February 22, 2021

YEP: Texas’ Reliance on Renewable Energy Has Led To This Winter Mess.

As in California, Texas’s energy scarcity is largely artificial: The state produces an extraordinary amount of natural gas, but there has been a woeful underinvestment in infrastructure ranging from pipelines to winterizing equipment at utilities. You may as well not have the fuel at all if you can’t get it to where it’s needed or use it once it’s there.

What Texas has invested in is renewables, especially wind. These have performed especially poorly: The state’s electric-grid regulator reports that though wind and solar still make up a relatively small share of the state’s overall energy mix, they accounted for 40 percent of the capacity shut down by the storm: Out of the 45 gigawatts that went dark, 18 gigawatts were from wind and solar.

Wind is in many ways a good bet for Texas, especially in the western and northern parts of the state, the Saudi Arabia of gales. The sunny parts of the state also generate a fair bit of solar power, which also is welcome. The problem is that these power sources are unreliable. Solar panels don’t work with a couple of inches of snow on top of them, and an icy storm can cause those massive wind turbines to freeze up and stop working. As of right now, most of those Texas turbines are not functioning power sources — they are modern art. . . .

The Left wants to use the threat of climate change as a license to remake the entire economy and government along its preferred lines — energy policy, yes, but also everything from transportation to architecture, and from labor law to foreign relations and trade. The argument for replacing natural-gas electricity with wind and solar is that reducing our use of fossil fuels could, if the practice were widespread enough, help to mitigate the effects of climate change already underway.

That’s bullshit, especially as long as China is building coal plants: China Built Three Times As Much Coal Power in 2020 As The Rest Of The World Combined.

Related: Energy in Texas:

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