The Corner

Energy & Environment

Green Energy Useless during Cold Snaps

The sun sets behind power-generating turbines of a wind farm in Mirnyi, Crimea, June 1, 2018. (Pavel Rebrov/Reuters)

Baby, it’s cold outside!

Much of the Midwest and Mountain states are seeing subzero temperatures and blizzard conditions as the polar vortex sweeps through. As far south as Dallas, the temperatures dipped into the 20s. In parts of Minnesota, temperatures dipped to near their lowest levels in a century. In Texas, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is warning of “rolling blackouts” due to extreme cold.

Green energy to the rescue, right?

Hardly. As the Center for the American Experiment, a climate-skeptic Minnesota-based think tank has reported:

Wind turbines are shut down when temperatures are below -22° F because it is too cold to operate them safely. This means it will be too cold for the wind turbines built by the power companies to generate any electricity.”

They note that during the last Polar Vortex in 2019, wind and solar provided almost no power.

Ergo: When you really need power and heating, wind and solar are out of commission.

It’s worse than that. The Minnesota think tank reports:

Wind turbines will actually consume electricity at these temperatures because the turbines use electric heaters in their gearboxes to keep the oil in the housing from freezing, which would cause damage to the turbine. During the 2019 Polar Vortex, wind turbines were consuming 2 MW of electricity. Wind turbines are a liability on the grid when the power is needed most.

Solar power is even less reliable in severe weather conditions. Frigid temperatures are often associated with bright sunny skies, but the temperatures drop way down at night — you know, when there is no sunlight. Also, snow and ice often disable the panels.

What this means is that if — God forbid — Joe Biden realizes his maniacal dream of zero fossil fuels, the people in North Dakota, Minnesota, Chicago, and Boston will be in big trouble. Maybe they can go back to the Middle Ages and build fires.

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