With the worst of the Texas power crisis now behind us, the blame and fingerpointing begins, and while the jury is still out whose actions (or lack thereof) may have led to the deadly and widespread blackouts that shocked Texas this week, Cascend Strategy writes that "in case there was any doubt why the Texas grid collapsed, the data is clear"
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."
Natural gas made up the difference for a while
But then everything else followed down
Some more detail from Cascend which lays out the events of this week in sequence:
A massive cold snap drove demand for electricity well beyond normal levels
Wind power failed to deliver it’s expected power – almost 40% of expected power – in part due to lack of winterized wind turbines
- Natural gas (as always) made up the difference...
- 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 simple 5-step solution according to Cascend:
Require power reserve
Connect the Texas grid better
Add solar with storage (storage is key)
And add more natural gas
As some others have summarized the Texas disaster best...
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.
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?