• Re: When Texas needed power for winter, guess what delivered? Hint: It

    From Burn Coal & Oil@21:1/5 to All on Sun Feb 4 01:11:00 2024
    XPost: alt.solar.thermal, talk.environment, talk.politics.guns
    XPost: tx.politics

    On 15 Mar 2022, Lefty Lundquist <lefty_lundquist@ggmail.com> posted some news:t0qhqa$bs4$1@dont-email.me:

    Democrats say rub two sticks toether for heat.

    Wind and solar power deserve a frosty reception after last monthís freeze
    in Texas.

    Since the fatal winter storm in February 20201, Texans have been
    apprehensive about the state electrical gridís reliability in extreme
    weather. The grid primarily relies on coal and natural gas, but new
    investment to meet growing demand is skewed toward renewables.

    While the grid did perform during the recent three-day freeze, it
    highlighted the potential pitfalls of over-dependence on wind and solar.
    Recent weather conditions should serve as a warning to those pushing
    dependence on renewable energy: Texas must bolster its dispatchable,
    reliable energy sources to avoid future grid reliability problems.

    The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, provides about 90% of
    the stateís electricity. In 2023, wind and solar accounted for about 39%
    of ERCOTís electricity supply, while natural gas and coal accounted for
    nearly 53% percent combined. During the recent cold spell, renewables significantly underperformed, leaving Texans to rely on coal and gas.

    Clean energy advocates love to highlight when wind and solar account for
    40% of ERCOTís generation. During this cold spell, climate activist groups
    and national media praised wind and solar for helping sustain the grid, pointing out that on Jan. 17 (when temperatures were rising), wind, solar
    and nuclear were responsible for nearly 59% of state power supply. Nevertheless, during times of peak demand, wind and solar were virtually nowhere to be found.

    ERCOT sustained six peak demand hours between the evening of Jan. 14 and
    the morning of Jan. 17. Consumer demand for energy is the highest in the morning and evening. Itís during these hours in the winter that solar
    power is largely or entirely absent, and wind isnít at its strongest. At
    the highest demand hour between 7 and 8 a.m. Central time on Jan. 16, when temperatures dipped to a low of 18 degrees, wind and solar produced less
    than two-thirds of expected generation. Wind provided about 12% of total generation, and solar provided none.

    Even though winter demand reached record levels three times over the
    three-day freeze, Texasí grid held up. The gridís stability came down to
    the fact that coal, natural gas and nuclear energy were above 90%
    availability the entire time. If gas, coal, and nuclear operated at the
    level of wind and solar, this mild freeze could have resulted in a
    situation similar to the 2021 winter storm.

    Although coal and natural gas deliver the power necessary to sustain the
    grid through winter storms, wind and solar have gained support from both
    state and federal authorities. The Biden administration has heavily
    subsidized clean energy through measures like the Inflation Reduction Act. Meanwhile, Texas has sunk nearly $100 billion dollars in wind and solar infrastructure, and the ERCOT grid has added 10 gigawatts of wind and 15 gigawatts of solar over the past four years. This has done nothing to
    alleviate ERCOTís grid reliability problems. If Texas had put a fraction
    of that $100 billion into reliable, dispatchable energy ó coal, natural
    gas and even nuclear ó Texasí grid would be far more secure.

    Wind and solar pull their weight during the warmer months, but the past
    three years have shown renewables alone will never be able to sustain
    Texasí grid year-round. Wind and solar are inconsistent and non-
    dispatchable in real times of need. Contrary to fantastical progressivesí wishes to phase out fossil fuels, Texas is a case study in why both states
    and the federal government must stop overinvesting in wind and solar.

    When the sun goes down in Texas, itís non-renewables that keep the power

    Andrea Hitt is a contributor to Young Voices . She is a communications
    manager at the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin.


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