Frozen Wind Turbines Are Not the Reason for Texas’ Power Outages
It never ceases to amaze me how people are willing to believe anything as long as it confirms what they already believe. I keep seeing this pop up on different social media sites. The Texas power outages are because we've tried to go green with wind turbines and they're all frozen! Green energy is to blame! Do you see what you hippies get?!
Well this is not true. At all.
An official with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said Tuesday afternoon that 16 gigawatts of renewable energy generation, mostly wind generation, were offline. Nearly double that, 30 gigawatts, had been lost from thermal sources, which includes gas, coal and nuclear energy.
As much as Texas is leading the country in wind energy, don't forget we are still a gas state. A senior director at ERCOT, Dan Woodfin, said:
It appears that a lot of the generation that has gone offline today has been primarily due to issues on the natural gas system.
This hasn't prevented Republicans from jumping all over renewable energy as the reason for the power outages. Remember Dan Crenshaw? He's the war veteran who ended up on SNL because Pete Davidson used him as the butt of a joke. He's a representative from Houston and he tweeted out, saying:
This is what happens when you force the grid to rely in part on wind as a power source. When weather conditions get bad as they did this week, intermittent renewable energy like wind isn’t there when you need it.
So what is causing the power outages? Who can we blame?
Production of natural gas in the state has plunged due to the freezing conditions, making it difficult for power plants to get the fuel necessary to run the plants. Natural gas power plants usually don’t have very much fuel storage on site, experts said. Instead, the plants rely on the constant flow of natural gas from pipelines that run across the state from areas like the oil and natural gas-producing Permian Basin in West Texas to major demand centers like Houston and Dallas.