Unreliable & Inefficient


February 15, 2021
This Blizzard Exposes The Perils Of Attempting To ‘Electrify Everything’
Forbes, Robert Bryce
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 our natural gas grid is part of our critical infrastructure and that we shut it down at our peril. It is essential because it can deliver big surges in energy supplies during periods of peak demand. The blizzard and blackouts that are paralyzing the country are occurring at roughly the same time that some of America’s most famous activists and politicians are saying we should quit using all hydrocarbons and dozens of cities across the country are imposing bans on the use of natural gas. In addition to being bad for energy security, these bans are a form of regressive tax on the poor and the middle class because they compel consumers to use electricity, which costs four times more than natural gas on an energy equivalent basis.

December 8, 2020
Electricity prices reach record high in Belgium
The Brussels Times, Jason Spinks
Electricity prices skyrocketed to record heights on Monday morning in Belgium due to unfavorable weather conditions. Prices shot up to €2,300 per MegaWatt-hour due to a lack of wind and sun, causing wind turbines and solar panels to barely produce any renewable energy. The lack of production was worse than initially thought. There was a deficit of 800 MW, which corresponds to a small nuclear power plant, causing electricity grid manager Elia to send prices soaring.

September 19, 2020
‘No more wind.’ WA state utility questions efficacy of wind farms for power generation
The News Tribune, Bill Virgin
More large-scale wind farms they say, will “contribute very little to keeping the regional power grid reliable and will not help Benton PUD solve our seasonal energy deficit problems”, will drive up customer rates, won’t make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, will hurt revenues that utilities like Benton receive from the sale of surplus hydropower and will needlessly clutter up the “scenic hillsides, canyons and desert vistas in our region for little if any net environmental benefit.”

August 26, 2020
Commentary: Blackouts highlight shortcomings of energy policy
California Agricultural Alert, Robert Spiegel and Karen Norene Mills
Unfortunately, the heavy emphasis and preference for solar energy has left insufficient space in the utilities’ mix of resources that can be relied upon for the types of high electrical load that happen during a heat wave. Due to the intermittency of both solar and wind energy, California needs to ensure adequate electrical supply exists from base and peak electrical generation sources. These blackouts should reinforce discussions for a balanced portfolio of energy generation.

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