Texas Governor Orders More Fossil Fuels and Nuclear for Electric Reliability vs Green Blackouts
July 9, 2021 (EIRNS)—This week Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued orders to the Texas Public Utility Commission to foster more use of coal, natural gas and nuclear power to supply his state with reliable power. He sent a letter on July 6, in which he spelled out the principle that generating modes that cannot provide reliable supplies, like wind and solar, should properly bear the costs of failures in the system. If these modes do not bear these costs, then it creates “an uneven playing field between non-renewable and renewable energy generators,” he stated in his letter. Abbott wants the Utility Commission to structure more incentives for the use of fossil fuels and nuclear, to avert a disaster like the February Texas freeze.
Many places in the U.S. are now facing summer blackouts during the high heat episodes, when electricity systems cannot meet the demand for air conditioning. New waves of protest against the green agenda are underway in the Central and Western states, with various demands, ranging from a stop to the shift to wind and solar, to stopping the “30×30” plan, which calls for a 30% set-aside of use of federal lands and water by 2030. Last week, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts had his eighth town hall meeting against the 30×30 “land grab,” in which 150 people attended in a very sparsely populated county.
In Iowa, customers of the Corn Belt Power Cooperative are angry that their electric supplier is under pressure to shut its coal plants, after the Duane Arnold nuclear plant had been shut down already in 2020. In Kansas there are meetings underway to mobilize against the shift to wind and implementation of the 30×30 land grab.
Warnings and signs of the consequences of transitioning to costly and intermittent wind and solar are everywhere in Europe and the U.S. Take Sweden, for example: Sweden’s electric grid operator Svenska kraftnät warned in its annual review, released in May, that come winter, Sweden may not be able to import enough electricity to meet peak demand during the coldest seasons. In recent times, Sweden needed to import up to 1,600 megawatts of electricity to cover peak consumption, roughly 6% of last winter’s peak demand of 25,500 MW. Sweden is currently adding up to 2,900 MW of new wind power capacity this year, but electricity generation is low in frigid weather. The annual report stated about the winter electricity deficit, “Svenska kraftnät analyses show that the import possibilities for dealing with such a deficit may be limited if the same wind and temperature conditions also prevail in our neighboring countries, or if the import possibilities are reduced by network restrictions or other reasons.” Sweden’s electricity profile, as of 2020 was: hydropower 45%; nuclear 30%; and wind power 17%, according to Reuters.