Texas ERCOT power shortages (again) April 13

John Levine johnl at iecc.com
Wed Apr 14 16:37:22 UTC 2021

It appears that Stan Barber <sob at academ.com> said:
>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.

Exactly. It's all about risk shifting. Ercot is run by free market
fundamentalists who believe, in spite of considerable evidence to the
contrary, that the market alone will always provide all the power
people need. This has the effect of shifting the risk of failure onto
users who often don't realize that until it's too late. They've known
since 2011 that much of the Texas grid fails when it's below freezing
but they don't have any inclination, or even the authority, to tell
power generators to spend money on weatherproofing and other risk

They allow the wholesale price of power which is usually about 4c/kwh
to spike as high as $9, in the absurd belief that super high prices
will magically cause power to appear. This had the effect of dumping
giant power bills on users who couldn't pay them, and the costs and
defaults are now making lawyers rich. 

Meanwhile, the politicans are involved in an extensive effort to pin
the blame on anyone but themselves, which is where the nonsense about
green power comes from. Texas' windmills aren't weatherproofed any
better than rest of the system but nontheless were providing slightly
more power than Ercot expected while the grid collapsed.

So, yeah, if you're in Texas, better make your own arrangments because
the state is paralyzed.

John Levine, johnl at taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly

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