Why The Texas Blackout Has The Greens So Scared

Source: Frontpage Mag.

It seems a plausible explanation for the rhetoric to me: The green Left needs the fake apocalypse of global warming to scare the public it wishes to rule. Therefore windmills — the poster children of renewable energy — must, at all costs, remain blameless in the Texas blackout.

They weren’t blameless, of course. The essence of their complicity boils down to this: Had the windmill owners spent the money to winterize their equipment, the windmills that failed would not have failed.

The obvious stupidity of this kind of reasoning is almost impossible to exaggerate. By the same logic, submarines are a perfectly good type of transportation. Sure, some submarines implode below certain depths, but they only implode because the greedy capitalists who own and operate them don’t spend the money to make them watertight at those depths.

With respect to the Texas power generators, the engineering/business puzzle was at least as complicated as keeping submarines intact. The power generation companies knew that winterization was a problem. What should they have done about it?

A smart move might have been to hire an engineering consultant to propose a solution, if they didn’t have competent engineers in house. Here’s what the engineers would have told them:

  • We can design a winterization program for you from scratch and provide a cost estimate for implementing it. We can base it on our own wisdom, or yours, or on the advice Ercot is giving you.
  • However, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), which has regulatory jurisdiction in Texas, is working on a set of standards that will be published in a year or so.
  • We can price out your options based on any criteria you choose, including probable scenarios that will emerge from the NERC standards when published.
  • But we can’t tell you which of the NERC scenarios is most likely, or how they might change after public comment and peer review, or once Ercot gets involved, if it even does.
  • In other words, we can price out anything you wish, but we can’t predict the future. Even with the best wisdom we have to offer, you could end up wasting money by spending too little, or wasting money by spending too much (both based on NERC’s final report and its consequences).

Such is the businesss management puzzle that Texas load supply entities faced. Under the circumstances you can see why it is not a cut-and-dry reality that they didn’t winterize before the 2021 storm.

And under the circumstances you can see why it is only idiots strutting their time upon the stage who claim that renewable energy didn’t cause the Texas blackout. The claim is bold and loud, but it signifies nothing.

12 thoughts on “Why The Texas Blackout Has The Greens So Scared

  1. Speaking of “idiots” . . .

    “Had the windmill owners spent the money to winterize their equipment, the windmills that failed would not have failed. The obvious stupidity of this kind of reasoning is almost impossible to exaggerate.”

    Is one of the most “idiotic” things you have ever written here and that is saying a boatload. There is no “obvious stupidity” in a simple statement of almost tautological fact. And all your inane musings aside, there was no need for a bunch of fancy consulting engineers to work the problem. The people who make these wind turbines offer them with and without cold weather kits.

    So, with all due respect the “idiots” are those who want to ignore the poor decisions and the iced up gas, coal and nuclear plants in Texas and try to blame the windmills for an outage that was preventable in a number of different ways.

    By the way, the “idiot” whose piece you linked to shows how completely clueless he is when opines that the cold weather in Texas threatened the narrative of the let’s-save-the-planet movement . . .

    “First was the cold, when the “science” had confidently predicted a steadily warming Texas.”

    It does not get any dumber than that. But you link to it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. RE: “the ‘idiots’ are those who want to ignore the poor decisions and the iced up gas, coal and nuclear plants in Texas and try to blame the windmills for an outage that was preventable in a number of different ways.”

      No, the idiots are those who think that because an engineering failure was “preventable” in some idealistic sense, it should have been prevented. In the real world, things are more complicated. The advice engineers give to business managers is often highly contingent on factors beyond the control of either.

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    2. You should really take care with words like ‘stupid’ and ‘idiots.’

      The right way to ‘winterize’ a wind turbine in an area that does not regularly get really cold is to shut it down.

      It is wasteful to spend millions on winterization you will need every hundred years or so. Shut them down and go to your backups.

      But it turns out that you have to choose the right backups. Natural gas is a great backup during a summer heat wave but not so much in a cold snap when home demand peaks and your gas supply is dependent on electrically operated compressors.(now there is stupid for you)

      The backup should have been coal plants running normally at half capacity and ready to power up with fuel supplies already on site. Coal plants do not freeze up when operating, only when shut down.

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      1. Every hundred years? Like in 2011, 2014, 2021? Face reality, the climate ain’t what it was. “Hundred year events” are now happening every 3 or 4 years. Fail to plan accordingly at your peril.

        It goes without saying that using wind turbines without reliable backup is bad practice. Sometimes it is just not windy. But it is idiocy to say that blackouts are an inherent feature of green energy. And doubly so in this case with so many failures at gas, coal and nuclear plants due to short-sighted profit taking. And triply so since connections to the national grid would have forestalled the blackout completely.

        Liked by 3 people

          1. “Double standards rearing their ugly heads again?”

            I am not sure whether I was being chastised for responding to JTR in kind or being called an “idiot” by our host.

            In kind, you ask? Well when JTR opined that “it is only idiots strutting their time upon the stage who claim that renewable energy didn’t cause the Texas blackout” I took myself to be the “idiot” he had in mind. He made it very easy to turn that charge back on him with the raw idiocy of his comments.

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      2. “But it turns out that you have to choose the right backups. Natural gas is a great backup during a summer heat wave but not so much in a cold snap when home demand peaks and your gas supply is dependent on electrically operated compressors.(now there is stupid for you)”

        You missed something in your natural gas statement and I wasn’t aware of it until the other day when I heard it on NPR. Apparently there is some naturally occurring water in natural gas that is removed in northern areas as part of their winterization practices. It is something that should be considered for areas that are seeing 100 year weather events every few years (not decades). Not doing it would be something stupid.

        And the coal plants didn’t just freeze up. The coal piles ALSO froze up. No way to winterize that, but that was also a contributing factor.

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        1. If you look back a could of days you will see that I explained that natural gas wells were subject to icing in the short length of pipe between the well head choke and the drier while starting up after being idle. Once the well has been running a while, waste heat from the drier keeps the pipes heated.

          In Louisiana, the driers were right next to the well heads(20 ft or so) but I did see some mention that in Texas they may have fed several wells into a single drier, with longer pipe runs. That may have been a factor. but again the vulnerability is during restart form being idled.

          They move the coal from the piles to the feed with a D8 so the pile would have to have been frozen pretty well to stop that.

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          1. …the pile would have to have been frozen pretty well to stop that.”

            The reporting I heard was the piles froze enough to be unable to use the coal.

            As far as the water freezing in the lines, in the north, as I stated, is removed. Apparently that is not the case in southern climes where they don’t expect freezing conditions. But again a minimum of three 100-year events have occurred in Texas in the past 10 years.

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          2. And as I wrote, driers adjacent to the well head have been standard practice in Louisiana, which is even warmer, for 50 years that I know of.

            If that was not the case in Texas, it would be interesting to know why. Since they run on natural gas from the source, perhaps it is some environmental limitations. I will inquire.

            Driers don’t just remove water, they also remove salt, grit and distillates that corrode and coat the inside of pipelines. It is standard practice to remove them before the gas goes onto the pipeline system.

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