Thursday, June 17, 2021

UPDATED, Massaging the Message Regarding Wind Energy's Failure in Texas

Updated and bumped (Thursday, 7:35pm)...
China has decided to end subsidies to wind and solar. Germany is currently phasing out wind power

Other nations have figured out that wind energy is an extremely expensive societal step backward. I'm hoping the USA will quickly come to the same realization.


-- original posting -- 

A story from the Texas Tribune was published this afternoon that allows me to demonstrate the deception that often occurs when discussing wind energy. 

Power from wind turbines on Monday afternoon was between 3,500 to 6,000 megawatts, according to ERCOT, which was 1,500 megawatts lower than what the grid operator typically expects during the peak time of usage in the summer afternoons. ERCOT officials said wind output will likely increase as the week continues. [emphasis mine]

It is politically incorrect to say bad things about wind as that could get you in trouble with Big Climate which is very loud and well-financed. So, please allow me to break this down:

  • Yes, there was 3,500 to 6,000 Mw available at times yesterday. You can see that in the graph I posted here. But, this interview was conducted Tuesday afternoon. At that time, the power generated by all the wind turbines in Texas was virtually zero. By referring back to the previous day, the ERCOT official was failing to discuss how bad the situation really is. Minutes ago, there was a report that power had gone out in The Woodlands, a city of 114,000 north of Houston.
  • And, then, there is a word "expected" -- a word we saw many times during the catastrophe in February which took 700+ lives. As in: We don't expect much wind energy this time of year. Evidently, it is acceptable for that tens of billions of dollars investment to just stand there and rust because wind energy is never expected to work in a crisis. 
6pm wind speeds in the part of Texas where most of the wind turbines are located. 
Winds were even lighter earlier this afternoon.
It takes a sustained wind of more than 6 mph to turn the turbine blades.
With nuclear, gas and coal, interruptions are usually random. With wind, the system is designed to fail when it is hottest and coldest -- when power is needed the most -- because meteorologically calm winds usually occur with extreme temperatures. 

As more and more wind energy is installed, expect more and more of these failures. As the chief energy correspondent for Bloomberg posted this afternoon:

I can't imagine why we want to continue this nonsense. There are good reasons to decarbonize energy. That can be done, safely, with nuclear. Otherwise, gas is a good alternative. 

Europe has already learned this lesson and is rapidly cutting back on wind energy.

Politicians, are you paying attention?

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