by Alan R. Davis
You have most likely heard about the energy crisis that Texas has experienced this week. A massive cold front swept through the state lowering temperatures to near zero. Much of the state experienced snow and ice to make matters worse. The extremely low temperatures created a demand for electricity that matched the normal summer high loads. But could the grid match the demand with increased supply? That’s what is required to keep the electric grid working.
The first report we got was the large wind turbines stopped working because they had frozen. But how did ice form on moving wind turbine blades? Frozen wind turbines took a significant amount of electricity out of the system at a time when an increase was needed. That required those who control the grid to take some of the demand offline. Taking demand offline means stopping some customers from getting electricity?
What hasn’t been reported is that fact that along with the cold temperatures Texas was also plagued by marginal winds. Tuesday night I checked the wind speed for Lubbock, Texas and it was 3 mph. So even unfrozen turbines wouldn’t have been turning. Wednesday I found that the largest wind farm in the world is in Roscoe, Texas and the wind speed at the time was 3 mph. When I checked it yesterday it was 2 mph. Right now (12:09 ET 02/19/21) it is 6 mph. All of those temperatures above are below the “cut-in speed” identified in the wind turbine chart I found on the internet.
So as the demand for electricity increased to summer levels, one of the major components of the Texas electricity grid wasn’t capable of generating electricity.
That isn’t an unusual thing for green energy. Solar and Wind are considered “intermittent” energy sources. By that they mean solar and wind aren’t always available. The obvious question is whether they will be available when increased electricity is required. During Texas’ recent crisis, wind wasn’t available.
Solar requires sunshine. So when the sun isn’t shining it can’t be counted on. That’s over half of the time. Wind Turbines require strong and consistent wind. So when the wind isn’t strong they can’t be counted on. So as the temperature AND wind plummeted Tuesday evening in Texas, neither solar nor wind could be counted on for the increased electricity that was needed to maintain the power grid.
The question all of us should be asking is “Should our region convert to “intermittent” electricity sources?”
But that’s what the UN and Progressives are telling us we must do?
Hopefully the recent electricity crisis in Texas is a “wake-up” call to all of us that green energy means unreliable electricity and unreliable electricity isn’t compatible with modern civilization. Hopefully it’s enough to stop us from going down a destructive path to 100% renewable energy sources.