Tucker Carlson: Green energy means a less reliable power grid. Why do our leaders deny that?

Frozen wind turbines hamper Texas power output, state’s electric grid operator says

Credit:  Historic winter storm freezes Texas wind turbines | Brandon Mulder | Austin American-Statesman Feb. 14, 2021

Nearly half of Texas’ installed wind power generation capacity has been offline because of frozen wind turbines in West Texas, according to Texas grid operators.

Wind farms across the state generate up to a combined 25,100 megawatts of energy. But unusually moist winter conditions in West Texas brought on by the weekend’s freezing rain and historically low temperatures have iced many of those wind turbines to a halt.

As of Sunday morning, those iced turbines comprise 12,000 megawatts of Texas’ installed wind generation capacity, although those West Texas turbines don’t typically spin to their full generation capacity this time of year.

Fortunately for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s electric grid, the storm’s gusty winds are spinning the state’s unfrozen coastal turbines at a higher rate than expected, helping to offset some of the power generation losses because of the icy conditions.

“This is a unique winter storm that’s more widespread with lots of moisture in West Texas, where there’s a lot of times not a lot of moisture,” said Dan Woodfin, Senior Director of System Operations for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. “It’s certainly more than what we would typically assume.”

Wind power has been the fastest-growing source of energy in Texas’ power grid. In 2015 winder power generation supplied 11% of Texas’ energy grid. Last year it supplied 23% and overtook coal as the system’s second-largest source of energy after natural gas.

In Austin, wind power supplies roughly 19% of the city’s energy demands, all of which is passed from producers to consumers across the state grid. The city began adding several megawatts of wind energy capacity to its renewable energy portfolio in the 1990s from both West Texas and Gulf Coast wind farms.

The frozen turbines come as low temperatures strain the state’s power grid and force operators to call for immediate statewide conservation efforts, like unplugging non-essential appliances, turning down residential heaters and minimize use of electric lighting.

Electric demand is expected to exceed the state’s previous winter-peak record set in January 2018 by 10,000 megawatts. And peak demand expected for Monday and Tuesday is forecasted to meet or exceed the state’s summertime record for peak demand of 74,820 megawatts.

“Typically the ERCOT system peaks in the summer because of the air conditioning load, but we’re seeing forecasts of overall demand being that high in the next few days,” Woodfin said.


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Comment by mm domach on February 18, 2021 at 9:24am

Agree density is important but also need to factor in economics with density.  I am not a huge wind fan but it is not metered or needs to be drilled for.  The cost for completing a 10,000,000 to 20,000,000 gal water frack for a well is big and the energy density trades with the big beta that leads to a steep production decline over 5 years so payback is a risk.  Follow CHK stock.  Also, the overall efficiency of a system is the product of individual efficiencies.  Electric to work conversion is 3 to 5X more efficient than the maximal Carnot efficiency which runs between 25 - 35%.  So ALL the numbers need to be run.

Anyway the point was not about whether wind or whatever is good or not, but rather wind did not collapse TX.  The TX grid collapsed TX based on its well known limits and the real numbers on the inventory of production sources. 

Now fuel-producing refineries (read that again--fuel producing refineries) in TX are shut down, which speaks to reliability of stuff in TX given refineries in Minnesota rarely shut down. 

Check it out 


BTW the Motiva refinery is 100% owned by the Saudis who also control 2/3 of the Shell-branded gas station in the lower mid Atlantic and the SE.  The Saudis were joint owners with the Dutch but it didn't work out.

Comment by arthur qwenk on February 18, 2021 at 8:53am

Mr. Domach,

Basic engineering indeed, of a Flawed Basic Hypothesis, that of NON-DENSE Intermittent ENERGY sources replacing DENSE sources such as Fossil Fuel and Nuclear and being  a viable option to modernity and societal advancement,.  It cannot be done. Physics and Basic concepts of Thermodynamics dictate that this is impossible. The cost of the attempt will prove detrimental to our society for decades to come until a real Dense Source Utilization concept is understood, even by engineers who love to play with it at taxpayer expense.

 As an engineer?  you know , it is not  a solution to a problem which is a  problem and not a solution. It is an academic playtoy  of pop culture, of great cost to the very society  it is thought to be helping.

Comment by Willem Post on February 18, 2021 at 6:12am

Governor and Senators Seeking More Electric Vehicles and Buses with COVID Money

The priorities of New England governments are driven by a cabal of “break-their-will RE zealots, because of excessive subsidies for wind, solar, etc. They have powerful allies on Wall Street. Here is an example of the resulting double-speak:


“Investing in more energy-efficient public transportation is important for our economy and environment,” the governor said. He added that the money is enabling the transportation agency to replace as many as 30 buses and fund energy-efficient projects."



The Vermont House Energy/Environment Committee and the VT Transportation Department echo the same message, to "convince" legislators, people in the Governor's Office, etc., to buy expensive electric buses to deal with a minor pollution problem in a few urban areas in Vermont. Such an electric vehicle measure would be much more appropriate in the over-crowded Boston Area and the Connecticut Gold Coast.


They urge to buy electric buses at about:


$750,000 - $1,000,000 per mass-transit bus, plus high-speed charging systems; a standard diesel mass-transit bus costs $380,000 - $420,000

$330,000 - $375,000, per school bus, plus high-speed charging systems; a standard diesel/gasoline school bus costs about $100,000



They are throwing COVID money, meant for suffering people and businesses, into another climate-fighting black hole.

Vermont has cold winters, and hills, and snow-covered roads, and dirt roads in rural areas; kWh/mile would be high.

Those buses would need 4-wheel-drive, or all-wheel-drive in rural areas.

Vermont Has Much Better Options Than Electric Buses


1) A state-wide building code, which would require new buildings to be highly sealed, highly insulated so they could easily be energy-surplus buildings, or be entirely off-the -grid. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, etc., have had such codes for at least a decade.


Vermont should be replacing run-of-the-mill, old houses, with up-to-date, energy-surplus, off-the-grid, new houses, at a rate of at least 5,000 houses per year. There would be 150,000 such house by 2050.


Dabbling at weatherizing, at $10,000 per house, is politically attractive, but a gross waste of money. The goal should be energy conservation and efficiency. Their combined effect would reduce CO2 at the least cost.


2) A gas-guzzler vehicle code, which would impose a fee on 40-mpg vehicles. The more below 40-mpg, the higher the fee. Any vehicles with greater than 40-mpg, such as the 54-mpg Toyota Prius, would be exempt.


“Break their will” RE zealots would have everyone drive unaffordable EVS, that would not reduce much CO2 compared with efficient gasoline vehicles.


On a lifetime, A-to-Z basis, the: 


NISSAN Leaf S Plus, EV, compact SUV, no AWD, would have 25.967 metric ton of CO2 over 10 years.

TOYOTA Prius L Eco, 62 mpg, compact car, no AWD, would have 26,490 Mt over 10y

SUBARU Outback, 30 mpg, medium SUV, with AWD, would have 43.015 Mt over 10y

VT Light Duty Vehicle mix, 22.7 mpg, many with AWD or 4WD, would have 56,315 Mt over 10y


If that LDV average would become 40 mpg, CO2 would become about 22.7/40 x 56.315 = 32 Mt over 10y, which is near the CO2 of a Prius L Eco.


The additional metric ton of CO2 reduction could be achieved by going the EV route, but that would involve $billions and be unaffordable. See “Electrify Everything”



 “Electrify Everything”, an easily uttered slogan that would cost $billions in Vermont


It would require:


- Additional electricity generation plants, such as nuclear, wind, solar, and hydro

- Additional grid augmentation/expansion to carry increased loads for future EVs and heat pumps

- Additional battery systems to store the midday solar electricity surges for later use, aka, DUCK-curve management.

- Major command/control-orchestrating to avoid overloading distribution and high voltage electric grids regarding:


1) Charging times and duration of EVs and heat pumps

2) Operating times and duration of major appliances

3) Control of electricity demands of commercial/industrial businesses


Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on February 18, 2021 at 1:08am

Kenneth Capron - indeed, the mainstream media are lying their way through the Texas panhandle. It has come to the point that they lie about everything. If you don't agree with their lies, you are labeled a conspiracy theorist and soon, a domestic terrorist. I think they're doing the domestic terrorist thing so people will self censor.

P.S. - Jeffrey Epstein did not kill himself, office furniture on fire did not collapse 47 story World Trade Cent...

and as President Trump told Greg Kelly tonight, far gone Biden lost the election.

Comment by Kenneth Capron on February 18, 2021 at 12:05am

MSM is lying their way through the Texas panhandle. The fact that they refuse to be honest even throughout a severe weather event bodes poorly for America. It means they can and will lie about anything and anyone anytime. Anyone believe that Biden has the smarts to figure out the truth?

We're in deep doo doo.

Comment by Penny Gray on February 17, 2021 at 6:40pm

Wasn't there a study done that posited that any greater than ten percent saturation by "unreliable renewables" would destabilize the grid?  And we're talking about 100% saturation?  Better start collecting candles and long underwear.

Comment by Willem Post on February 17, 2021 at 6:32pm

12,000 MW (about 5,000 units) of 25,100 MW installed wind turbines were not producing any electricity, because of ice-ups, according to ERCOT, the grid operator.

Similar ice-ups would take place in Germany, etc, but those turbines have heating systems for the blades and nacelles, the Greyhound bus-size boxes on top of the masts.

Valley News, etc., wrote SOME wind turbines were not producing.
The writer failed to google, or did not understand what he was reading, or is a “break-their-will” RE fantasizer/dreamer.

Wind turbines on the Gulf Coast were unaffected by freeze-ups, and, because of strong winds, produced more electricity than expected.

It takes about 6 to 8 hours for a coal plant to go from cold start to full output

It takes about 1 hour for a gas plant.

Gas was curtailed to power plants, because it was needed by people to heat buildings; the same happens in southern New England during winter. That reduced electricity production by gas plants.

ERCOT pleaded with people to limit their consumption, so there would enough electricity for everyone

About 4 million had no power for days.

Yes, wind and solar are PARASITIC, big time!!

They absolutely could not exist at all, without the presence of gas plants that can quickly vary their outputs to COUNTERACT the variations of solar and wind.

They could exist, if there were enough battery capacity, but that would cost at least ONE TRILLION DOLLARS JUST FOR NEW ENGLAND, at about $700/ kWh of AC delivered to the grid, plus those systems would last about 15 years.

Any electricity passing through the grid-connected battery systems would be subject to at least a 20% loss, on an AC to AC bases

Any RE idiots who blabber in echo chambers about 100% renewables, i.e., wind, solar, etc., and about “ELECTRIFY EVERYTHING” absolutely do not have the slightest inkling of what that would entail.

Comment by mm domach on February 17, 2021 at 6:17pm

6%.  Nil reserve.  Upped demand.  The storm hit 12 States.  All other states have some wind in their generation inventory, but everyone is mainly talking about TX.  Why?  Because the TX grid is poor, nearly all systems are not cold hardened, and poor coordination.

Just because you don't like something doesn't mean you have to accept 6% maximum impact is the sole thing that brought TX to its knees.  Even Texans get it as do the people actually running the grid there as opposed to some talking head on TV selling angst

"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."

Dan Woodfin, a senior director at ERCOT....

“It appears that a lot of the generation that has gone offline today has been primarily due to issues on the natural gas system,” he said during a Tuesday call with reporters.


Port Arthur refinery, where I once consulted, is 100% down bc of cold.  Work in the Permean Basis is 100% shut down. They don't have cold operable systems across the board in TX plus a crappy grid.  Move on.

BTW there is no excuse for NG running through combined cycle (jet + Carnot-like cycle off hot exhaust) to be down; it is the quick switch on to load uppage alternative to coal.

Should they have prepared?  Yes.  Did they?  No.  Are their systems robust to cold?  Dark cold houses are the answer.  

Comment by Penny Gray on February 17, 2021 at 1:04pm

This radio interview with Alex Epstein regarding the Texas power outage is priceless: He also talks about solar. "The sun went down, everyone was shocked!" He calls wind and solar "parasitic unreliables", solar being even more useless than wind.  His presentation is stellar and he covers all the bases.  https://www.theblaze.com/shows/the-glenn-beck-program/texas-power-f...

Comment by Long Islander on February 17, 2021 at 12:54pm

The comment below which includes the assertion "coal plants couldn't be started up with frozen fluids" doesn't fly. The Grid people would have looked at the weather forecast, and had coal facilities on line, in advance (not “starting up w frozen fluids").

Etc., etc.

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."



Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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