Extended rotating blackouts? In Texas? Just like in the blue liberal bastion of California? Yep — sad but true.

Oh, how I long for the days of consistent, reliable and stable electric power before Texas got sold the bill of goods known as renewable wind energy. Welcome to the fossil fuel-hating, centrally planned, utopian concept of electric power generation.

Actually, as a precursor to current events, a number of years ago in late February, Texas came close to going dark when the wind all of a sudden ceased blowing in west Texas. Electric Reliability Council of Texas called major industrial power users to power down in order to save the entire grid from tripping offline. At the time, wind energy represented less than 2 percent of Texas power production. Today, it is closer to 25 percent.

Wind energy isn’t organically derived in that it doesn’t compete in the free marketplace; wind energy is heavily subsidized by the federal government 30:1. Not only that, but wind turbines will never pay for themselves within their lifespans because they’re cost prohibitive to repair. This is why one sees so many windmills in California with their blades locked and not turning.

Only fossil fuels pay for themselves and generate a profit. Only coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear are capable of producing a consistent, reliable and stable power delivery.

Currently, we don’t have enough battery storage capacity to cover even 1 percent of Texas’ needs. Projected storage capacity growth to 1,900 megawatts by 2025 will only cover 0.4 percent of our needs. Most people are probably unaware of the humongous amount of land required for 100 percent storage capacity — the equivalent of six Harris counties that will no longer be available for agriculture, ranching, drilling or residency.

During our February polar freeze blackout, hopefully you’ve taken the time to reflect on whether relying on an inconsistent, intermittent power source is wise. It’s not. Texas state officials were warned in 2018 about continuing to neglect traditional power sources in favor of heavily subsidized green energy options that were warping the marketplace.

It would be no different than if government began giving big tax abatements to, say, Walmart when everyone had traditionally shopped at Sears or Montgomery Ward’s. Oh. Too soon? It’s the government picking winners and losers, it’s crony capitalism if not fascism, but it’s not the free marketplace at work.

As a world superpower, why are we leaving critical energy production up to vulnerable power production methods? As I sit here writing this by flashlight, a memory just occurred to me that as a child in 1973, I remember building a snowman in Houston. Know what else I remember? The power stayed on.

I’m cold and need coffee.

Contact your state representatives while the 87th Legislature is in session and demand a common sense free market approach to our energy infrastructure before windmills leave us all in the dark again.

Shawn Christopher Phillips lives in Texas City.


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(9) comments

Ron Shelby

NOT. Frozen Coal. Shutting down petroleum processing facilities. Even reduced Natural Gas flow (for fear of freezing Natural Gas infrastructure). None of these are Green Energy and yet they provide a significant majority of our power infrastructure. Green Energy doesn't. Don't be misled.

Gary Scoggin

“ free market approach to our energy infrastructure” - that’s what got us here. Maybe a little regulation isn’t a bad thing after all.

Don Schlessinger

That's right, regulate, dang we're going to hear a lot of that for the next four years.

Bailey Jones

What nonsense. Wind generators in Antarctica work just fine. Why? because they are designed to work in that environment. Why do pipelines freeze in Texas but not in Alaska? Because the pipelines in Alaska are designed to work in that environment. How does green energy work in Nordic countries? Because it's designed to work in that environment. Cars in North Dakota still start in subfreezing weather - because they have oil heaters. This is about design and engineering, not power sources. Our summertime generators aren't designed to work in winter. Our projected natural gas needs fell short of what was needed in this once-in-a-generation freezing event. We have an isolated grid that prevents us from receiving power from unaffected states. Our wind generators came without blade heaters - like they use where it's cold. Many of our gas, coal, and nuclear generators aren't winterized like they are up north.

If we could have less public ignorance about this and more focus on solutions, that would be great.

Carlos Ponce

Too bad no one thought ahead of time to see if de-icing was necessary. But wind generators were constructed and the electricity supply salesmen sold the concept of "green" energy without mentioning the possible drawbacks. Tax cuts, tax incentives and government subsidies were more important to those who sold the concept.

Ted Gillis

Shawn, quit being a fool. Don’t let these people deceive you. They have had years to improve their infrastructure, and they chose to do nothing, except take their revenues and pocket it (or pay it out to investors). They have a responsibility to provide a reliable source of electricity to the consumers (us).

Blame it on deregulation, an open market place, or whatever, but they chose not to upgrade their physical plants. They chose to just run out the useful life of them, making minimal repairs, and milking the profits out of them on the way.

Maybe all of these companies should become regulated public utilities again, even the renewable ones.

Carol Dean

Go away, Shawn. Nobody cares what you have to say!

George Laiacona

Green energy in Texas is not the reason why we are in the dark. We are in the dark due to putting all your eggs in one basket. Then the basket freezes because of no forethought or belief of global warming. Green energy makes up a minor portion of Texas energy use. Unanticipated frozen gas lines were the main problem, along with failure to be part of the National Grid

Cary Semar

In 1973, the state was run by Democrats and the electric power industry was regulated . The problem is de-regulation itself.

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