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Hello Clean Energy Advocates, What Do We Do When The Wind Turbines Are All Frozen?

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021 - 17:50

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

The wholesale price of electricity spikes 10,000% in a Texas power outage. Among other problems, the wind turbines are all frozen.

Wholesale Price of Electricity Spikes 10,000% 

As a background on the clean energy debate, please consider The Wholesale Price of Electricity Spikes 10,000% in Texas Power Outage.

Let's discuss wind turbines, natural gas, and coal.

A Deep Green Freeze

The Wall Street Journal editorial board says "Power shortages show the folly of eliminating natural gas—and coal." 

I agree with some of what they say and disagree with parts of it as well.

Please consider A Deep Green Freeze by the WSJ. 

Gas and power prices have spiked across the central U.S. while Texas regulators ordered rolling blackouts Monday as an Arctic blast has frozen wind turbines. Herein is the paradox of the left’s climate agenda: The less we use fossil fuels, the more we need them. 

A mix of ice and snow swept across the country this weekend as temperatures plunged below zero in the upper Midwest and into the teens in Houston. Cold snaps happen—the U.S. also experienced a Polar Vortex in 2019—as do heat waves. Yet the power grid is becoming less reliable due to growing reliance on wind and solar, which can’t provide power 24 hours a day, seven days a 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. “We are working already to try and ensure we have enough power but it’s taken a lot of coordination.”

Wind’s share has tripled to about 25% since 2010 and accounted for 42% of power last week before the freeze set in. About half of Texans rely on electric pumps for heating, which liberals want to mandate everywhere. But the pumps use a lot of power in frigid weather. So while wind turbines were freezing, demand for power was surging.

California progressives long ago banished coal. But a heat wave last summer strained the state’s power grid as wind flagged and solar ebbed in the evenings. After imposing rolling blackouts, grid regulators resorted to importing coal power from Utah and running diesel emergency generators.

Liberals claim that prices of renewables and fossil fuels are now comparable, which may be true due to subsidies, but they are no free lunch, as this week’s energy emergency shows. The Biden Administration’s plan to banish fossil fuels is a greater existential threat to Americans than climate change.

Greater Existential Threat 

The Journal claims "The Biden Administration’s plan to banish fossil fuels is a greater existential threat to Americans than climate change."

I agree 100%. 

But what to do about it? 

Clean Energy

I am a big fan of natural gas and believe it is clean energy. The byproduct of burning natural gas is carbon dioxide and water. 

Neither is a pollutant in any way shape or form. Plants even need carbon dioxide to survive. 

Coal is another matter. 

Burning coal releases SO2 and NOx pollutants that cause Acid Rain, huge respiratory problems and will devastate forests.

If the atmosphere is polluted with sulfur dioxide (SO2) or nitrogen oxides (NOx), rain becomes oxidized by ozone (O3) or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to form H2SO4 or HNO3 before falling to the ground. They are known respectively as sulfuric and nitric acid. 

Acid rain will dissolve panty hose on the spot.

There is a huge difference between burning coal and burning natural gas.

Anti-Coal, Pro-Natural Gas

For environmental reasons, I am anti-coal but very much in favor of Natural Gas. 

Problems arise as happened last year in California and this week in Texas when pressure to eliminate all carbon wins over common sense. 

Where is the CO2 Coming From? 

CO2 Stats

  • Please note that the US reduced its carbon footprint from 6.13 billion tons in 2007 to 5.28 billion tons in 2019.
  • Meanwhile, China increased its footprint from 6.86 billion tons in 2019 to 10.17 billion tons in 2019.
  • In the same timeframe, global output rose from 31.29 billion tons to 36.44 billion tons.
  • In 2007, the US accounted for 19.6% of the total global carbon footprint.
  • In 2019, the US accounted for only 14.5% of the total global footprint.

Wind Not Reliable

Wind is not a reliable source, as we have just proven in spades, twice over. 

Yet, despite the facts that US carbon output is shrinking and the US only accounted for  14.5% of the total global footprint, the absurd push to eliminate all US carbon presses on.

John Kerry's Straw Man Climate Arguments

John Kerry is Biden's climate czar.

He blamed 4 hurricanes on climate change as if throwing any amount of money at the alleged problem would have stopped the hurricanes.

For discussion, please see Kerry's Straw Man Argument for Wasting Money on Climate Change

GM to Phase Out Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035, Carbon Neutral by 2040

One day after Kerry's ridiculous rant, I noted GM to Phase Out Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035, Carbon Neutral by 2040.

Assuming one believes CO2 is a problem, this is the way problems are solved.

GM is not doing this to save the world, it is doing this because market forces mandate a change.

Similarly, solar power will come into play as storage technology improves.

The free market, not populist ideas will solve real world problems.

$90 Trillion Solutions 

In 2015, Business Insider noted A Plan Is Floating Around Davos To Spend $90 Trillion Redesigning All The Cities So They Don't Need Cars

The $90 trillion proposal came from former US vice president Al Gore, former president of Mexico Felipe Calderon, and their colleagues on The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. 

"We cannot have these cities with low density, designed for the use of cars," he said. "We recommend those cities should have more density and more mass transportation." Together with a program for reforming land use, and bringing deforestation to zero, the total cost of this plan would most likely be $90 trillion in future investment, Calderon said.

AOC's New Green Deal

Also recall AOC's Green New Deal Pricetag of $51 to $93 Trillion vs. Cost of Doing Nothing.

A Word About Cherry Picking Data

On February 3, I noted Climate Change Moves to the Forefront of Biden's Legislation

It’s long past time for the Senate to take a leading role in combating the existential threat of our time: climate,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The "existential threat" is politicians seeking $90 trillion solutions to hyped-up problems, not natural gas.

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