Texas ERCOT power shortages (again) April 13
sob at academ.com
Wed Apr 14 16:03:24 UTC 2021
I would suggest that the regulation paradigm in Texas does not allow
coordinated maintenance scheduling to adapt to supply and load issues
(especially in the face of a disaster like the Winter event earlier this
year). That would mean a stronger regulatory framework and that smacks of
government interference in the eyes of some.
On Wed, Apr 14, 2021 at 10:54 AM Brian Johnson <brian.johnson at netgeek.us>
> Patrick - I hope that your determination of failure isn't dictated by the
> federal government telling you so. 😳
> Again, green-energy solves none of these issues. In fact, it is likely
> less green, and more expensive than the traditional solutions.
> Much resect for you and I really appreciate your views on these topics.
> On Apr 14, 2021, at 10:39 AM, Patrick W. Gilmore <patrick at ianai.net>
> The issue was not only perfectly foreseeable, ERCOT has a ten year old
> document explaining PRECISELY how to avoid such an occurrence happening.
> Did you miss the second paragraph below?
> On Apr 14, 2021, at 11:35 AM, Brian Johnson <brian.johnson at netgeek.us>
> Not what I was saying. The demand for virtue-signaling green energy is not
> an effective strategy to actually having power available.
> I appreciate the nuances, but the need to imply that a profit motive was
> the issue is not proven. This issue was NOT foreseeable except with the
> perfect reverse 20/20 vision. It’s like saying that I shouldn’t have built
> the house where the tornado hit.
> On Apr 14, 2021, at 10:12 AM, Patrick W. Gilmore <patrick at ianai.net>
> The idea that because ERCOT is a non-profit somehow means they would never
> do anything to save money, or management is not granted bonuses or salary
> increases based on savings, or have no financial incentive is ridiculous.
> E.g. Salaries for the top ERCOT executives increased 50% from 2012 to 2019. “Just
> pointing out facts.”
> Also, green vs. traditional has little to do with why ERCOT had problems.
> It is undisputed that ERCOT failed in 2011, was handed a report by the feds
> showing why they failed and how to fix it, yet ERCOT did not require
> suppliers to enact those fixes. Those actions had a direct, operational
> effect on the Internet. And as such, seem perfectly on-topic for NANOG.
> Why that happened may still be on topic. For instance, you state correctly
> that ERCOT is a non-profit (although you and I disagree on precisely how
> that affects things). But the suppliers are not. Are we 1000000% certain
> the CEO’s salary jumping far far far far far faster than inflation had
> nothing to do with protecting the suppliers’ profits? I am not. However,
> that question is only tenuously operational.
> Bringing it back to the topic on hand: How do we keep the grid up? Or plan
> for it not being up? Simply saying “green power is unreliable” is not an
> answer when many RFPs at least ask what percentage of your power is green,
> or flat out require at least some of your production be green. Making a
> blanket statement that “XXX is a non-profit” does not absolve them from
> poor business practices, which at least saves the non-profit money and
> frequently results in profits outside that entity. Etc.
> On Apr 14, 2021, at 10:00, Brian Johnson <brian.johnson at netgeek.us> wrote:
> There is no profit motive for a non-profit company. It’s completely
> relevant to your response.
> For profit companies have similar issues with power generation and
> maintenance as the way power is generated requires maintenance. No power
> system is generating at 100% of capability at any single point. Your
> assumptions of neglect, poor maintenance and failing to learn are
> subterfuge. Traditional methods are more reliable (so far) than the newer
> “green” methods.
> Just pointing out facts.
> On Apr 14, 2021, at 8:26 AM, Tom Beecher <beecher at beecher.cc> wrote:
> 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>
>> 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
>>> > 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.
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