOT system.

Price spikes are a predictable consequences of faulty supply-side energy reliance.


Wind and solar are not reliable enough to maintain grid stability and therefore require dispatchable power sources such as coal, nuclear, and natural gas-powered generation to stabilize the grid. Until sufficient utility-scale battery storage is available, which is unlikely anytime soon due to the cost of current technologies, the ERCOT power grid and all others will require substantial natural gas generation capacity to maintain grid stability.

The Texas legislature understood this requirement and passed several bills with appropriate spending to keep the ERCOT power grid running with enough dispatchable power to maintain its reliability. ERCOT is doing a commendable job managing the Texas power grid this hot summer–even with the largest wind and second-largest solar portfolio in the US–thanks to Texas being the largest natural gas producer in the country.


Ed Ireland, adjunct professor at TCU’s Neeley School of Business, received his B.S. from Midwestern State University and Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. His substack site is Thoughts About Energy and Economics.

For more information on Intermittent Wind and Solar go to our ClimateTV page.

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Bryan A
August 21, 2023 2:13 pm

Late afternoon relative solar angle also tends to cause a drop off in output after 2pm from near 100% to around 4pm at near nil

Reply to  Bryan A
August 21, 2023 2:27 pm

“ERCOT is doing a commendable job managing the Texas power grid”. Presumably ERCOT are not the idiots who created the mess in the first place, but are the ones who have to cover for them?
(No idea how that became an answer to Bryan)

Bryan A
Reply to  Mike Jonas
August 21, 2023 3:21 pm

Truth non the less

August 21, 2023 2:32 pm

Until sufficient utility-scale battery storage is available…”

It will never be available. All of the possible storage technologies have been identified. The relative economics of power generation vs. storage will not change.

Reply to  cgh
August 22, 2023 4:42 am

Even if it were to become available, I thought the idea was to power up batteries with excess wind and solar power. It is obvious that there is no excess, and not just in Texas.

Reply to  starzmom
August 22, 2023 9:24 am

that is simply wrong lol. obviously wind can still charge at night. Solar can certainly charge batteries when all of it’s output isn’t being fed into the grid. Grid scale batteries don’t exist right now at reasonable prices is the only thing holding that back. I am 100% all in on nuclear but I don’t ignore facts either.

Reply to  johnlocke
August 23, 2023 12:11 pm

Doesn’t work when there is a summer of outages like we have this year.

Reply to  cgh
August 22, 2023 8:01 am



All-in Turnkey Cost of Battery System to Offset a Wind Lull of One Day

At a future date:

Installed onshore/offshore wind systems would be 10,107 MW AC to provide 25% of NE grid load 
Installed solar systems would be 23,766 MW DC to provide 25% of NE grid load
Wind annual average output would be 31,250,000 MWh/y x 1/8,766 h/y = 3,565 MW; capacity factor 3565/10107 = 0.353

Battery systems to Deal with One-Day Wind Lull

For analysis purposes:

1) The wind MW is assumed to become 0.15 x 3565 = 535 MW, during a one-day wind lull
2) Tesla recommends normal battery operation within 20% full to 80% full, to achieve a 15-y useful service life. We assume the batteries are at 70% full at start of wind/solar lull, and maximum drawdown is to 10% full, for a 0.6 available capacity.
3) A more exact analysis would be on an hour-to-hour basis, instead of annual average basis
4) The solar part of the one-day wind/solar lull was ignored to simplify the analysis.

At least (3565 – 535) x 0.770 MW/unit x 1/0.6, available capacity x 1/0.926, Tesla design factor = 7,083 Tesla, 4-h Megapacks, arranged in parallel. 

Each parallel unit would have 5 additional Megapacks, for an energy delivery of 6 x 4 = 24 hours, to offset just the wind lull
This assumes only batteries would offset the wind lull, i.e., no output from other generators would be available.

Supplied by Tesla 7,083 x 6 x $1.250 million each = $53.122 billion
Supply by Others $6.693 billion. See Part 1

All-in, turnkey cost about $53.122 b + $6.693 b = $59.816 billion 
Battery Systems to Deal with Midday Solar Output Surge

A separate battery system, consisting of several thousand 4-h Megapacks, arranged in parallel, would be needed almost every day, to absorb a part of the MW and MWh of the midday solar surge, because that surge from 23,766 MW DC of solar systems likely would exceed midday demand; the alternative would be to export it to nearby grids, as Germany does to nearby countries.

After round-trip losses of about 20%, the battery systems would discharge the remaining 80% during the peak hours of  late-afternoon/early-evening

Reply to  wilpost
August 22, 2023 8:02 am

If, at some future date, gas, oil, and nuclear power plants were no longer allowed, and were replaced by wind and solar systems, battery systems would need about a month of electricity delivery to cover: 

1) Randomly occurring, 5 to 7-day wind/solar lulls with mostly minimal output, that could be followed by another multi-day wind/solar lull a few days later 

2) Seasonal wind/solar output variations

3) Year-to-year wind/solar output variations of 25 – 30%. 

Reply to  cgh
August 23, 2023 12:10 pm

Nuclear power is the only answer for “Mythical Grid Storage.” I was the NSSS Startup engineer for TMI & II, and Rancho Seco. These were Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) Once through Steam Generators. Unlike the stories that NPPs cannot “Load Follow” Every B&W plant I started up met the promised 10% per hour power ramp up and down.
You say u/se Battery or some form of pumped storage? Sorry, that will cost as much, if not more, as an equivalent power NPP and NOT LAST AS LONG!

Rud Istvan
August 21, 2023 2:41 pm

Two observations, as someone who holds 2 fundamental Issued US patents in electrical energy storage.

  1. Renewables are intermittent and contribute no grid inertia. So they will NEVER be economic on a high penetration grid system basis even if they were free (and they aren’t). For example, some years ago I reworked EIA’s ludicrous assertion that on shore wind and CCGT had comparable LCOE. Properly done using then ERCOT 10% wind penetration and transmission, CCGT was $58/MWh while wind was $146/MWh. 2.5x
  2. There will never be grid capable battery storage. Flow batteries do not have the cycle life, and lithium ion (of any flavor) does not have enough lithium at any cost.
Nick Stokes
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2023 2:54 pm

does not have enough lithium at any cost”

There are 230 Gtons of Li ion in the sea, at around 0.2 ppm. It can be extracted at a price higher than current, but that caps the cost.

Curious George
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 21, 2023 3:17 pm

How much CO2 would that generate?

Reply to  Curious George
August 21, 2023 5:05 pm

Only China is prepared to burn coal to extract the lithium. Their coal does not produce dangerous CO2 like coal burnt in developed countries.

B Zipperer
Reply to  Curious George
August 21, 2023 8:38 pm

The 2020 article does not state the energy needed to produce the reaction.
But the discussion section shows this is just a lab bench demonstration with no clear prospect of scaling up.

The original paper also does not discuss costs of the their experimental setup, and certainly nothing about commercialization of the process.
For Nick Stokes to link to it – suggesting it was feasible – is very misleading..

Reply to  B Zipperer
August 22, 2023 2:28 am

“For Nick Stokes to link to it – suggesting it was feasible – is very misleading..”

Of course, what did you expect?

Bryan A
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 21, 2023 3:31 pm

Will that be enough to back-up power the entire global grid, electrify all transportation BEV (2.2bn current ICE) and allow for battery replacement in 20/40/60 years. Plus growth in population??

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Bryan A
August 21, 2023 4:00 pm

23Gtons is plenty.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 21, 2023 5:26 pm

You forgot the cost. Nice try—fail.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 21, 2023 3:46 pm

From your articles link:

Lithium’s scarcity has raised concerns that future shortages could cause battery prices to skyrocket and stymie the growth of electric vehicles and other lithium-dependent technologies such as Tesla Powerwalls, stationary batteries often used to store rooftop solar power.

Seawater could come to the rescue. The world’s oceans contain an estimated 180 billion tons of lithium.

COULD come to the rescue.
Sounds like another example of switching from what works now to something that might work … someday.

PS I’ve heard that there’s a lot of gold and other valuable minerals in seawater.
Who is extracting them on market scale? (Other than “sea salt” which only needs to fill a container with salt water and let the water evaporate.)

Reply to  Gunga Din
August 21, 2023 4:28 pm

I think that getting Li from the ocean is a great idea. I am all in favour of private enterprise using their own money to extract and produce it and then compete with other technologies to sell it in a free and open market.

But my money would be on coal, gas and nuclear.

Reply to  Gunga Din
August 21, 2023 9:25 pm

PS I’ve heard that there’s a lot of gold and other valuable minerals in seawater.

I’ve heard there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but no matter how much I search, I’ve never found the gold.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Redge
August 22, 2023 6:15 am

How did you manage to ever find the end of the rainbow? 🙂

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 21, 2023 4:02 pm

Nick heads off into la-la-fantasy-land yet again

Poor fella’s mind is in Never-Never land.

Maybe he missed the part about “using electrodes” 😉

Reply to  bnice2000
August 21, 2023 5:49 pm

More lithium need for the electrode than can be extracted using the electrode?

Reply to  AndyHce
August 21, 2023 9:20 pm

And electricity. Which of course would have to be from fossil fuels 🙂

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 21, 2023 5:04 pm

Thanks for this source of info Nick.
I notice the article also reveals –
Researchers have devised numerous filters and membranes to try to selectively extract lithium from seawater. But those efforts rely on evaporating away much of the water to concentrate the lithium, which requires extensive land use and time. To date such efforts have not proved economical.
. . .
researchers have also tried to use lithium-ion battery electrodes to pull lithium directly from seawater and brines without the need for first evaporating the water. Those electrodes
consist of sandwichlike layered materials designed to trap and hold lithium ions as a battery charges. In seawater, a negative electrical voltage applied to a lithium-grabbing electrode pulls lithium ions into the electrode. But it also pulls in sodium, a chemically similar element that is about 100,000 times more abundant in seawater than lithium. If the two elements push their way into the electrode at the same rate, sodium almost completely crowds out the lithium.
So once again we’re relying on –

“and then a miracle happens . . .?”

Reply to  Mr.
August 21, 2023 10:14 pm

At 170 mg per tonne of sea water, just the sea water pumps to get the water to your membrane plant to make only a 100 kg per day of lithium would have to be about 400 cubic meters per minute. Those are real big pumps….my mental math put them about half a megawatt for say 10 meters of head…worse if your membrane plant isn’t at sea level….

Craig Howard
Reply to  Mr.
August 22, 2023 12:03 pm

Or as the ancient Greeks referred to it: Deus ex batteria (or something like that.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 21, 2023 5:21 pm

Ok. You forgot to say at what seawater level cost? UMM…

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 21, 2023 5:45 pm

Can’t use FF for any part of the extraction or production.

Got the challenge of firstly extracting the lithium, then you need to get enough of the compound to use in the next process of converting that into material that can be used in batteries —-

You also need to deal with what I presume is waste (water), what happens to that?

All of that industrial processing MUST be done using only renewable energy…and without any taxpayer subsidies. Private $ only to be used. If its viable and PROFITABLE, it will fly!

Que “the models”

Good luck.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  SteveG
August 22, 2023 4:42 am

You’re forgetting that renewable energy generators are produced using…fossil fuels. Another tail chasing exercise.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 21, 2023 7:49 pm

I suspect Li in the sea will stay in the sea.
However, I am curious about the amount of water to be needed to get a ton of the stuff.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 21, 2023 9:08 pm

I didn’t see any proposals to start extracting Li from seawater when Lithium prices were $90,000/tonne, so that sets a floor on that cost.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 21, 2023 9:27 pm

Can we get all the copper needed for the renewable madness out of the sea as well Nick, because we aint going to get it from conventional sources.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 22, 2023 1:01 am

So, what is your argument on the substantial point?

Are you arguing that there is enough lithium extractable by known processes working at scale to fund a move to wind and solar without a conventional component?

Who is doing it?

The basic argument, never mind whether there is useless lithium in the sea or on Mars, is that its impossible for Texas, the US, or the world, to move to wind and solar by using battery storage to compensate for intermittency, because there is not now enough production, nor will there be in the forseeable future.

This is a dead end. Just like the other strategy of running a basic gas and coal network, and supplementing it with wind and solar is a dead end.

There are three aspects to the current climate mania.

One is to think there is some kind of climate crisis. There isn’t.

A second is to think that converting power generation to wind and solar is possible at all. It isn’t.

The third is to think that if it were possible, doing it would make any impression on the supposed crisis. it would not.

Quite why the wind/solar delusion should be found almost universally among the hysterically alarmed about climate? Its a topic future historians of this mania will doubtless spend many pages trying to account for.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 22, 2023 2:26 am

The sea has lots of gold in it, too. Germany saw it as their salvation in the 1920’s. How did that work out?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 22, 2023 9:25 am

I’m sure sucking in and processing all that sea water will be great for the oceans.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2023 2:56 pm

Third point, With the usual life expectancy of lithium ion, after about 15 years, 100% of the output of your factories will be going to just replacing batteries that have worn out.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  MarkW
August 21, 2023 5:47 pm

True. Because Musk’s Tesla has to now not succeeded in recycling battery lithium.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2023 7:56 pm

See; Redwood Materials, Inc.. . . founded by J. B. Straubel, who was a co-founder and served as chief technology officer at Tesla.

Curious George
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2023 3:15 pm

Would it be possible to disconnect the District of Columbia from all fossil fuel sources?

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 22, 2023 8:05 am



Offshore Wind Electricity Production and Cost
Electricity production would be about 30,000 MW x 8766 h/y x 0.45, capacity factor = 118,341,000 MWh, or 118.3 TWh
The additional wind production would be about 100 x 118.3/4000 = 2.96% of the annual electricity loaded onto US grids.
The US grid load would increase, due to tens of millions of future electric vehicles and heat pumps.
Electricity Cost: Assume an offshore project consists of wind turbines and cabling to shore at $4,000/kW, producing at a lifetime CF = 0.45
Amortizing a bank loan for 50% of the project at 6%/y for 20 years will cost about 4.36 c/kWh. 
Paying the Owner for his investment of 50% of the project at 9%/y for 20 years will cost about 4.74 c/kWh (9% because of high inflation). 
Offshore O&M, about 30 miles out to sea, is at least 6.5 c/kWh. 
Total energy cost 4.36 + 4.74 + 6.5 = 16.33 c/kWh

After subsidies, and accelerated depreciation, and deduction of interest on borrowed money, etc., the PPA energy cost is at least 8.17 c/kWh (what a bargain!)

Not included:

– Levelized cost of any onshore grid expansion/augmentation, about 2 c/kWh
– Levelized cost of curtailment/counteracting/balancing, 24/7/365
In 2020, in the UK, with wind/solar at 28.6% of electricity fed to the grid (excluding imports), the curtailment/counteracting/balancing cost was about 1.9 c/kWh, which would exponentially increase to 6 – 8 c/kWh at 50% wind/solar, because of increased compensation for curtailments/counteracting/balancing
– Levelized cost of decommissioning, i.e., disassembly at sea, reprocessing and storing at hazardous waste sites

Floating offshore, as in Maine and California offshore, would be about $6,000 to $7,000 per MW, i.e., the bank loan and Owner return parts of the levelized cost would be correspondingly higher.
The levelized O&M likely would be higher 
The various subsidies, added to national debts, to make it all politically sellable, would be higher

NOTE: If li-ion battery systems were contemplated, they would add 20  to 40 c/kWh to the cost of any electricity passing through them, during their about 15-y useful service lives!

August 21, 2023 2:57 pm

” . . . this screenshot was taken at 8:30 PM “
You are confusing a 24 hour time with a 12 hour clock time.

“. . .  its acceptable minimum level of 3 MW,”
You are confounding GW with MW.

Reply to  joel
August 21, 2023 4:10 pm

“” . . . this screenshot was taken at 8:30 PM “”
You are confusing a 24 hour time with a 12 hour clock time.

text says  this screenshot was taken at 8:30 PM when the sun was setting…”

Sun was setting… are you saying it does that at 8:30am ? 😉


Second part of your comment is ok… they like to have 3GW of operational reserve.

Reply to  bnice2000
August 21, 2023 4:14 pm

I think the time was 6:39PM central standard time.

Reply to  joel
August 21, 2023 4:51 pm

other graphs seem to have data up to about 7:30pm.

sorry , I just don’t understand your comment….

“You are confusing a 24 hour time with a 12 hour clock time.”

Reply to  bnice2000
August 21, 2023 5:05 pm

The screen shot shows a time of 18:39 CT. This appears to be a 24 hour time.
18:39 = 12 + 6:39 = 6:39 PM.

Reply to  bnice2000
August 21, 2023 5:24 pm

“I just don’t understand your comment….“You are confusing a 24 hour time with a 12 hour clock time.” “

There is no AM or PM on a 24hour clock

8:30 pm (12hour clock) = 20:30 (24hour clock )

Reply to  1saveenergy
August 21, 2023 11:14 pm

The last 2 images went up to 7:35pm, (19:35)

The author said he captured the images at 8:30pm.

I can’t see the issue. No confusion with 12hour/24 hour clock.

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  joel
August 22, 2023 9:33 am

bnice, I don’t know what the problem is but the indicated CF of around 50% is NOT accurate for 8:30PM, we do know that.

August 21, 2023 3:02 pm

How many decades now has it been obvious to any rational adult that wind and solar will not meet the dispatchable electric power needs of modern communities.

Every experiment to road-test “renewables” in even smallish towns has resulted in a strident ‘F’.

I get tired of presenting this time-proven adage –

“Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is the definition of madness”

Gunga Din
Reply to  Mr.
August 21, 2023 4:00 pm

How many decades now has it been obvious to any rational adult that wind and solar will not meet the dispatchable electric power needs of modern communities.”

One of the problems is that a rational person needs accurate information to come to a rational conclusion.
Much “accurate information” has been labeled “misinformation” and restricted and/or hindered.
Sometimes they need to be “punched in the face” (or pocket book) a couple of times to wake up to the fact that “free energy” is not only “free” but cost more (in cash and freedoms) than they are willing to pay.
IOW What was promised to them, wasn’t delivered. But now they’re not free to complain.

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  Gunga Din
August 22, 2023 9:51 am

Among rational adults there was never any belief that wind and solar could meet the needs of a modern society, but there was HOPE that W&S could HELP reduce fuel requirements and be cost effective. It has now been abundantly demonstrated by California and Germany that W&S should never have been put on the grid and the sooner that mistaken misallocation of limited capital waste ends the better off we’ll all be (except for those gaming the system). It’s not complicated.

Reply to  Mr.
August 21, 2023 5:09 pm

They are expecting a big pay day. And, they are not disappointed. It is all corruption, allowed by our highly ignorant voting public. The latter circumstance allows me tranquility while watching my fellow citizens be pauperized.

Reply to  Mr.
August 21, 2023 6:03 pm

How many decades now has it been obvious to any rational adult that wind and solar will not meet the dispatchable electric power needs of modern communities.

(Most) Adults only become rational when they freeze/roast in the dark for extended durations… (or they’ve been driven to penury). Suddenly reason kicks in. Unfortunate.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Mr.
August 21, 2023 8:05 pm

I don’t see a date on this article, but it is a good read with nice photos.
Currently, 1050 out of the original 10.000 traditional Dutch windmills in The Netherlands are still up and running. These Dutch windmills are no longer used for industrial purposes but are maintained and operated by volunteers to keep these iconic symbols of our Dutch national heritage in good shape.”

abolition man
Reply to  Mr.
August 21, 2023 8:09 pm

Remember that most Climastrologists are neither rational, nor adult! We are trying to convince pouting children that they need to eat healthy, and the media and their teachers are telling them that candy, cake and cookies are the basis of a good diet!

August 21, 2023 3:18 pm

Also, in order to further screw up the system….EVs are adding more demand for electricity and home solar panels add more complexity to the system. (STORY TIP) There is a new scheme (scam) for carbon sequestration….seems the ocean has “acids” in it and some kind benevolent people will remove these “acids” and therefore make it possible for the ocean to hold more CO2….if you need carbon credits – pay these people for their kind benevolent removal of the acids. I think their price is one ton of CO2 for less than $100….but volume will lower their price.

August 21, 2023 3:23 pm

All sorts of people say that the summer of the U.S.A. has been very hot. Yet that is not what NOAA’s Climate Reference Network is telling us. Overall the CRN says that the average temperature of the lower 48 has been remarkably average. Don’t believe this? Go to the NOAA web site and see for yourself. Hot areas? So it seems from all the caterwauling. But there have been enough cool areas to balance everything out. Overall – average, very average.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Denis
August 21, 2023 6:16 pm

The Media are tying to make it out like we are experiencing unprecedented warmth this summer, but history tells us othewise. It’s not any warmer today than it was in the recent past.

That’s not to say it’s not hot in the U.S. becaue it is, but it’s not unprecedented. Not even close. Don’t be fooled by NASA Climate and NOAA lies about the temperatues. They have a political agenda.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 21, 2023 8:10 pm

Daily temps for Yakima don’t show any issues:

abolition man
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 21, 2023 8:19 pm

Sometimes, when trying to deal with climate catastrophists, I feel like I am channeling Mr. Spock!
“Fascinating, Captain! So, you’re saying that, in the midst of an Ice Age, these people are concerned, even panicked, about a little natural warming during an interglacial period? Completely illogical! Do they not know ANY of their planets geological history!?”

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  abolition man
August 22, 2023 7:22 am

You’ve almost got it, but Spock wouldn’t ‘exclaims anything (the exclamations would be left to James T. Kirk). Should be more like this:

“Fascinating. So, in the midst of an Ice Age, these people are concerned, even panicked, about a little natural warming during an interglacial period? That is…not logical. [Insert raised eyebrow] They would seem to be completely unaware of their planet’s geological history.”

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 22, 2023 4:57 am

Here in the KC area, the media are telling us that the real record setting parameter is not heat, but heat and humidity, and that we are in record setting territory with the Climate Shift Index. This Index is a computer modeled number which combines temperature and humidity and compares past scenarios with the present to explain how much worse it is with climate change.

Needless to say we are not in record setting territory either in actual temperatures or in length of the heat wave. I am not sure we are even in a heat wave, apparently defined here as 3 consecutive days above 95 degrees.

Reply to  starzmom
August 22, 2023 5:21 am

So I tried to get a good definition of “heat wave”, and while it seems to vary all over the place and change with time, NOAA is now reporting that a heat wave is TWO or more days with warmer than normal temperatures, and that such periods are increasing each year for the past 50 years.

TWO DAYS above normal is a heat wave??? Seriously???

Reply to  starzmom
August 22, 2023 11:50 am

Anything to keep the jive alive.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  starzmom
August 22, 2023 1:13 pm

Two days is a ridiculous number.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  starzmom
August 22, 2023 1:12 pm

“Climate Shift Index”

That’s a new one on me.

I think our heat index yesterday here in Eastern Oklahoma was 120. It will probably be the same today, and tomorrow and Friday. Then the temperatures are supposed to fall off into the lower 90’s.

The thing about the heat index is you need moisture in the air. This year, we have had regular rainfall all during the summer up until just recently, so the ground still has a lot of moisture in it, and this drives up the heat index.

The regular temperature is closer to 102 F. Add in the moisture and the heat index is 120.

I would doubt that the people using the Climate Shift Index would have enough information about the humidity levels of the past to come to a good conclusion on past heat index values.

Reply to  Denis
August 22, 2023 10:58 am

Average temperatures are pretty much worthless to determine how hot it is getting.

August 21, 2023 4:20 pm

Knowledge of intermittency problems was quite adequate as far back as the mid-1970s. Sure, there was a need to gather more data on factors like sunshine hours and wind speed/direction on a higher resolution like minutes at more and more places on earth where wind and solar were contemplated. But, the problems were adequately known back then.
I can recall meeting after meeting about electricity supply types, costs and reliability back in the 70s, when we were starting up new mines in Australia in remote places with little infrastructure. We had a choice of electricity types for mines in new places at large scale use. It was quite clear that the high cost of trucking in diesel was often, even always, favoured over the probability of sudden frequent blackouts when wind was too strong or too weak. Solar alone could not be a primary source because of nightfalls every 24 hours.
These obvious intermittency impediments were clear and accepted.
What must be examined, explained and corrected is the failure of social organisation in much of the world to accept that intermittency is serious. Hard, known engineering was not fully accepted because of the influence of air head players who thought and still think that AMBITION – if you root for it hard and often – can overcome engineering reality.
Many countries like my Australia have elevated incompetent people to positions of control. The competent sector, using observations, measurements and logical deduction, has been belittled, misrepresented, subjected to the hate of cancel culture by these incompetents who have failed to learn the lessons of history.
The big task ahead is to again invoke reality, to remove “ambition” and to employ experts when expertise is needed. Geoff S

Reply to  sherro01
August 21, 2023 4:31 pm


August 21, 2023 5:56 pm

No major blackouts in TX since winter 2021. HOWEVER, electric power costs are starting to push the state from a low-cost producer to a second tier states when it comes to electric power charges.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  posa
August 22, 2023 8:47 am

All due to a significant amount of wind and solar being added to the grid. All it does is unnecessarily drive up costs.

Tom Abbott
August 21, 2023 5:58 pm

From the article: “An epic failure of wind and solar in Texas was during Winter Storm Uri in February 2021.”

Winter Storm Uri. This is a little confusing, because I assume naming storms starts with the first of the year, and the names come in alphbetical order. That’s the way Hurricane names are used.

For some reason, Hurricane namers don’t use the “U” and a couple of other alphabet characters for starting hurricane names.

But apparently, naming an artic front starting with a “U” is ok.

So, let’s think about this: This February artic cold snap happened in the second month of the year 2021, so if “Uri” was used in February, then that must mean that a couple of dozen arctic cold fronts came before Uri arrived, using up the names beginning with a, b, c, d, …q.

Of course, there were not dozens of arctic cold fronts in the months of January and February 2021, so how did these namers get to “Uri” in February? It looks like they skipped practically the whole alphabet.

William Howard
August 21, 2023 7:09 pm

The WSJ reported that the day before the Valentine day freeze the amount of Texas electricity produced from wind & solar was almost 40% – the next day it went to 8% yet the MSM consistently blamed natural gas as the big problem that had millions of Texans (including my family) going without electricity and heat for almost a week

Reply to  William Howard
August 21, 2023 7:20 pm

The MSM cannot now afford to publish any events that undermine their committed ooga-booga narrative about imminent doom for all living creatures brought about by manmade climate change.

Their credibility would sink from the current low level of “snake’s belly” to “undetectable”.

abolition man
Reply to  Mr.
August 21, 2023 8:01 pm

I believe that the term you are looking for is “cloaca.”
MSM urinalist credibility is below the level of “snake’s belly,” but many seem to have become permanently lodged somewhere to the south, or just aft, of there!

August 21, 2023 7:38 pm

All known and reported issues so there should be no surprise …. and there isn’t because “they” know as well. Part of the plan.

John Hultquist
August 21, 2023 7:44 pm

” El Nino and the eruption of the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruption, with El Nino bringing in hot air from the west and the HTHH forming a heat cap,”

This is unnecessary and a cop-out.
Neither of the aforementioned events is needed for Texas to be hot in the summer.
Do we need special episodes, or will natural weather variation do the job?
Further, what is the mechanism shown for each to justify the statement?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Hultquist
August 22, 2023 3:24 am

“This is unnecessary and a cop-out.
Neither of the aforementioned events is needed for Texas to be hot in the summer.”

That’s correct. All it takes during summertime is a high-pressure system hovering over Texas to heat things up. The longer it hovers over an area, the hotter it gets.

El Nino and Hunga Tonga and CO2 not required.

August 21, 2023 7:59 pm

Thanks for another good podcast with Anthony, Sterling, Linea. I got busy and listened to Friday on a Monday, but it was a good one.

August 21, 2023 9:11 pm

Here is July 2023 windpower in TX. It is erratic and intermittent. Imagine running a grid with this power source. Naturally, at this time, gas and coal dance around to cover the erratic performance of wind power.

TX wind july 2023.png
Reply to  joel
August 21, 2023 11:17 pm

Crazy , isn’t it.

Why should solid reliable supplies have to do anything, just to let an erratic, parasitic supply like wind onto the grid.

Reply to  joel
August 22, 2023 3:03 pm

Coal plants, large and small capacity, MW, are slow to react.
Gas plants, CCGTs, perform almost all counteracting/balancing

August 22, 2023 1:05 am

Take a look here, its the same thing in the UK.

This month so far for instance 28GW of faceplate has delivered:

minimum: 0.071 GW
maximum: 13.086 GW
average: 5.982 GW

Its indefensible.

Reply to  michel
August 22, 2023 8:15 am

Here is the wind data from the UK for July 2023. Markedly erratic and inefficient. Note that unlike TX, which has strong daily variation in wind (better at night for bitcoin miners), the UK has variations over several days.

UK July 2023 wind.png
August 22, 2023 10:06 am

If we look at a one-year snapshot we see that natural gas can scale up pretty quickly, and wind can carry a big percentage of the load through a portion of the year. But yes, this only works because natural gas spin up to over one terawatt hour of production rapidly.

I was skeptical of renewables, but the data indicates wind is carrying 50% of the load through a significant portion of the year, and solar has exceeded nuclear. Get ready to see the biggest batteries eva!

Regardless of, if Texas has the right to convert that wind to electricity or not…

Reply to  LT3
August 22, 2023 5:44 pm

Who is going to pay to have all that NG capacity ready to go when the wind drops?
This helps to account for the high prices of electricity where wind and solar make high market penetrations, which, BTW, depend on subsidies. For example, solar power has stagnated in the UK since they stopped a generous feed in tariff. Batteries are ridiculously expensive, and will need heavy subsidies to operate.

Reply to  joel
August 23, 2023 5:42 am

What do you mean? Customers pay for it. I am not an advocate of renewables, but it will not stop Texas from trying it, because enough people believe in it. Natural gas is here to stay (the grid could not ever work without a baseline fossil fuel or nuclear source), it is also a consumer and industrial (diasaster proof) base level resource for heating, cooling, electrical generation, commodity (liquification and export to international markets), with a vast and highly decentralized distribution system and has a proven track record of dependability. And Texas has enough under its belt to run itself and many others for centuries.

The renewables help to make the natural resource last longer, that is one benefit that I value.

August 31, 2023 8:13 am

I think the BIGGEST problem facing the Texas grid now is getting any sane person to invest in the construction of generation. The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that ERCOT is a sovereign that cannot be sued, so any contract with them is unilateral.

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