The Bidens and AOCs of the world are literally going to
You’re seeing it right here and now across the nation,
including in Texas.
Texas, like so many other areas, has put up windmills and
solar “farms” for the last 20 years, shutting down older
coal-fired plants and not modernizing and improving their
“fossil fuel” energy production infrastructure. At the
same time on a national basis the natural gas pipeline
operators, in service to the woke green mob, have replaced
fuel-fired pumps (that run on the gas in the pipe,
therefore are failsafe so long as the pipe has something
in it and is intact) with electrically powered booster
pumps because, of course, you can get the power for them
from “green” sources instead of all that eeee-vile carbon.
I remind you that natural gas does not freeze at other
than cryogenic temperatures and as such the problem is not
the gas freezing and as for machinery you have plenty of
heat source in the pipe. By putting up with and
responding to the “woke mob” instead of immediately frying
and eating their entire blood line these companies took an
ultra-reliable and essential energy delivery system that
other than by physical destruction would nearly-always
continue to operate and turned it into a fragile system
dependent on multiple outside elements where if any of
those elements failed so does the natural gas delivery.
Winter in the south is when nuclear plants are typically
taken down for maintenance as well — since it’s the
middle of summer when the A/C is blasting away. But those
NatGas peaking plants and coal-fired base load
infrastructure, well…. it’s not green enough, so let’s
turn that stuff off and rely on the windmills and solar
panels — and hope it doesn’t get destabilized.
Of course the “Globull Warming” screamfest folks always
and forever have prognosticated that it will forever get
warmer, that wind levels will rise forever and thus both
solar panels and wind will forevermore continue to yield
more and more useful energy.
All of that got blown up this week.
“I’ve been thinking about the many miles of windfarms I’ve
seen just off I-40 through the panhandle of Texas and into
Oklahoma. All of that capacity is totally useless right
I’ve driven through the road around Amarillo (toward
NM/CO) several times at night and they’re all over the
place. Get it nice and cold and add a bit of moisture and
every one of those has to be shut down lest it destroy
The basic problem that people do not understand is that
nuke plants CANNOT load-follow; their response time to
demand changes is measured in hours in many cases, not
minutes. The same is true of many coal plants incidentally
but not to as severe a degree. Those are base load
resources, not dispatchable peak load-following generation
and you better have the latter available when you need it.
If you have a nuke plant online and suddenly a demand
spike shows up you had better have something else you can
dispatch to fill that demand for a good while, assuming
the nuke plant has nameplate capacity remaining otherwise
the grid will get far enough “behind” it to trip it, and
then you’re ****ed as it goes offline. Ditto if you
rapidly lose demand (e.g. downed lines, etc.)
And if you DO trip a nuke plant it almost-always (unless
it was just refueled) cannot immediately restart. The
reason is that Xenon builds up in the fuel pins when
they’re running and it’s a neutron poison — that is, it
absorbs neutrons but does not fission. In steady-state
operation that Xenon production and destruction reaches a
steady state and forms part of the reactivity (on the
inhibition side) of the core; when the plant trips that
balance goes wildly to the inhibition side. This means
that if you attempt an immediate restart you cannot obtain
criticality as there is too much absorption of neutrons in
the core and it not go critical until the Xenon decays!
That appears to have been what happened here in this
specific case; they took a trip as they were unable to
load-follow with their remaining generation resources —
their “renewables” were offline to a material degree due
to the weather and they did not have dispatchable fast-
response generation. That in turn caused the nuke plant to
trip and now you’re double-****ed as your base load is
uncovered — and down go the customers.”
The massive blast of Siberia-like cold that is wreaking havoc across North America is proving that if we humans want to keep surviving frigid winters, we are going to have to keep burning natural gas — and lots of it — for decades to come.
That cold reality contradicts the “electrify everything” scenario that’s being promoted by climate change activists, politicians, and academics. They claim that to avert the possibility of catastrophic climate change, we must stop burning hydrocarbons and convert all of our transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial systems so that they are powered solely on electricity, with most of that juice coming, of course, from forests of wind turbines and oceans of solar panels.
But attempting to electrify everything would concentrate our energy risks on an electricity grid that is already breaking under the surge in demand caused by the crazy cold weather. Across America, countless people don’t have electricity. I’m one of them. Our power here in central Austin went out at about 3 am. I am writing this under a blanket, have multiple layers of clothes on, and am nervously watching my laptop’s battery indicator.
This blizzard proves that attempting to electrify everything would be the opposite of anti-fragile. Rather than make our networks and critical systems more resilient and less vulnerable to disruptions caused by extreme weather, bad actors, falling trees, or simple negligence, electrifying everything would concentrate our dependence on a single network, the electric grid, and in doing so make nearly every aspect of our society prone to catastrophic failure if — or rather, when — a widespread or extended blackout occurs.
This blizzard proves that we have not been taking our energy security seriously enough. The concept of energy security has many aspects. But the most fundamental one is that we all have enough reliable and affordable energy (of whatever type) so that we don’t freeze to death during cold spells like the one now wreaking havoc across the continent.