It takes a truly Soviet level of indoctrination to stand in driving snow and chant, “It’s getting hot in here!”, as climate protesters in Washington did in 2009. Let alone to shriek about a global warming “emergency” as an entire hemisphere freezes.
It’s winter in the northern hemisphere, of course. We get that. A particularly severe winter does not necessarily disprove the slight warming of the 20th century – just as a particularly severe summer doesn’t prove that we’re going to global warming hell in a fossil-fuelled handcart. But what the unseasonal cold sweeping half the world right now is really exposing is the utter lunacy of “net zero by 2050”.
Gas and power prices have spiked across the central U.S. while Texas regulators ordered rolling blackouts Monday as an Arctic blast has frozen wind turbines. Herein is the paradox of the left’s climate agenda: The less we use fossil fuels, the more we need them.
The seeming paradox is what should be plain to anyone not besotted by green ideology: wind and solar are hugely intermittent and incredibly expensive sources of power; grids need constant, reliable power input to function properly. Anyone see the problem, here?
And now the most energy-rich state in the USA has had to turn the lights and heating off in the middle of winter.
A mix of ice and snow swept across the country this weekend as temperatures plunged below zero in the upper Midwest and into the teens in Houston […] yet the power grid is becoming less reliable due to growing reliance on wind and solar, which can’t provide power 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
While Texas is normally awash in gas and oil, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the state’s wholesale power market, urged residents this weekend to conserve power to avoid power outages. Regulators rationed gas for commercial and industrial uses to ensure fuel for power plants and household heating.
Texas’s energy emergency could last all week as the weather is forecast to remain frigid.
While far away in Greece, the Acropolis is buried under a blanket of snow – the very snow that the Klimate Kult assured us would be a rare event by now – in Texas, the wind turbines are literally frozen.
Blame a perfect storm of bad government policies, timing and weather. Coal and nuclear are the most reliable sources of power. But competition from heavily subsidized wind power and inexpensive natural gas, combined with stricter emissions regulation, has caused coal’s share of Texas’s electricity to plunge by more than half in a decade to 18%.
Wind’s share has tripled to about 25% since 2010 and accounted for 42% of power last week before the freeze set in. About half of Texans rely on electric pumps for heating, which liberals want to mandate everywhere. But the pumps use a lot of power in frigid weather. So while wind turbines were freezing, demand for power was surging.
Gas-fired power plants ramped up, but the Arctic freeze increased demand for gas across the country. Producers couldn’t easily increase supply since a third of rigs across the country were taken out of production during the pandemic amid lower energy demand. Some gas wells and pipelines in Texas and Oklahoma also shut down in frosty conditions.
Cue basic economics (you know, that black art that leftist politicians struggle to understand): less supply, increased demand – result, soaring prices.
Enormous new demand coupled with constrained supply caused natural gas spot prices to spike to nearly $600 per million British thermal units in the central U.S. from about $3 a couple weeks ago. Future wholesale power prices in Texas for early this week soared to $9,000 per megawatt hour from a seasonal average of $25.
It’s not just America that’s suffering the entirely foreseeable outcome of lunatic green energy politics.
Europe and Asia are also importing more fossil fuels for heat and power this winter […] Germany’s public broadcasting recently reported that “Germany’s green energies strained by winter.”
The report noted that power is “currently coming mainly from coal, and the power plants in Lausitz” are now “running at full capacity.”[…]
California progressives long ago banished coal. But a heat wave last summer strained the state’s power grid as wind flagged and solar ebbed in the evenings. After imposing rolling blackouts, grid regulators resorted to importing coal power from Utah and running diesel emergency generators.Wall Street Journal
Anyone who claims, against all evidence, that “renewables” are now competitive with fossil fuels on either reliability or price is either ignorant, lying or touched in the head. Anyone who tries to convince us that we can go “net zero by 2050” is either barking mad or a charlatan of the highest order.
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