Texas ERCOT power shortages (again) April 13

Tom Beecher beecher at beecher.cc
Wed Apr 14 13:26:02 UTC 2021


I am aware. That's also not relevant at all to the point.

On Wed, Apr 14, 2021 at 9:22 AM Brian Johnson <brian.johnson at netgeek.us>

> Tom,
> You do realize that ERCOT is a non-profit organization….
> On Apr 14, 2021, at 8:04 AM, Tom Beecher <beecher at beecher.cc> wrote:
> > Funny how this obsession with a green grid has made the grid
> > unreliable, resulting in sales of gas-burning generators and
> > perishable fuel.  Dare I say it's not been worth it?
> Yes, desire for renewable power sources is totally the reason that power
> generators neglect proper preventative maintenance and adoption of lessons
> learned during past problem periods. It absolutely has nothing to do with
> profit being the most important thing ever. Right?
> On Wed, Apr 14, 2021 at 8:48 AM Mark Tinka <mark at tinka.africa> wrote:
>> On 4/14/21 13:35, Billy Croan wrote:
>> > Sounds like we all need to start keeping a few days reserve of energy
>> > on hand at home now because the utilities can't be trusted to keep
>> > their system online in 2021.
>> It just makes sense to plan along those lines, really. Despite popular
>> belief, power companies are preferring energy conservation from their
>> customers more than they do sales, because they just can't keep throwing
>> up new coal-fired or nuclear power stations a la the days of old (anyone
>> remember the 1973 and 1979 oil crises?)
>> Most people would assume that power companies want to sell more
>> electricity so they can make more money, but they dread the days when
>> the network is brought to its knees, even if the revenue will climb. So
>> between asking customers to save more on energy + being able to rely
>> less on fossil fuels for generation, one needs to consider their
>> personal energy security over the long term, fully or partially
>> independent of the traditional grid.
>> > Funny how this obsession with a green grid has made the grid
>> > unreliable, resulting in sales of gas-burning generators and
>> > perishable fuel.  Dare I say it's not been worth it?
>> I wouldn't say that the obsession is without merit. It's just that
>> regular folk are only seeking the solution from one perspective - that
>> of the power generators. If folk (and that includes the gubbermints) met
>> the power companies half way, renewables would make a lot more sense,
>> more quickly. But as I said before, when we flick the switch, it must
>> turn on. End of. And then we revert to demanding power companies to
>> embrace the additional revenue, or fulfill their mandate to deliver a
>> basic, life-sustaining utility, no matter what.
>> Unfortunately, there really hasn't been sufficient education to regular
>> folk about what it takes to generate electricity reliably, no matter the
>> season. And yet, there is far more education out there about the
>> benefits of conserving it, and preserving the earth. So the view is not
>> balanced, and power companies as well as oil producers will knee-jerk to
>> either justify or distance themselves, rather than encourage a fair,
>> practical engagement. In the end, he that feels the most pressure,
>> caves... and this can go either way depending on which side of the
>> economic development curve you are sitting.
>> >
>> > Nuclear and hydro were the only reasonable obvious choices and
>> > ecological paralysis hamstrings those as well.
>> Ultimately, no target toward zero emissions is complete without some
>> kind of nuclear and/or hydro. Especially as a solution for peak demand,
>> (pumped) hydro will continue to be the most efficient option, if folk
>> are interested in keeping the lights on at 7:45PM on a wintery Tuesday
>> night.
>> >
>> > Now is the time to speak the message.  Write your elected
>> > representatives. Talk to your families and friends about energy.
>> > Change minds.
>> There is room for co-existence, I think. But the honest discussions need
>> to be had, and not the glossy wish list that should be fixed by someone
>> else, because we are just citizens minding our own business.
>> Mark.
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