What to know: Record low temps have frozen Texas solid.
The TPPF take: Staying warm and safe? Thank fossil fuels!
“This week, as the state and nation are blanketed in ice, we can expect most of our wind turbines to be still and solar panels to produce little to no electricity,” says TPPF’s Katie Tahuahua. “What’s warming Texans and keeping them alive in this deadly winter blast? Fossil fuels, particularly natural gas.”
For more on fossil fuels and reliability, click here.
What to know: And it’s getting worse. ERCOT reports that by tonight, wind generation in Texas is expected to bottom out at 2.5% of installed capacity, when Texans need their heat the most. Millions are experiencing rolling blackouts.
The TPPF take: Renewable energy sources don’t just fail us in winter storms; they also fail at the height of summer heat waves.
“The Texas electricity market and its experiment with wind offer a real-life, cautionary tale on the
real effects of relying on renewable energy,” says TPPF’s Jason Isaac. “When Texas needs electricity the most, wind proves most of the time to be a ‘no-show’ while fossil fuels keep on powering the
For more on Texas’ grid reliability, click here.
No Battery Backup for This
What to know: A historically harsh cold snap like this demonstrates how little batteries can actually do to back up our power.
“Our research found that Texas would need more than 2 million MWh of energy storage to cover the needs of a 100% renewable grid during an average Texas winter, and this is much worse than average,” says TPPF’s Brent Bennett. “Even as statewide battery storage capacity will grow to 1,900 MW by 2025, that’s still only 0.4% of Texas’ power needs. Without reliability measures to balance our growing reliance on wind and solar, we will leave lot of families in the cold.”
For more on the battery capacity, click here.