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.