This special interest group is for professionals to connect and discuss all types of carbon-free power alternatives, including nuclear, renewable, tidal and more.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Nuclear Power Policy Activist, Independent

I am a passionate advocate for the environment and nuclear energy. With the threat of climate change, I’ve embarked on a mission to help overcome the fears of nuclear energy. I’ve been active in...

  • Member since 2018
  • 6,979 items added with 261,479 views
  • Sep 15, 2021

"Generac Power Systems, a company that produces home generators and other equipment, announced in July record sales of $920 million during the second quarter, a 68% jump over last year. But what’s good for Generac is bad for America.

That’s no slam on the Wisconsin-based company, which manufactures about three-quarters of the home standby generators sold in the U.S. Instead, Generac’s soaring sales are evidence that the U.S. electric grid is becoming less reliable, which will make Americans less wealthy and less secure. Consumers are spending billions of dollars on generators to have on hand when the power goes out. This capital would be better spent on other things such as education or home improvements.

Blackouts are deadly and create costly drags on the economy. Bad policies and lack of oversight contributed to the February blackouts in Texas. The final tally: about $200 billion in damage and some 700 people dead from hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning and other causes. In California—a state that is hemorrhaging residents—blackouts have become a near-daily event."

Rao Konidena's picture
Rao Konidena on Sep 15, 2021

I don't believe renewables are causing blackouts. The grid operators are struggling with the transition from large generators to smaller generators since PV solar is cost-effective now compared to 20 years ago.

It is easier to blame wind and solar because they are the new "kid" on the block in terms of the resource mix. However, if wind farms are not winterized or solar panels have sand on them due to a sandstorm, it is poor planning or planning that didn't anticipate those 1 in 100-year events happening more frequently, like 1 in 10 years.

We do know that system operators in the control room train for emergency events. We also know that grid operators like MISO have additional resources , including calling long lead time load modifying resources sooner in the event of capacity emergencies. While the past is not the indicator for the future, it would serve the industry well by focusing on aggregating distributed energy resources outlined in the FERC Order 2222.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Sep 15, 2021

Rao, you say "I don't believe renewables are causing blackouts", then explain why renewables are causing blackouts.

And no, renewables aren't "the new 'kid' on the block" - they've been disappointing for over half a century. I'm again forced to remind 21st-century renewables disciples of President Jimmy Carter's 1979 prediction that "20% of U.S. energy will be powered by the sun by the year 2000". Though it was met with cheers and applause at the time, he was wrong - so wrong, if renewables progress at the rate they have since 1979, it would be 850 years before Carter's prediction might prove correct.

Solar and wind are losers, and always will be. It has nothing to do with investment - solar panels and wind turbines could be free. No more time to waste.

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Rafael Herzberg on Sep 15, 2021

PV solar is based on the assumption that whenever there is no enough sun the grid will be there instantly as a back up. 

But... this means that all the power supply chain has to be there available. Accordingly investments (generation, transmission and distribution) are made but (again...) will be associated with less energy delivered (because when there is sun the priority is for the roof top to supply) which ends up at a higher cost in USD/MWh.

So far renewable is being subsidized. Home owners go for rooftop because it becomes cheaper for them. But for all others it becomes more expensive and there is a price to pay for it (in technical terms, the grid operates with a lower load factor and the overall costs of the energy delivered is inversely proportional to the load factor).

There is no free lunch!



Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Sep 15, 2021

Rafael, agreed - there is no free lunch. And I think you would agree that a well-regulated, clean electrical grid works out best for everyone. Overall, it's the most reliable and least-expensive option.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Thank Bob for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »