Green Energy Push Led To Massive Texas Blackouts

It was not just a severe cold front that shut down much of Texas last week. Over a decade of misguided green energy policies are wreaking havoc in Texas and the Great Plains states right now – despite non-stop claims to the contrary by supporters of renewable energy.

To put last week’s devastating snow/ice storm in Texas in perspective, nearly 400,000 Austin homes (out of just under 1 million) were out of power by Tuesday as temperatures fell into the single digits. Similar numbers of homes were also without running water, many of which have yet to have their water restored.

The immediate cause for the widespread power outages and vast road closures in Texas last week was extreme cold, snow, ice, and woefully insufficient winterization of the state’s energy systems.

Yet there’s still no escaping the fact that, for years, Texas regulators have favored the construction of heavily subsidized renewable energy sources over more reliable electricity generation. These policies have pushed the state away from nuclear and coal and now millions in Texas and the Great Plains states are learning just how badly exposed they are when extreme weather hits.

Over the last couple of decades, the state of Texas has spent tens of billions of dollars on wind turbines which often don’t work when millions of people desperately need electricity. As the cold weather got worse last week, over half the state’s wind generation was frozen and immobile. Where wind energy provided 42% of the state’s daily electricity on February 7, it plunged to only 8% on February 11.

Unsurprisingly, the failure of wind has sparked a competing narrative that fossil fuel plants were the real cause of power outages. This claim is quickly dispelled with a look at data from ERCOT, the state’s electricity regulator. Even though the extreme cold had frozen cooling systems on some coal plants and natural gas pipelines, the state’s operating coal plants still upped their output by 47% in response to increased demand last week. Natural gas pipelines which remained in operation across the state increased their output by an amazing 450%. Fossil fuels have done yeoman’s work to make up for wind’s unreliability.

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