The huge blizzard that knocked out electricity for several days for 10 million Texans in mid-February is a scary preview of what life would be like on a regular basis if President Joe Biden’s blackout agenda is implemented. The storm revealed that Texas’ power grid has become unreliable because of federal and state policies pursued in a small way that the Biden administration wants to pursue in a huge way.
The blame game for the blackouts has already started, and there’s plenty of blame to go around: Power plants aren’t winterized. The state’s grid isn’t connected to surrounding grids. Natural gas lines to power plants froze. But the main culprit is over-reliance on unreliable wind and solar power and not enough reliable capacity from conventional coal, natural gas and nuclear plants.
Of the total electricity produced in 2020 in Texas, 23% came from wind turbines, 2% from solar panels, and 75% from conventional plants. When the storm hit on Feb. 15 and temperatures plummeted, electrical demand surged because 60% of Texans use electricity for heating.
Where were wind and solar — a combined one-quarter of the state’s electrical power source — when the need for power surged? Close to zero. Half the wind turbines were frozen, and the other half were producing very little power because winds had died down. Solar panels were covered with snow. The blackout demonstrated that relying so much on renewable sources that fail is a problem.
Nonetheless, Biden has decreed a goal for the nation of eliminating carbon dioxide emissions produced by burning coal, oil, and natural gas from the electrical sector by 2035. In 14 years, all the coal and natural gas plants must be replaced by wind and solar. Nuclear isn’t an option because opposition from environmental pressure groups means that it takes more than a decade to build one new plant. The other solution being peddled is battery storage. The amount of battery storage required to provide sufficient backup power to unreliable sources would cost tens of trillions of dollars, so that’s not viable, either.
But Biden’s 2035 target is only halfway to climate nirvana. By 2050 the entire economy must be powered by sources that don’t produce carbon dioxide. That will require an all-electric vehicle fleet and replacing natural gas and heating oil for heating buildings with electricity. The electricity required to charge all those car batteries and heat all those homes will necessitate twice as much renewable power as would be needed to power today’s grid.
Read the full article at The Arizona Daily Sun.