Baby, it’s cold outside.
It is EXTREMELY cold outside! Please stay indoors and wear adequate clothing if you have to go outside!
— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) February 15, 2021
It’s pretty hard to imagine, but in Texas, even down to San Antonio, it’s snowbound and bitter cold in an area known for warmth. Parts of Texas allegedly drooped down to 0F (-18C) over the weekend, it’s still bad today and another arctic snowstorm is predicted to hit the area on Tuesday or Wednesday.
2001 (The Independent): "Children won't now what snow is"
2014 (NYTimes): "The End of Snow"
— Steve Milloy (@JunkScience) February 15, 2021
Stay safe and stay warm! https://t.co/jy4hgIAonq
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 15, 2021
On top of that, there are rolling power outages that for some may mean their power isn’t back on until tomorrow because of the strain on the Texas power grid. The state is asking people to conserve electricity to relieve the demand and has declared a state of emergency. 2.5 million are without power.
At least 2.5 million customers without power across Texas this morning. #Uri
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) February 15, 2021
2.5 million without power across Texas
…in some of the coldest weather in over 30 years 🥶
— Matt Taylor (@MetMattTaylor) February 15, 2021
Not sure it counts as “rolling” power outages to preserve the grid when tens of thousands of Austinites have been without power since 2 a.m. (we had a one-hour window of power, but nothing since 4).
That’s not rolling; that’s just an outage — and an increasingly problematic one. pic.twitter.com/LqiBAwhlZe
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) February 15, 2021
So why is there a problem in Texas, virtually the watchword for energy? It reveals one of the chinks in the armor of renewable energy.
According to ABC 13 (Houston), there was a systemwide failure due to multiple power generation plants going offline.
At least in part because of frozen wind turbines, according to MRT.
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.
23% of Texas’ energy is now powered by wind turbines. There’s also limited natural gas supplies because of the demand to pick up the slack.
It shows once again there are limitations to renewable energy sources and why you need duplicative systems to take up the slack if you have failures like this. When you want to kill fossil fuels ultimately, like Joe Biden, this is what you would be left with on a more permanent basis if you don’t have such reliable systems. Fortunately, Texas hasn’t turned completely into California yet, but this shows the danger that poses, particularly in the frigid temperatures hitting now in the state, and why it should never go the way of California.
Folks in Texas were not happy but perhaps they’ll remember this when they’re asked for their vote from Democrats who would drive us further into such a non-sustainable state?
Seriously. That's the dirty little secret as to why power is out while it's 0° or lower in North Texas right now.
— Keith Malinak (last fan standing) (@KeithMalinak) February 15, 2021
Over-reliance on renewables. Wind turbines frozen, solar panels covered in snow. Not enough coal | ng | nuke generation in TX available for when demand is great. Regional grid operator not able to buy enough outside power to compensate.
— Quentin Blacklock (@qblacklock) February 15, 2021