Monday, December 26, 2022

It Isn't a Mystery: The Culprit is [Lack of] Wind Energy...

...and, to a lesser extent, solar; along with the recent phenomenon of electrical "marketers" who are not in the utility industry. 
Texas is the #1 state for wind energy. When it fails, as it did Saturday, they are in serious trouble as they were during the Valentine's Day energy catastrophe is 2021. Midday Saturday, wind energy dropped to less than 3% of capacity in the Lone Star State. Texas has its own power grid.

Nashville and Tennessee are served by the federal government's Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The problem there is that temperatures were unusually cold over the eastern power grid. In Kansas Saturday (#2 state for wind), the winds were nearly calm. The same was true in nearby sections of Nebraska and Oklahoma. There just wasn't any power to send east. 
Map of the three grids that serve North America

When you combine that with the "power marketers" (people who sell power without the backing of physical resources), you have a recipe for disaster. Dr. Judy Curry (a climate expert) posted a piece from an expert in the electric utility industry on November 28. It says, in part,

Eventually the competitiveness of the market and diminishing returns made it harder and harder for marketers to make money as they had in the past. Some took shortcuts and employed questionable and unethical practices.

While costs were going down, these new arrangements left the power systems without as much redundancy, robustness or resilience as they had had in the past. Previously, although there were not formalized sharing agreements in place, utilities would come to their neighbor’s aid with their excess in times of emergency. But in an efficient market such excess capabilities are increasingly rare and in theory should disappear. At times when emergencies happened, there were not enough resources on the ground to supply the load irrespective of the complex financial arrangements intended to support the system. 

None of this is a mystery to people in the industry. But it is extremely politically incorrect (losing one's job is possible) to criticize renewable energy. The wind energy lobby is extremely strong. So, when you have shortages (as we did Saturday) and marketers have to deliver "guaranteed" power they don't have, things go haywire. 

You'll recall that during 2022 I have urged -- numerous times -- to raise the issue about electrical reliability with your legislators and congresspeople before the election. Few appeared to have done so. 
The MSM isn't going to cover this as it should because to do so would make renewables look bad. I'm confident politicians are hoping you will have forgotten by the time they go back in session in January.

But, I guarantee this: Unless we change course, this is only going to get worse. 

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