By Paul Homewood
Over the weekend the US declared a Grid Emergency in Texas, as temperatures plummeted.
The emergency order from the US Energy Department allowed the state’s grid operator to exceed certain air pollution limits to boost generation amid record power demand in the state. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, whose service area includes 90% of electric customers in Texas, requested the emergency order Friday, warning it may need to resort to blackouts. TRANSLATION – fire up more coal and gas plants!
Fortunately a repetition of the blackouts last year was avoided. But as we can see, it was gas power which came to the rescue, as wind power collapsed to virtually nothing at the same time as demand surged:
Texas has 35 GW of wind capacity, but output was running below 5 GW throughout Saturday, and down to 2 GW for much of the day. This certainly was not due to lack of wind, quite the opposite in fact. Whether wind power collapsed because of the winds being too strong, or because of freezing up, I do not know. But either way it was a weather related issue.
Thankfully ERCOT was able to call on ample gas power capacity, both to replace the loss of wind power and meet surging demand, which peaked at 74 GW, about 15 GW more than normal.
Without that gas power, Texas would have faced a catastrophe.
You can forget about importing power from other regions as well, because the Arctic weather covered about two thirds of the country, so there would have been no surplus renewable power anywhere.
Joe Biden still wants carbon-free electricity by 2035. How many millions of Americans will freeze to death if he gets his way?