Arctic Attack: The Aftermath
- Feb 17, 2021 5:15 pm GMTFeb 17, 2021 5:22 pm GMT
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Al Gore, Mike Pence and Elon Musk go into a bar……..
Insert your own joke here. Like politics most power market watchers prefer a villain. The natural gas sector couldn’t wait to shout “YOU’RE WELCOME FOR KEEPING YOU WARM!!!!” while I expect to shortly see tweets of solar panels providing power in snow covered remote areas. Excuse the kumbaya but diversity in power generation works just like the board room, it generates multiple options and solutions. More on this later.
I type these observations in my slowly warming home office after a 30 hour outage, fingers crossed I make it through before Houston’s roaming blackouts strike again. Therefore will refrain from another rant on shortcomings of deregulation in ERCOT, iced over wind turbines, frozen natural gas equipment and illogical curtailment policy.
Did I miss the memo from NASA pointing to concrete evidence that an artic vortex was undeniably caused by global warming? While I won’t refute fossil fuels contribute to rising average temperatures I recall these events happening in the past at about the same rate (remember 1989?). A brutal cold snap every 30 years doesn’t feel like climate Armageddon.
Similar to California’s woes managing significant renewable generation penetration the ERCOT market design left out an important component and cost: incentivizing natural gas power generation investment (aka capacity market with steep non-performance penalties). Establishing a competitive market for efficient quick start and weather resistant generation compensated is a start. After this week being ready will be on the agenda when the Texas legislature and the Governor address what went wrong. Expect ERCOT to see the bottom of a bus.
What’s wrong with siting natural gas peakers alongside solar/storage? They would support each other and lessen the cost impact until battery storage can carry the water.
How many tweets calling for shutting down natural gas pipelines did you see this week? Typing on a PC with 20% battery left in your 38 degree garage apartment can alter your priorities.
Again my guiding light T Boone Pickens nailed it saying we need to go Big Tent, develop new renewables while lessening environmental impact of hydrocarbons. As a society we still demand a few basics: ready transportation, lights and internet at the flip of a switch and typing without gloves on. It seems to me grid diversity is the path forward, I’ll have a LM 6000, a 5 MW battery array and 10 acres of solar panel. Crap, the lights just flickered, until next time…….