JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Texas: 20 dead — Many now going 50 hours plus without electricity, heating, water

Things are still not looking good in Texas.

At the peak demand on Sunday in Texas the people were using 70 Gigawatts of electricity — an all time record. Then both wind and gas generators failed. Currently the ERCOT Grid is using about 42GW of electricity and ERCOT reports of up to 46 GW of generators being out of action. Total wind output is still under 3GW out of 30GW* of wind capacity.

The gas was the back up to the Wind, but Wind power can’t be a back up to the gas (or anything else).

An ERCOT press release claims that they still have to loadshed 14,000MW which means 2.8 million homes.

“As of 9 a.m., approximately 46,000 MW of generation has been forced off the system during this extreme winter weather event. Of that, 28,000 MW is thermal and 18,000 MW is wind and solar.”

It’s not clear to me how they arrive at only 18,000 MW missing of wind and solar. Perhaps they are only counting the 6 or so GW they expected to be able to use of windpower?

There is so little power that the electricity companies can’t even rotate the blackouts between suburbs without dropping out critical infrastructure. Apparently the wind has stopped and the  wellheads are frozen over.  The amount of coal power in Texas has halved in the last decade, while the amount of wind power has tripled.

I expect right now ERCOT might be happy to hear any proposal to Build A Gas Line from, say, Canada.

Two days without electricity or water in sub-zero temperatures is not just a blackout

With 20 dead already, there must be more to come. Life in Woke World 2021. Tragic in so many ways:

Keystone pipeline route

Here’s an idea: bring gas to Texas. Call it Keystone…

Winter Storm Creates Havoc, Wall Street Journal

Robert Lewis, 40, a cook and retired Marine, said he and the friend he was staying with had been without heat or water for more than 48 hours. They had had little to drink. His cellphone died, so he had no way to call for help.

“All we could do was grab every blanket, every jacket that we could, and huddle up,” he said.

He had heard people tell of a lone 7-Eleven that was open, so he walked there, only to find a line around the block to get in and the shelves cleared of food, he said. He added that he got the last cup of coffee for sale. He was evaluating his next move, saying he would keep looking for supplies.

“I’m going into survival mode,” he said.

There are stories of pain on Twitter: 

People are very angry the pain is not being shared across all suburbs. Replies to ERCOT are a rolling wall of fury.


Then there are people with animals who will not leave them to die, sending their last message because the battery is going. Praying. Just read the replies! 

Officials “hope” the ice will melt off the wind turbines:

Wind production isn’t the only problem Texas faces but that 30GW of infrastructure isn’t there when Texans need it. What kind of infrastructure operates at only 3% of capacity randomly?

Wind power output in Texas.

Some people are getting the extended not-so-rolling form of blackout. They are the ones who live in places without hospitals, fire stations, and other important infrastucture. There is so little power that the electricity companies can’t rotate the blackouts without dropping out critical infrastructure.

On Tuesday afternoon, grid officials said between two and three million people were without power.

About 45 gigawatts of power were offline due to the cold. Local power companies were having difficulty rotating blackouts. This meant some homes and businesses were without electricity for hours, while others never lost it.

Local utilities kept power on to neighborhoods with hospitals, fire stations and water-treatment plants. Most other areas were blacked out. There was so little extra power that utilities couldn’t rotate the blackouts among neighborhoods that didn’t have critical infrastructure, leaving some homes without power for more than 24 hours.

“This could last all week”

Texas’s energy emergency could last all week as the weather is forecast to remain frigid. “My understanding is, the wind turbines are all frozen,” Public Utility Commission Chairman DeAnn Walker said Friday.

….coal’s share of Texas’s electricity to plunge by more than half in a decade to 18%.

Wind’s share has tripled to about 25% since 2010 and accounted for 42% of power last week before the freeze set in.

Enormous new demand coupled with constrained supply caused natural gas spot prices to spike to nearly $600 per million British thermal units in the central U.S. from about $3 a couple weeks ago. Future wholesale power prices in Texas for early this week soared to $9,000 per megawatt hour from a seasonal average of $25.

*Typo corrected: 30GW was incorrectly 30,000GW originally.  h/t Peter Fitzroy.

9.5 out of 10 based on 70 ratings

130 comments to Texas: 20 dead — Many now going 50 hours plus without electricity, heating, water

  • #
    David Maddison

    Any thinking resident of any region or any country of the world where the government has a fanatical commitment to the anthropogenic global warming fraud should install a backup electrical generator.

    Don’t listen to the Leftist Elites people, they can fly out of harm’s way on their private jets.

    580

    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      Although the fuel source for the back-up seems to matter. Gas appears to have problems in this very cold circumstance. Two alternatives remain, though hardly what most would call “alternative” sources of energy: coal and nuclear—but with those no back-up is necessary. Fancy that.

      230

      • #
        David A

        There is variable information on the gas issues. Problems range from electric grid supplied pumps failing, to simply not an adequet amount for both heat and to load balance…

        It is very possible the gas issues are a direct result of government mandates.

        40

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    For wind it is megawatts not gigawatts, stop blaming renewables for what is really incompetence

    /for those who what to attack me, do the math in the first paragraph, or look up the sources quoted and check their figures

    469

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      More likely it’s TerraWatts but who knows, there’s incompotenance everywhere.

      170

      • #
        el gordo

        Incompetence in the modern era.

        ‘Texas is the only contiguous state with its own power grid, meaning it is not linked to other states and so cannot borrow power from them, a system the state implemented in order to avoid federal regulation.’ (UK Mail)

        77

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Imagine South Australia without extension cords , the first cloudy windless day there would be a state wide blackout until weather conditions improved .
          Texas made a bet on perfect weather forever and lost .

          530

          • #
            Just Thinkin'

            Or consider the alternative (which is their excuse for the
            inter-connectors) that there is so much wind and solar power
            that they have an excess and NO WHERE to use it.

            (But we all know the real reason for the interconnectors, eh.
            That’s why they want another one, this time to New South Wales.)

            50

            • #

              Typo corrected. h/t to Peter F. But the pathetic production of wind is still 3% of capacity, just as I correctly calculated.

              So the real point is why we bother building infrastructure that only works at 3% of it’s power and r.a.n.d.o.m.l.y.

              Got anything other than proof reading errors to justify wind power?

              31

        • #
          David A

          14 states are short energy in this cold snap. Apparently their would be none to spare regardless.

          30

    • #
      robert rosicka

      So you’re saying that getting rid of 3 coal fired plants and replacing them with lots of wind farms knowing that severe cold events like this are possible has nothing to do with incompetence?
      Add to the incompetence the fact that Texas is basically islanded so no extension cords and it’s incompetence on many levels and yes green energy is to blame Fitz.

      750

    • #
      Travis T. Jones

      But, but … the renewables are supposed to prevent carbon (sic) induced global warming freezing whilst simultaneously cooling the planet.

      Who should be ‘blamed’ if not the ruinables?

      As for me doing your homework, that aint gonna happen.

      411

    • #
      Harves

      Yeah Peter, we all know it is purely coincidence that grids and fossil fuel sources only seem to fail in areas where wind power is involved.
      Same as wind power wasn’t to blame for South Australia’s outages … it’s because the backup didn’t work, eh?
      Hilarious how woke lefties spend all their time talking about how wind and solar are providing huge amounts of energy … then when they fail, they claim the unreliables shouldn’t be blamed because their contribution is negligible. You really can’t make this up.

      660

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Texas is suffering from years of “renewables” pressure. More and more wind turbines with priority access to the grid, hence the economics or reliable generators was reduced. 3 coal fired stations gone. Who would build new gas plants? And transmission lines for electricity from distant wind turbines but opposition to oil and gas pipelines to generators nearer the centres of demand. And how much electricity is being generated by those snow covered solar panels?

      331

    • #
      GlenM

      Why shouldn’t renewable wind and solar be blamed and the greedy lefties who oversaw their implementation. Texas as we all know is an energy rich state and this failure would not have happened with reliable coal, gas or nuclear.

      330

    • #
      RooDog

      Yes megawatts being all that wind is delivering!!

      140

    • #
      RickWill

      Peter stated:

      For wind it is megawatts not gigawatts

      Correct. According to the chart the wind generators are making 1000MWe with 30,000MWe installed. So capacity factor a miserable 3%. All that money invested wasted on wind generators and next to useless when absolutely required.

      They are worse than useless because they are essentially a fuel replacement meaning the actual fuel supply chain is not geared to the task of reliable supply when actually called upon.

      That poor sod burning the baby’s cot could have avoided the need to burn wood if he had only thought to cover his roof with solar panels – no hang on they would be covered in snow now!

      I figure that weaning off fossil fuels is an incredibly challenging task for mankind. The only viable replacement technology right now is nuclear fission. It is criminal that so much money is being wasted on non-viable technology. It is viable in some limited scope as a fuel replacement but should be applied on an economic bases to meet that objective. Any notion that it can do the job alone is a fantasy.

      390

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        So capacity factor a miserable 3%.

        So, next to useless. Just like solar. And rattlesnakes.

        I’ll be surprised if those gun-toting Texans – the straight shooters – don’t embark on a mass wind-generator extermination campaign in the spring. A nice 7.62 hard-case up the back of the nacelle and through the turbine in the moonlight should be the motivation for a new energy policy.

        Watch the green sparks fly.

        211

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        Well Anton is the recognised expert on the difference between nameplate and capacity factors, so it would be interesting to see what his analysis would be. But Cie la vie

        00

    • #
      Broadie

      Forget the maths, let me put this in context for you PF.

      I want you to go to the local Toy store and buy one of those whirly things the kids run around with.
      Connect the pin to your starter motor spindle in the car with a rubber band,

      Switch the ignition to the ‘On’ position,

      Disengage the transmission,

      Now blow on the vanes and see if you can start the car.

      You will have much chance as a wind farm does of starting a blacked-out grid without the spinning inertia of the large power stations.

      330

    • #
      R.B.

      Don’t make too much if a typo.

      00

      • #
        Broadie

        ‘You will have as much luck as a wind farm’

        Thank you R.B.
        I had wonderful Teachers as a child, appears I have failed them.
        My child was in whatever is the equivalent of ‘English’ yesterday when the Teacher said something about stolen elections and then went silent for the rest of the class. Might have some kind of internal struggle going on that may be career ending.

        10

  • #
    David Maddison

    The next claim from the Left will be that Texas didn’t install enough batteries.

    Well, under the present circumstances, apart from the staggering expense of grid-scale batteries, batteries would freeze and wouldn’t work. Just ask any woke person that’s tried to use an electric car in sub-freezing conditions.

    340

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Or Berlin where cold weather meant that their electric buses had to be replaced by diesel ones.

      380

    • #
      ColA

      David,
      The other problem with batteries that most numbnuts don’t seem to appreciate is that when called on to supply power they can only do it ONCE then they just become another peice of useless ruinable power infastructure waiting for reliable backup power to save the day.

      In Texas case, oops we decommissioned the coal power stations – we don’t need those dirty dusty poluting things

      300

  • #
    Don B

    Serious people predicted Texas’ current electricity calamity long ago. From November, 2012:

    “It is well known that Texas is undergoing a major challenge in maintaining resource adequacy due to improper price signals; less well known is that a significant portion of the problem can be laid directly on the doorstep of subsidies for wind generation.

    https://www.masterresource.org/windpower-problems/texas-windpower-negative-pricing-neeley/

    390

  • #

    “And finally we returned to reality,as there was no where else to go”.
    Good Enough for government.
    This is what happens when ideologues get power.
    Any person with an eye on history and a basic comprehension of “Base Load” could see this coming.
    Gang green has spent decades cancelling sane people from this conversation.
    The gullible have been pushed into pushing unreliables upon the Government Regulated Power Suppliers..
    Welcome to the results when fools and bandits come to rule.
    The pious twittering of the fools who demolished functional coal plants,shows that this is a religion.
    The latest most brutal State Religion,for they seek to kill you,for the “sake of the planet”.

    Same old Statists,where the individual is expendable to produce the Perfect State.
    There is no cure for this weapons grade level of stupid.
    Banishing Gang Green from our technologically enriched society is the only nonviolent option.

    301

    • #
      Serp

      Beyond harvesting their lie fattened tongues for distribution among our cannibal brethren I can’t see any need to have greens at all.

      10

  • #
    Zigmaster

    The South Australian blackouts inflicted such major political damage to Jay Weatherall that the voters couldn’t wait to toss him out of government. The problem is Marshall isn’t much better. I suspect that Texas has a similar issue , the climate change agenda has captured both sides of politics its only a matter of degree ( excuse the pun).
    Conservatives world wide have to realise ( as has been shown in Australia ) that they have to massively differentiate from the others and not just call BS on energy policy which includes renewables but on the whole CO2 causing catastrophic climate change scam.
    All renewable subsidies should be dropped and guarantees supplied to make sure that there is sufficient base load reliable power ( whether that is nuclear, coal or gas doesn’t matter).
    It is lunacy for any country to deliberately destroy its energy system for an ideology when 2/3 of the worlds population live in countries that are increasing emissions by building coal fired plants way faster than the rest of the world can cut back.
    Governments have to realise that the majority of people don’t support action on climate change they just don’t make as much noise as the ones that do. Governments have to filter out the noise and listen to the people. They will quickly realise they could be on a political winner .

    472

    • #
      PeterS

      Governments have to filter out the noise and listen to the people. They will quickly realise they could be on a political winner.

      Sorry, but you got that one wrong. The people should listen to the government and if not happy stop voting for them. That’s how democracy is supposed to work. That applies to both major parties as there’s not much difference between them on the energy front, as you initially stated. The longer voters keep pretending that voting for either major party is going to fix things the worse it will get. Eventually of course things will get so bad the voters will give up on both major parties but by that time too much damage would already have been done.

      170

      • #
        Steve of Cornubia

        Sure, but the only way that voters can HEAR what politicians say is by talking to them face-to-face, because the media cannot be trusted to report verbatim without selective and/or deceptive editing or comment. And that’s if they report it al all.

        It’s truly getting to the point where voters really have no bloomin’ idea what the heck is going on or where the truth lies. This makes it increasingly difficult for us to understand the issues, their potential solutions and who has the best answers.

        And it’s getting worse because, as we saw in America, the legal system is now so politically compromised and captured by the Left that conservatives can’t even get justice in the courts.

        I’m afraid that the Left has won and the only way things will change is when, as usually happens, the anti-conservative alliance fractures into angry little interest groups, all trying to be more Puritan than the rest and they turn on each other.

        120

        • #
          AndyHce

          Talking face to face with politicians is just more waste of time unless you come with a big contribution. If you ask too direct a question, one that can’t be responded to with party talking points, they will make up something that is totally irrelevant to whatever you are trying to get at, like talking about dogs when you ask about cows.

          20

      • #
        Broadie

        Find out where your local Political meets and participate.

        Easy agenda to implement for any of the parties.

        No Pay for Politicians!
        No Tax-payer funding of Political Parties!

        Perform the Great Reset.
        Reset our Democracy back to where Politics was a community service not a career.

        What is to lose? Bring back the Wham, Bam & Crash of the community fundraiser.

        https://australianplays.org/script/CP-187

        00

  • #
    Mike

    Big demand for mega kva diesel generators in Texas currently? to ‘stabilise’ the grid.
    Oh so sustainable😩

    180

  • #
    Harves

    Anyone remember when we just had reliable power sources that didn’t need a duplicate backup systems for when the wind didn’t blow or it got cloudy, dark, too hot or too cold?

    260

    • #
      PeterS

      Yes, when people including the voters had more intelligence.

      160

    • #
      Hanrahan

      Anyone remember when ….

      We lived in blissful ignorance of the grid, the engineers did there job so we didn’t have to. Joe Sixpack had no idea what the electrical units were beyond there being 240 something in the wall socket, even less bothered to read their power bill. Now the ill informed prattle on about electricity as if they know something about it.

      280

  • #
    Nadia bin Du Natan

    “Texas: 20 dead — Many now going 50 hours plus without electricity, heating, water

    Things are still not looking good in Texas.”

    This could be southern Australia this winter. You would want to hope that there are serious people running the grid.

    170

    • #
      Annie

      Indeed Nadia. I wish people would open their eyes and exercise their brains, if any. Instead, we see people like Craig Kelly being bullied for trying to tell the truth; the bullies disgracefully including the PM.
      Who the h3ll do we vote for when the next election comes? I would vote for Craig K if we had the good fortune to be in his electorate but I’m stuck in Victoria. The preferential voting system here gave us a supposed ‘independent’ (really a green) although the Liberal was very definitely the FPTP. Anyway, I’m off the libs as well, feeling very much like scrawling ‘a plague on all your houses’ across the ballit paper. So far I have been doing my homework on listing preferences; a waste of time when so few bother.
      Annie: Class1 Cynic.

      180

      • #
        Annie

        Ballot 🙁
        I thought I’d proofread….hmmm.

        30

      • #
        shortie of greenbank

        The interesting aspect of preferential voting is that while it often ends in a two horse race the parties can get a sniff of what is trending in the populace by the first preferences. So if you used to vote for Libs then look for a right leaning party that better represents your view as your first preference and even in the case of several candidates put the Libs only above the left-wing nutter parties like the greens (always last on my ballots) and Labor.

        20

      • #
        Hanrahan

        ‘a plague on all your houses’

        Annie, that IMO is a legitimate vote. Unlike in the US, our count is carefully scrutinised so when informal ballots are cast aside scrutineers from both parties will check it to be sure it isn’t one of theirs.

        So the parties will read and note your message. If you simply vote for them you are taken for granted.

        10

        • #

          Sadly informal votes are a defiant wishful hope the media will report the number and anyone will notice.

          Please, pick a minor party, any minor party that isn’t green-left. Give them your vote and your dollar. The major parties do hate losing the money, they hate the preference flows that drain their monopoly control.

          Anything but the Uni-party. Tick Yes. If half of Australia voted informal, the uniparty still wins. But if half vote minor we break the system.

          150

          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            Give them your vote and your dollar.

            Never a truer word said.

            The Australian taxpayer subsidizes political parties at each election depending on the number of votes they receive.

            Political parties in Australia are publicly funded, to reduce the influence of private money upon elections, and subsequently, the influence of private money upon the shaping of public policy. After each election, the Australian Electoral Commission distributes a set amount of money to each political party, per vote received.

            For example, after the 2019 election, political parties and candidates received $68,610,761.40 million in election funding. Details at Table 1 on page 10:

            https://www.aec.gov.au/Parties_and_Representatives/financial_disclosure/files/reports/funding-disclosure-2019.pdf

            30

    • #
      David A

      …and reports of food shortages. I have heard little about relief efforts.

      00

  • #
    PeterS

    It won’t be too long before we get a stronger taste of our own “medicine” (read poison) thanks to the self-destructive energy policies of our state and federal governments. Liddell is due to be closed down in some 2 years.

    160

    • #
      bobl

      At least our government is aware of the implications of Liddells impending demise …. Unfortunately there are some nutjobs that think that capacity can be transferred to part time generators.

      There is a.lot of pressure for a proper Coal generation plant but they’d better get a waddle on because times against them now. Fiddling while Rome burns blasts into my mind.

      140

      • #
        PeterS

        I agree they have left it too late for a modern base load power plant to replace the existing one. The obvious solution now is for the state and/or federal governments to buy up the plant and keep it running for as long as necessary until a suitable replacement is built. The solution is obvious but the reality is the government(s) are too scared of making such a decision because of the voter backlash, real and otherwise, possibly more of the latter.

        130

        • #
          Hivemind

          AGL don’t want to sell it, because then it will keep operating. By closing it, the price of power would skyrocket & their wind operations become much more profitable.

          111

  • #
    RickWill

    I expect it will be a few decades before Elon gets EVs into emergency services in his new home state.

    Where are all the tanks when you need them? Maybe the solar panels are covered in snow and the crew wrapped up inside to stay warm.

    60

  • #
    Anne Simon

    No one need ever be thirsty if they have a candle, a pan and snow ! Everyone should know how to avoid frozen pipes. Maybe our schools should teach basic common sense skills and kindness instead of SJW indoctrination.

    60

    • #
      GD

      No one need ever be thirsty if they have a candle, a pan, and snow

      Yes, but isn’t this a disgrace that we have been reduced to melting snow to get drinking water?

      60

    • #
      Harves

      Decades ago they stopped teaching this because in a modern society you didn’t have to. Instead you had a thing called ‘reliable energy’.
      Your addition to the education curriculum would be just another of the thousands of ‘backup plans’ we have to have just so a few woke lefties can feel warm and fuzzy about their windmills (safe in the knowledge that fossil fuels are there to save them when the sun goes down or wind stops).

      60

    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      Anne you forgot the box of matches ..
      Geoff W

      30

  • #
    bobl

    I think I will start up a generator business in Texas… Any investors?

    With the woke global warming gullibles in ascendance we the people need to start looking after ourselves.Consider keeping a 5kW Genset in the shed for that rainy day, bonus, get a trolley and you can drag it out in the backyard to be able to use the cheaper electric tools.

    PS a diesel Genset with good fuel economy is cheaper to run than 30c per kWh so a Genset and solar can be much cheaper than grid power. In theory you can get a tax rebate on the fuel tax because the generator is not using the roads.

    Energy security is a bonus.

    60

    • #
      David Maddison

      Don’t warmists always tell us that with unreliables there will be too much power rather than too little and it will be cheaper than proper power generation… That there’ll never be a shortage…

      The reality is that warmists and Leftists in general are utterly lacking in science and engineering knowledge and have no clue whatsoever of the massive power output and compact size of proper coal gas and nuclear power stations. And hydro is large in scale but still gives cheap and reliable power plus other benefits like irrigation, flood control and recreational lakes.

      And they simply don’t care about the massive blight on the landscape, the destruction of wildlife, infrasound, shadow flicker and the clearing of forests to make way for their beloved windmills.

      150

      • #
        David Maddison

        That was not meant to be a reply to bobl but a new comment. I think it is a bug in the software and happens if you leave a reply window open too long and other people make new posts in the meantime.

        60

  • #
    Tim Spence

    We all knew this was going to happen, grid collapse thanks to renewables. This might be what’s needed to change minds but I can already see the defences going up and the ‘mix’ argument wheeled out to allow the continuation, business as usual.

    80

    • #
      PeterS

      That’s the advantage of a crisis; it wakes people up. We still haven’t had a real crisis yet apart front the SA incident, which most people have already forgotten. We need a much bigger one. We need at least two of the four eastern states to blackout for days if not weeks. If the people don’t wake up to the fact renewables are a scam at that stage then as far as I’m concerned Australia can go to hell, and it probably will.

      120

    • #
      Analitik

      Yeah, Peter Fitzroy has already started

      40

  • #
    PeterS

    Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce are getting involved in SMRs. I still think that’s the longer term solution for everyone, even the Greens. They just need to be convinced it’s the way to go. If not then they will end up standing all alone and ought to be treated as terrorists because that’s what they would end up being for blocking the most viable solution to everyone’s issues, real or not. If PM Morrison is serious about reducing emissions then he ought to get CSIRO into researching SMRs so we can come up with our own model. Otherwise, we just buy them off the shelf like pretty much everything else to our own demise as we eventually become a slave to the world.

    90

  • #
    MrGrimNasty

    Alex Epstein has commentary/info. on the issues if you look him up on Twitter.

    00

  • #

    In addition to all this, there is the problem related to what was once used, something called ….. ‘rolling reserve’. That was something which meant that there would not be blackouts.

    There were the usual major power plants, with four large Units, and they delivered their power constantly.

    The older coal fired plants were still kept around and ready to operate in short bursts when required. They always knew when they would be needed, when the majors were scheduled to have a Unit down for maintenance. So, those older plants were kept humming along, hot and ready, with a Unit or two ready to take up the slack is needed, just one Unit operating sometimes two. Also, in the Summers and Winters, they were also kept ready in case extra power was needed.

    Everything ran smoothly.

    Then along comes CO2 induced AGW.

    Whole States now got (politically) scared ….. “If we don’t do something the greens will see to it that we don’t get the votes we need”

    So, they closed those old backup plants, thinking that natural gas fired plants could ‘cover’ for those maintenance periods, and now they could claim proudly they were shutting down coal fired plants.

    All those closures here in Australia were those older plants, used SOLELY as rolling reserve, with Hazelwood the exception, a still operational major, but perceived as at the end of its life.

    Trouble was coal fired Units were 500MW. Gas fired Units were 150MW to 300MW tops, so instead of needing one, they now needed three of them, some of them also old.

    The wind came in. Then solar came in, then rooftop solar also added to the complacency

    Even those gas fired (CO2 emitting) plants were now not viable, so they also shut down.

    And hey, there’s a monstrously humungous 8132MW of wind power, enough to cover anything.

    Trouble is no one understands that 8132MW Nameplate for wind only delivers 2400MW of power. All that solar plant power is only 17% of Nameplate. All that rooftop power is only 13% of Nameplate. (and only consumed in the residential sector anyway)

    So now, there is ….. NO rolling reserve, and when there are problems, then wind power fails to deliver its 30% of Nameplate, so the grid is stressed, then the backup gas plants fail, then those coal fired majors are now hopelessly overloaded, so they go down too.

    Renewable Ideology has led to complacency in the reliable electrical power generating sector, so that when we have situations like this, and the majors end up failing, ….. then the whole blame can be immediately shifted to the failure of the ….. majors.

    Sound familiar?

    Tony.

    400

    • #
      Hanrahan

      In a previous life I was a techy working around the control room for the northern grid. The operators and engineers took rolling reserve seriously, they never wanted load shedding on their watch.

      140

      • #
        Analitik

        Yeah, any reserve is now spoken of as “excess capacity” and labelled as “stranded assets”. The greentards have no concept of redundancy in an engineering sense. Then again, they only have the vaguest concept of engineering.

        140

      • #
        Hivemind

        There is a reason why these were described as emergency measures. they weren’t ever meant to be used.

        30

    • #
      PeterS

      and it’s all driven by the huge desire to reduce emissions at all costs including people’s lives, just to avoid a mythical catastrophe, which in the end will cost not even one life. How is that for a contradiction? In any other circumstances what the governments are doing would be considered an act of sabotage, and what the UN is doing as a crime against humanity. Yet if the threat of a climate change catastrophe were real then even the most extreme left would be proposing we build nothing but nuclear power stations. It’s obvious the threat is a myth and the major parties are telling lies.

      190

      • #
        ColA

        Peter,

        And realistically, they would need to build and open 4 GigaWatts of Nuclear power EVERY DAY till 2050 for the world to reach carbon free energy status!

        But, BUT, BUTT what about renewables? – OK, make that 3 GigaWatts of backup Nuclear power EVERY DAY till 2050 🙂 🙂

        50

      • #
        Mike Jonas

        if the threat of a climate change catastrophe were real then even the most extreme left would be demanding CO2 reduction from China.

        110

        • #

          Well they are. What a weird and easily debunked thing to write.

          117

          • #
            PeterS

            and they are doing it by replacing their old coal fired power stations with nuclear power stations. China is currently building over a dozen new nuclear power units, about another 40 planned and almost 80 proposed.
            Go back to sleep GA, you are such a fool.

            90

    • #
      hypersonic

      You forgot Playford in SA as a major coal plant still being used along with Hazelwood

      cheers

      20

  • #
    RicDre

    The Day After Tomorrow: Renewables Fail Edition

    Guest “The best laid plans of mice and men…” by David Middleton

    Eric Berger, Space City Weather: “Eventually about one-third of the anticipated capacity went offline. This included a handful of freezing wind turbines, but the majority of the volume losses were due to coal and natural gas plants going offline.”

    “A handful of freezing wind turbines”? At least half of the wind generation capacity has been knocked offline since Sunday. It’s only a “handful” in the sense that wind power only accounts for 20-25% of Texas electricity generation. When you start with only two hands full of wind turbines and you lose one hand to frostbite, I suppose you’ve only lost a handful… [/SARC]

    “The majority of the volume losses were due to coal and natural gas plants going offline”? Well, no schist Sherlock. About 70% of ERCOT’s generating capacity is comprised of natural gas and coal-fired power plants… So, of course, the majority of the volume losses have been among natural gas power plants. However, coal-fired and nuclear power plants (all two of them) have been relatively unaffected.

    The fact is that almost all of the electricity currently being delivered to the ERCOT grid is coming from natural gas, coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/17/the-day-after-tomorrow-ercot-fail-edition/

    50

    • #
      RicDre

      Also in the comments:

      David Middleton – Author
      Reply to – Pat Frank
      February 17, 2021 2:25 pm

      Most of the problems with natural gas power plants had to do with lack of supply. Record demand for gas for heating and electricity generation simply out paced the ability to deliver gas. I have read that there were some issues with wellheads & valves freezing and power outages shut down a lot of compressors. I think the biggest problem was maintaining line pressure. The state prioritized residential delivery for heating and cooking over delivery to gas power plants.

      The biggest weakness with natural gas is that you can’t quickly ramp up production, even with storage. Coal and nuclear power are far less vulnerable to sudden deep freezes.

      Hotscot
      Reply to David Middleton
      February 17, 2021 2:30 pm

      David

      I read somewhere that Gas suppliers had been persuaded to adopt electric pumps (no idea what they used before) to move the Gas through pipelines. Predictably, they lost power when turbines etc. failed.

      Ed Reid
      Reply to Hotscot
      February 17, 2021 2:37 pm

      Most pipeline compression is natural gas-fueled from the pipeline.

      20

  • #
    David Maddison

    Don’t warmists always tell us that with unreliables there will be too much power rather than too little and it will be cheaper than proper power generation… That there’ll never be a shortage…

    The reality is that warmists and Leftists in general are utterly lacking in science and engineering knowledge and have no clue whatsoever of the massive power output and compact size of proper coal gas and nuclear power stations. And hydro is large in scale but still gives cheap and reliable power plus other benefits like irrigation, flood control and recreational lakes.

    And they simply don’t care about the massive blight on the landscape, the destruction of wildlife, infrasound, shadow flicker and the clearing of forests to make way for their beloved windmills.

    90

    • #
      YallaYPoora Kid

      David, for some reason Greenies believe that dams are bad since they are not ‘natural’ and as such ruin local ecology.
      IMO dams provide a fresh water resource for humans and nature that would otherwise flush out to sea. It seems Greenies don’t mind clearing land for relatively short term installations for solar and wind but they have an aversion to dams.

      I believe it is just another manifestation of ignorance of science and engineering.

      40

  • #
    Richard Jenkins

    I am sure 20dead s a huge underestimate. Equipement would fail. Stess causes serious illness. So many essential services will have been inactive.
    A number at least in the hundreds is far more believable. Even motor bike accidents supposedly caused covid deaths.
    Only 20 deaths is MSM and woke hiding the obvious.

    70

  • #

    Have there been power outages in texas on wind free days?

    011

    • #
      RicDre

      “Have there been power outages in texas on wind free days?”

      If there weren’t, its only because there was enough fossil fuel-based generation to make up for when wind goes belly-up, or to put it another way, you can run a reliable power grid with fossil fuel-based power generation and no Wind-based power generation but you can not run a reliable power grid with wind-based power generation and no fossil-fuel-based power generation.

      160

    • #
      Harves

      Lol. You get funnier and funnier.
      Wind turbines are not to blame because the fossil fuel backup system worked at all other times when wind turbines failed to do their job.
      Like saying, last time the brakes on my car failed I didn’t crash, so brake failure could not possibly be the cause of this crash … it was a problem with the steering being unable control the car at high speeds on a winding road.

      71

      • #

        Are you saying the fossil fuel generators are just backup for wind? In the whole of texas?

        08

        • #
          Harves

          You made the point that when there was no wind the grid didn’t fail ie the backup for wind worked.
          Or are you suggesting that wind power does not require fossil fuel backup? That would be even funnier.

          80

  • #
    Budge it an Scarpa

    Jo, I wish you would add this story to your Facebook page, then at least one of us could share it to the public Newsfeed.

    20

  • #
    Lank

    Here is ERCO’s makeup of power generation leading up to the disaster…
    https://i.postimg.cc/tTc1tYnV/texas-GAS-saves-the-day.png

    20

    • #
      bobl

      Tony, I don’t know how many times I have to say this but your figure of 2500 GW is an annual average. Wind power supplies almost exactly Zero because it can be becalmed longer than all available storage. Engineering rule of thumb on wind power is that it adds capacity of 1% of Nameplate when measured on the gazetted reliability basis. So on 8132MW of wind we could afford to retire 81.32MW of baseload generation.

      Please stop promoting these energy scavenging systems as having any reliable output… They don’t. This is why Texas is down, all the windmills have a common failure mode, in this case cold weather. But also too little fuel (wind) or too much fuel, hail, fire and a few other common modes most of which don’t exist in fossil fuel plants.

      60

  • #
    Philip

    Remember. This is caused by climate change and failing fossil fuel plants. Repeat.

    40

  • #
    Harves

    Let’s get to the very basics.
    Governments have a simple choice.
    1.Use taxpayers’ money to build reliable systems, or
    2. Use taxpayers’ money to build unreliable systems, and then build the reliable ones anyway as a backup.

    Try and think of any circumstance for any system, where 2 is the correct choice.

    70

    • #
      Hivemind

      You forgot 3. Use taxpayers’ money to build unreliable systems, and then don’t build reliable ones as a backup.

      30

    • #
      YallaYPoora Kid

      And 4. Use taxpayers money to fund private financing models to take subsidies and put in investors pockets. As a sideshow the taxpayer gets a few rotating machines that only generate power now and then, cause great disruption to control of the grid and most require compensation equipment to be installed as well to protect the grid from fluctuations induced.
      Just a boondoggle for bankers and financial scammers with the poor taxpayer scratching his head wondering ‘what happened?’ when the power fails.

      10

  • #
    hypersonic

    “The infrastructure failures in Texas are quite literally what happens when you *don’t* pursue a Green New Deal. Weak on sweeping next-gen public infrastructure investments, little focus on equity so communities are left behind, climate deniers in leadership so they don’t long prep for disaster. We need to help people *now.* Long-term we must realize these are the consequences of inaction.”

    AOC FEB 2021

    101

  • #
    David Maddison

    Don’t worry.

    The Billionaire Socialists are going to make their private jets and numerous mansions available to rescue and relocate people.

    Just kidding.

    When did you ever hear of a socialist doing an act of charity?

    110

    • #
      Harves

      I’ve seen them be charitable … but only with other people’s money. Eg Gillard’s $83m donation to the Clinton Foundation.

      50

  • #
    Dipole

    A good friend in Houston, of a very robust disposition (not given to exaggeration) just sent me this :

    “This is an unmitigated disaster! We’re just not prepared for this. 25% of Texas electricity comes from wind power or solar power. All of it is frozen or snowed over. Even some Natural Gas power plants are frozen, which seems absurd.

    Water pipes are frozen and busting and water pressure has declined to zero. We have no water. Lots of folks have no power, but it’s still on here, so far.

    There is a Boil Water notice in effect here, and all of the restaurants are closed. There is no water anyway. People are freezing and they’re hungry. The groceries have been stripped of food. I’ve asked friends if they know how to capture and cook squirrel.

    There is enough food here for 2 more days, as long as we don’t lose power. All of the ready to eat food is gone.

    We’re going to have freezing temps for 3 more nights.

    Hell has officially frozen over!”

    I did send a recipe for Appellation squirrel stew, this was the least I could do.

    101

  • #
    David Maddison

    I believe that in the US the economic motiviation for the Elites to invest in unreliables is to harvest tax subsidies (not to harvest the wind or Sun, surprisingly…not).

    Democrat supporting woke billionaire investor Warren Buffett even admits to this:

    “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

    Of course, none of this would be possible if it were not for the slave army of useful idiots doing the necessary work of protests and propagandising for the Elites.

    140

  • #
  • #

    I have posted regularly for the last 2 years on LinkedIn that renewables are unreliable and intermittent and that there are periods of a week or more where generation is far lower than normal. And look what we have here…..

    Maybe some of the clowns who rubbished my posts will eat their words. But hardly likely – the Left never ever learns. We now have this blamed on “climate change” with the implication that more wind and solar would help???? Total delusion.

    Having lived where it goes below zero for weeks at a time and sometimes below -20 you need power and heating, otherwise it gets very dangerous.

    People here have no idea how bad it can get, and what those in blacked out houses day after day are going through. I would hope that out of this Joebamas mad Green New Deal is severely questioned. But pigs might fly…. the delusional Leftists will ignore this, but I do not think US voters will ignore this one….

    110

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    This Texas ‘weather experience’should be a wake up call to people all across the US; Global Warming is fake and furthermore renewables are completely inadequate,they are an Existential Threat to societys that embrace them . .
    Geoff W

    60

  • #
    Kim

    Earth to Warmists: Reality Check: Texas extends from 26N to 34N. It is frozen solid.
    “You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” – Good comment on ZeroHedge article.

    50

  • #
    Tilba Tilba

    This Texas ‘weather experience’ should be a wake up call to people all across the US; Global Warming is fake and furthermore renewables are completely inadequate, they are an Existential Threat to societies that embrace them.

    I don’t really like stating the obvious, but:

    1. Climate averages are different to extreme weather events, and an extreme cold event in Texas does not invalidate all the data in respect of global warming. And further, many climatologists have stated for years now that climate change can cause all types of weather anomalies – including very cold events.

    2. The overwhelming majority of the power shortage in Texas this week (and California in a heat wave) are caused by the energy market in fossil-fuel generation – competition leads to low prices and thin margins, and there are very few requirements (in a highly de-regulated environment) to ensure there is good equipment and preventative maintenance – let alone “winterizing”.

    Renewables (including wind turbines) work reliably in cold countries (Canada, Norway, and Russia are examples) – and the fact they they have not been “winterized” in Texas results from deliberate decisions by both operators and regulators.

    The catastrophic impact of this extreme event in Texas is shocking … but blaming renewables or global warming policies are a dodge … the fault lies with neglecting proper, reliable energy supplies that suit all conditions.

    Such cold temps are of course infrequent in Texas – but not that rare – and of course it’s in periods of extreme weather (hot or cold) when reliability of energy supply is most critical, to prevent mayhem and deaths.

    014

    • #
      hypersonic

      Now that you have guaranteed your next cheque from Soros if Texas had not replaced 25% of their coal fleet with solar and wind do you think they would still be in this situation, oh my apologies i forgot Soros does not pay you to think.

      81

      • #
        Tilba Tilba

        I don’t know whether coal-fired power generation was wholly replaced by solar and wind, or in fact was mostly replaced by natural gas (which Texas has a lot of). But whatever – the outages have been mostly caused by failure of the NG power generators, not just, or not even very much, by the failure of wind turbines that should have been “winterised”. It’s a strawman.

        I have the Bill Gates microchip implant that does my thinking for me.

        08

        • #

          Natural gas, coal and nuclear are currently supplying most of the power, like always! Wind generation, a significant percentage of total name plate, has generation failures many many times a year. There have been periods during this cold snap when the wind was very low, so a major failure even even if the windmills had not broken, but they did!

          The Natural gas generation was limited because A. Due to winds failure much of the natural gas flow had to be diverted to keeping people warm, vs electrical generation. B. Some of the natural gas generators could not move the natural gas because the electric to their compressors was tied to wind generation. ( Oops)
          Over 50 percent of the windmills failed. That’s major. Yet during parts of this freeze they would have generated a very small portion of their nameplate capacity regardless.

          The natural gas generators using natural gas compressors are doing fine. It was foolish, and likely government demanded, to make natural gas dependent on wind. Very very little of natural gas generation loss was due to freezing.

          Also wind and solar has made ALL fossil fuel production considerably more expensive. Quit defending the indefensible!

          20

          • #
            David 6

            Tuba, go to this site and check out Texas wind forecasts between 3 am and 6am. Peak cold, ZERO solar, very little wind.

            http://www.usairnet.com/weather/maps/forecast/texas/wind-direction-forecast-8/

            Wind us a failure even when perfectly operable. One has to be incredibly and deeply misinformed to defend the indefensible.

            And all for what, to have ZERO discernable impact on global mean T and reduce an invisible trace gas that is essential to life on earth, grows more food on less land and saves water.

            10

    • #
      YallaYPoora Kid

      To no. 1 normal weather also has extreme weather events – nothing to do with climate change therefore this point is irrelevant.

      To no. 2. Germany also had problems with their wind and solar power in the recent cold snap and they should know about any ‘winterriising’ better know as good design for all possibilities of weather. The fact is wind power and solar do no work in extreme cold. Your point is also irrelevant.

      40

    • #

      Looking at the points here

      1. Climate change has happened since the dawn of time. To cry out about climate change is total madness. Would one cry out about the sun rising or setting?

      2. The wind space, which was meant to be providing a significant amount of power almost completely failed. And yes natural gas plants, which are meant to be teamed with wind and solar to provide a continuous flow of power failed too. Just proving that the ruinables plus gas is not a great choice. Coal – ran fine as did nuclear.

      And if there was storage in the form of batteries as the warmists agitate for they would have run out long ago, and electric cars have all sorts of issues in very cold weather, so the batteries would have failed here anyway.

      Time to end the renewables before they make us all paupers.

      20

  • #
    Global Cooling

    It depends on your preparations. I have no problems. Temperature peeked at -28 C. Nuclear power comes from the wall and I burn Siberian willows in the fireplace. I have food in freezer for a month. I can make water from snow and go fishing to the lake.

    30

  • #
    John F Hultquist

    The cold air is starting to change, not to say it is warm.
    Being dense and deep, other air (warmer) doesn’t move the cold out so much as it changes in place. That’s now happening. Next week this time, it will be almost warm enough to live.
    In addition to humans, this cold is hard on the native plants and animals.

    10

  • #
    Serge Wright

    Just as we saw in SA, the climate alarmist brigade in power will make sure that the official report points the finger of blame elsewhere. The problem with these reports though is that the vast majority of people will know that RE failed and the sight of endless miles of turbines all frozen solid in a black state, is a huge warning of what will happen under a Biden regime across the much colder northern areas that receive weeks of this type of weather every winter.

    There is also the irony of this large freezing weather event, coming almost immediately after Biden came to power claiming a moral obligation to remove their cheap and plentiful energy and save them from global warming by making sure they all freeze to death instead.

    50

  • #
    Phillip Charles Sweeney

    Jo

    Do you have data on Nuclear and Coal during the last few days for Texas?

    Both wind and natural gas had problems but Nuclear and Coal should have been fine.

    This could be powerful ammunition for coal and nuclear power in Australia

    30

  • #
  • #
    Gaz

    Remember when Victoria blew up its gas processing plant. No natural gas for homes, for industry and for power stations. Not much impact on electricity supply then, but now it would cause major power shortages. The nice thing about coal fired power plants is that they have a large coal stockpile or are mine-head so they don’t rely on a supply chain for their fuel in the short term. The only way around this is for gas fired plants to be dual fuel and have large (i.e. 2 weeks capacity) liquid fuel tanks in case of a gas shortage or failure. Not necessarily a separate major investment as the fuel could also play a part in the national strategic reserve in case of maritime disruption also. (at present, we would be out of fuel in a week if a war between US and China broke out – a likely event in the next 10 years

    20