The blackouts, which have left as many as 4 million Texans trapped in the cold, show the numerous chilling consequences of putting too many eggs in the renewable basket.
Just a decade after Democrats said snow would be a rare occasion, Texas is freezing over. Lo IQ Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took a swipe at Texas political leaders, propounding that the suffering Texans are experiencing because of the freezing cold and concomitant power outages could have been addressed by her “Green New Deal.” Except one problem,
The infrastructure failures in Texas are quite literally what happens when you *don’t* pursue a Green New Deal.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 17, 2021
The wind turbines that must be specially outfitted to handle extreme cold, failed. The cold wave was unexpected, for years Democrats have been saying the world is warming, yet is has not.. obviously!
Leftist media has misleading reports asserting the blackouts were caused by large numbers of natural gas and coal plants failing or freezing. The vast majority of our fossil fuel power plants continued running smoothly, just as they do in far colder climates across the world. Power plant infrastructure is designed for cold weather and rarely freezes, unlike the wind turbines.
Failure to institute a managed rolling blackout before the grid frequency fell to dangerously low levels meant some plants had to shut off to protect their equipment. This is likely why so many power plants went offline, not because they had failed to maintain operations in the cold weather.
These operational errors overshadow the decades of policy blunders that made these blackouts inevitable. Thanks to market-distorting policies that favor and subsidize wind and solar energy, Texas has added more than 20,000 megawatts (MW) of those intermittent resources since 2015 while barely adding any natural gas and retiring significant coal generation.
The surprise is that the house of cards collapsed in the dead of winter, not the toasty Texas summers that usually shatter peak electricity demand records on air conditioning use.
Common sense tells us that solar would not produce any energy during the night, in the summers it is cool at night so that was not a worry. What was no considered is solar energy also does not work in snowstorms, or overcast conditions and dark winter nights.
The fundamental reality when trying to generate electricity from wind and solar is frozen turbines, and solar panels that do not work well in the snow and grayed out skies.. This should is a known and predictable problem, green energy has been pushed on the world, and this is the end result.
Research by the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Life:Powered project found that more than $80 billion of our tax dollars have been spent on wind and solar subsidies in the last decade, in federal subsidies alone. Texans are also charged an average of $1.5 billion a year in state subsidies for renewable energy.
The promise that subsidies would kickstart renewable energy technology remains unmet after more than 40 years.
Renewable advocates will be quick to point out that fossil fuels also receive subsidies from the federal government. That’s partially true, but solar companies receive 75 times more money and wind 17 times more per unit of electricity generated. Nevertheless, the best solution for Texans, and all Americans, would be to eliminate all energy subsidies and allow the free market to drive our energy choices.
This week’s blackouts should be a wakeup call to politicians. Overconfidence in renewables led us uncomfortably close to total grid failure — and when the going gets tough, few things really matter to voters as much as access to electricity. Without it, scrambling for the barest necessities like food, water, and warmth becomes expensive, stressful, and all-consuming.
The consequences are potentially deadly. For all the talk of climate change, cold is far deadlier than heat, responsible for 20 times more deaths. Although the cold itself may not kill you — you might not literally freeze to death — it has devastating potential to exacerbate preexisting conditions and make otherwise minor illnesses life-threatening.
It’s a reality far too many know firsthand, as a recent study found increasing natural gas utility prices led to an increase in wintertime deaths as they force families to choose between putting food on the table and paying the heat bill. In this health-conscious era of the COVID-19 crisis, this should be enough to pause any policy discussion that might inhibit electricity access.