After six Texas power plants went off line resulting from a heat wave, state regulators (ERCOT) urged Texans to reduce their energy consumption. From Bloomberg:
The power-plant failures resulted in a loss of about 2,900 megawatts of electricity, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said in an email statement Friday. That’s enough power for about 580,000 homes and businesses. Natural-gas fired plants make up all of the generation that failed, an Ercot spokesman said.
The Texas grid is being stressed by high heat in a potential preview of peak summertime demand. This summer will test whether Ercot has made sufficient changes to reinforce a system that experienced cascading power-plant failures and deadly blackouts during a historic freeze in early 2021.
On Thursday, the Public Utility Commission of Texas expressed concern that generators haven’t had enough time to perform seasonal maintenance ahead of summer. The risk: summertime maintenance amid stronger heat can lead to supply shortages and potentially rolling blackouts.
Unfortunately, it will be a long, hot summer if Texas’ power grid is strained resulting from so-called renewable energy sources and, as Reuters reveals, the hurdles federal, state, and local agencies have put in place to upgrade the power grid have caused problems, that, in the end, customers will have to pay for:
The decrepit power infrastructure of the world’s largest economy is among the biggest obstacles to expanding clean energy and combating climate change on the ambitious schedule laid out by U.S. President Joe Biden. His administration promises to eliminate or offset carbon emissions from the power sector by 2035 and from the entire U.S. economy by 2050. Such rapid clean-energy growth would pressure the nation’s grid in two ways: Widespread EV adoption will spark a huge surge in power demand; and increasing dependence on renewable power creates reliability problems on days with less sun or wind.
“Competition from renewables is being strangled without adequate and necessary upgrades to the transmission network,” said Simon Mahan, executive director of the Southern Renewable Energy Association, which represents solar and wind companies.
The federal government, however, lacks the authority to push through the massive grid expansion and modernization needed to withstand wilder weather and accommodate EVs and renewable power. Under the current regulatory regime, the needed infrastructure investments are instead controlled by a Byzantine web of local, state and regional regulators who have strong political incentives to hold down spending, according to Reuters interviews with grid operators, federal and state regulators, and executives from utilities and construction firms.
Joe Biden’s planned power grid upgrades don’t help either since the longer the repairs take the more expensive power rates will become. No doubt as power outages or blackouts occur, environmentalists will continue to blame humans (i.e. climate change) while insisting on the usage or creation of unrealistic power sources that will do nothing except make people’s lives miserable.
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