Where’s the Reliability?
What to know: Gov. Greg Abbott is calling for the leadership of ERCOT, Texas’ main power provider, to resign after millions of Texans were left without power in the worst winter storm on record.
The TPPF take: ERCOT’s failures—along with bad policy decisions—directly led to the power outages.
“The short-term failure came at about 1 a.m. Monday when ERCOT should have seen the loads soaring due to plummeting temperatures, and arranged for more generation,” explains TPPF’s Chuck DeVore. “Texas came very close to having a system-wide outage for the whole state (in the ERCOT area, about 85% of the state) due to not arranging for more generation. This tripped the grid, knocking some reliable thermal plants (gas and coal) offline. This was a failure of the grid operator (ERCOT) not the power plants.”
To see Chuck explain the power outages on Fox News, click here.
Spinning the Still Windmills
What to know: Defenders of renewable energy are working overtime to claim that frozen wind turbines weren’t a major factor in the state’s power outages.
The TPPF take: Solving this problem in the long term will require that we face facts, not spin.
“As this week’s power outages developed, the prevailing narrative devolved further and further from the facts,” said TPPF’s Kevin Roberts. “It’s been a hard few days for Texans, many of whom are still cold and hungry. It is not an overstatement to say, unfortunately, that terrible policy decisions and poor management thereafter will cost some Texans their lives. There are hard days still to come, but it’s our hope that these events are a wakeup call to those in power that energy is not just important to our economy, but an integral part of our survival.”
For more on setting the record straight, click here.
It’s the Subsidies
What to know: For years, government at all levels has poured subsidies into unreliable wind and solar energy.
The TPPF take: The subsidies have distorted the market and undermined investment in reliable power.
“The race to add in renewables pushed out more reliable forms of energy and kept new reliable energy from being built,” says TPPF’s Jason Isaac. “That resulted in the buffer in our electric grid being stripped out—going from more than a 20% surplus years ago to single digits in the last couple of years.”
For more on how subsidies affected the grid, click here.