Planet Gore

Puff the Magic Dragon

While we’re on the subject of renewables: here’s further proof that wind power is no panacaea for the nation’s looming electricity crisis. The wind dropped in Texas, and caused blackouts:

ERCOT said the grid’s frequency dropped suddenly when wind production fell from more than 1,700 megawatts, before the event, to 300 MW when the emergency was declared.
In addition, ERCOT said multiple power suppliers fell below the amount of power they were scheduled to produce on Tuesday. That, coupled with the loss of wind generated in West Texas, created problems moving power to the west from North Texas.
ERCOT declares a stage 1 emergency when power reserves fall below 2,300 MW. A stage 2 emergency is called when reserves fall below 1,750 MW.
At the time of the emergency, ERCOT demand increased from 31,200 MW to a peak of 35,612 MW, about half the total generating capacity in the region, according to the agency’s Web site.

Meanwhile, in Denmark, wind turbines are exploding. Dramatic video (provenance uncertain, so may not be genuine) here. This follows the fatal collapse of a wind tower in Oregon last summer. They also come with environmental costs of their own.
Now, of course, all energy production comes with risks, but wind power has such a positive image that people think of it as completely safe, environmentally-friendly and reliable. That’s not the case.

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