Analysis Concludes Texas’ Grid Failed Because of Frozen Windmills

Written by Jonathan Davis

OPINION
This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


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Backers of the Green New Deal have dismissed claims that the massive power outages suffered last week after the grid in Texas failed were, in large part, due to scores of frozen windmills.

Left-wing environmentalists claimed that conservatives wedded to fossil fuels blamed the windmills because it was politically convenient to so do.

But, according to a new analysis, it turns out that yes, the frozen wind turbines were the primary cause.

And that makes perfect sense when you think about it because, as Watts Up With That (WUWT) notes, “Wind generation ranks as the second-largest source of energy in Texas, accounting for 23% of state power supplies last year, behind natural gas, which represented 45%, according to Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) figures.”

The analysis from Cascend Strategy found:

  • Wind failed as “Ice storms knocked out nearly half the wind-power generating capacity of Texas on Sunday as a massive deep freeze across the state locked up wind turbine generators, creating an electricity generation crisis.”
  • For a time, natural gas made up the shortfall, however, it could not keep up and the other systems in place to compensate failed too.

Cascend laid out the crisis as it unfolded:

  • A massive cold snap drove demand for electricity well beyond normal levels
  • Wind power failed to deliver it’s [sic] expected power – almost 40% of expected power – in part due to lack of winterized wind turbines
  • but then suffered from lack of supply from non-winterized delivery
  • Coal and nuclear both underperformed, but not by much, due to non-winterized equipment
  • Solar underperformed for a few days but is back, although is far too intermittent to help without storage except during heat waves
  • And Texas’ grid couldn’t buy enough power from neighbors to make up the difference
  • Nor are power producers required to keep a reserve of power

The analysis laid out five solutions: Winterize all equipment; require a power reserve; build better connectivity into the Texas grid (which is independent of all other grids in the U.S., by the way); add solar power with power storage (because that is key); add more natural gas as a back-up.

“It is sad and ironic that in a state known for its huge petroleum and natural gas resources, the lack of reliability of wind power has brought the state to its knees in a time of crisis, not unlike that which California experienced in 2020 during record heat where wind and solar power could not keep up with demand and was near collapse,” WUWT noted further.

“The folly of chasing renewable energy as a means of mitigating ‘climate change’ is making itself abundantly clear today in Texas. When will politicians wake up and realize that renewable energy almost always equates to unreliable energy?”