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Home Weather Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #444

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #444

The Week That Was: 2021-02-20 (February 20, 2021)
Brought to You by SEPP (
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones.” – Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Feb 12, 2002

Number of the Week: – 70% undependable.


By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Promote the Myth: The extreme chilly that hit Texas this week gave recent alternatives for many who interact in finger pointing and those that promote myths regarding local weather change and methods to deal with it. There isn’t any bodily proof that growing CO2 within the environment from say 300 components per million to 400 components per million, 0.01% of the molecules within the environment, will trigger cooling. (Similarly, there’s little bodily proof that it’s going to trigger harmful warming, although that has turn out to be a well-liked political fable.)

When California skilled blackouts this summer season, many politicians ignored the truth that in California the legislature is chargeable for all utilities. Instead, they promptly blamed the utilities and world warming for failure of utilities to supply wanted electrical energy. Thereby they tried to deflect their very own tasks.

The electrical grid is an energized system of electrical energy turbines, transformers, transmission and distribution traces and shoppers that should be maintained inside tight tolerances. Otherwise, it fails for all. For years, the California Independent Systems Operator (CAISO), which is chargeable for sustaining the grid in main components of California, has been warning the general public that elevated photo voltaic era, often within the type of photoelectric panels, will place an important burden on electrical era because the solar goes down.

CAISO developed the CAISO Duck Curve, illustrating that growing photo voltaic and erratic wind energy can produce oversupply {of electrical} energy when not wanted and lack {of electrical} energy when it’s wanted probably the most. When the latter happens, the grid operator should shut off energy to a part of the grid to forestall failure for all shoppers. For years, California politicians have ignored the proof that unusually heat, nonetheless climate would create conditions the place CAISO should shut off energy to components of the grid to guard the grid from main harm lasting months, which, in fact, create blackouts that vex shoppers..

When such conditions resulted in California Blackouts final 12 months, the politicians blamed everybody else – and local weather change – to cover their very own accountability. Unfortunately, it is a frequent instance of actions by many politicians and bureaucrats: When proof contradicts the political fable; promote the parable, ignore the proof. We are seeing the identical in Texas. See


Ignore the Evidence: Although others expressed related views, within the quote of the week Donald Rumsfeld succinctly expressed the issue in checking out that which we all know and that which we have no idea, in addition to ranges of ignorance. For his effort, he was ridiculed within the common press. It is beneficial to use Rumsfeld’s reasoning to attempt to perceive what occurred in Texas this previous week.

The plains states, together with Texas, are topic to extreme outbreaks of chilly winter climate in addition to extreme outbreaks of scorching climate. In the nineteenth century, settlers within the higher Midwest famous extreme blasts of chilly Arctic air. In the Eighties, even Theodore Roosevelt speculated whether or not the Great Plains have been inhabitable. During such occasions, cattle froze as far south as Texas, and the well-known schoolchildren’s blizzard of 1888 killed over 200 youngsters who misplaced their method going dwelling from faculty. Blaming the chilly outbreak in Texas on a change within the slight quantity of CO2 within the environment is absurd. Some climate forecasting organizations resembling WeatherBell Analytics predicted the outbreak of chilly, others didn’t. The outbreak was neither unpredictable nor unprecedented. The query is what do we all know at the moment?

Fortunately, the grid operator for 90% of Texas is ERCOT, which posts glorious helpful info. As with different US grid operators, ERCOT tries to be 99.9% dependable. There was a extreme chilly outbreak in 2011 and in 2014. How has ERCOT responded to extreme chilly outbreaks?

In 2021, its era by gas from Gas Combined Cycle was 35%, Wind 25%, Coal 22% Nuclear 12%, Gas 3% and Solar 2%. The abstract for month-to-month era isn’t but accessible. In 2020 its era by gas was Gas-Combined Cycle 40%, Wind 23%, Coal 18%, Nuclear 11%, Gas 6%, Solar 2%. The months for biggest era was July and August, the best wind era was December.

For 2020, about 25 p.c of era was from weather-dependent photo voltaic and wind; in 2021, 27%. In the current chilly outbreak, inland wind generators froze and photo voltaic was snow lined, ineffective. However, shoreline wind manufacturing was maintained (the floor water temperature at Galveston was over 55 levels F (over 15 levels C). From excessive chilly within the winter to excessive nonetheless, warmth in the summertime, about 25% of the electrical energy generated for ERCOT is from intermittent, undependable sources. According to experiences, ERCOT assumes that within the winter solely 10% of its era might be counted on to return reliably from wind. The incontrovertible fact that so many wind installations have been constructed is a results of big-money politics, not practicality. See hyperlinks underneath Challenging the Orthodoxy, Questioning the Orthodoxy, Subsidies and Mandates Forever, and


Two Markets: One of probably the most helpful analyses regarding Texas Blackouts was by “Planning Engineer” writing in Judith Curry’s “Climate Etc.” He writes:

“The story from some media sources is that frozen wind generators are chargeable for the facility shortfalls in Texas. Other media sources emphasize that fossil gas sources ought to shoulder the blame as a result of they’ve giant chilly induced outages as effectively and additionally some pure gasoline crops couldn’t get hold of gas.

“Extreme cold should be expected to cause significant outages of both renewable and fossil fuel-based resources. Why would anyone expect that sufficient amounts of natural gas would be available and deliverable to supply much needed generation? Considering the extreme cold, nothing particularly surprising is happening within any resource class in Texas. The technologies and their performance were well within the expected bounds of what could have been foreseen for such weather conditions. While some degradation should be expected, what is happening in Texas is a departure from what they should be experiencing. Who or what then is responsible for the shocking consequences produced by Texas’s run-in with this recent bout of extreme cold?”


“Traditionally, accountability for making certain sufficient capability throughout excessive situations has fallen upon particular person utility suppliers. A pair a long time in the past I used to be chargeable for the load forecasting, transmission planning and era planning efforts of an electrical cooperative within the southeastern US. My group’s projections, research and evaluation supported our plans to satisfy buyer demand underneath forecasted peak load situations. We had seen appreciable development in residential and industrial warmth pumps. At colder temperature, these models cease producing warmth effectively and change to resistance heating which [requires substantially increased power and therefore] causes a spike in demand. Our forecasts confirmed that we would wish to plan for additional capability to satisfy this potential demand underneath excessive situations in upcoming winters.

“I was raked over the coals and this forecast was strongly challenged. Providing extra generation capacity, ensuring committed (firm) deliveries of gas during the winter, upgrading transmission facilities are all expensive endeavors. Premiums are paid to ensure gas delivery and backup power and there is no refund if it’s not used. Such actions increased the annual budget and impact rates significantly for something that is not likely to occur most years, even if the extreme weather projections are appropriate. You certainly don’t want to over-estimate peak demand due to the increasing costs associated with meeting that demand. But back then we were obligated to provide for such “expected” masses. Our CEO, accountants and charge makers would ideally have appreciated a decrease excessive demand projection as that might typically stored our value down. It was difficult to carry agency and stand by the research and power the additional prices on our Members.”

Here we see the true battle: does one plan for what is predicted or for the bizarre? Planning engineer goes on to clarify:

“The Approach in Texas

“Who is responsible for providing adequate capacity in Texas during extreme conditions? The short answer is no one. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) looks at potential forecasted peak conditions and expected available generation and if there is sufficient margin, they assume everything will be all right. But unlike utilities under traditional models, they don’t ensure that the resources can deliver power under adverse conditions, they don’t require that generators have secured firm fuel supplies, and they don’t make sure the resources will be ready and available to operate. They count on enough resources being there because they assume that is in their owner’s best interests. Unlike all other US energy markets, Texas does not even have a capacity market. By design they rely solely upon the energy market. This means that entities profit only from the actual energy they sell into the system. They do not see any profit from having stand by capacity ready to help out in emergencies. The energy only market works well under normal conditions to keep prices down. While generally markets are often great things, providing needed energy during extreme conditions evidently is not their forte. Unlike the traditional approach where specific entities have responsibilities to meet peak levels, in Texas the responsibility is diffuse and unassigned. There is no significant long-term motivation for entities to ensure extra capacity just in case it may be needed during extreme conditions. Entities that might make that gamble theoretically can profit when markets skyrocket, but such approaches require tremendous patience and the ability to weather many years of potential negative returns.”

The backside line is that in Texas, nobody is formally chargeable for offering sufficient electrical energy underneath excessive situations. However, clearly in the end the legislature should be accountable. Will it ignore the proof that its insurance policies, or non-policies, end in blackouts as occurred in California? We shall see. Planning Engineer concludes with:

“Anyone can have a look at Texas and observe that fossil gas sources might have carried out higher in the chilly. If those that owned the crops had secured assured gas, Texas would have been higher off. More emergency peaking models could be an important factor to have available. Why would turbines be inclined to do such a factor? Consider, what could be occurring if the house owners of gasoline era had constructed enough era to get by means of this emergency with some extra energy? Instead of accumulating $9,000 per MWH from present functioning models, they’d be receiving lower than $100 per MWH for the output of these crops and their new crops. Why would anybody make great infrastructure that might sit idle in regular years and serve to slash your income by orders of magnitudes in excessive situations?

“The incentive for gas generation to do the right thing was taken away by Texas’s deliberate energy only market strategy. The purpose of which was to aid the profitability of intermittent wind and solar resources and increase their penetration levels. I don’t believe anyone has ever advanced the notion that fossil fuel plants might operate based on altruism. Incentives and responsibility need to be paired.  Doing a post-mortem on the Texas situation ignoring incentives and responsibility is inappropriate and incomplete.”

Texas is self-sufficient in oil and pure gasoline; it exports it nationally and internationally. Some wells produce water in addition to pure gasoline and the water froze throughout the deep chilly. But there are considerable depleted wells to retailer a month’s provide of pure gasoline to satisfy any doable contingency and, as seen in northern states, pipelines might be winterized. Similarly, coal might be saved on web site. Some coal and nuclear crops might have been present process upkeep, however TWTW discovered no verification that the cooling intakes have been frozen placing them out of fee.

Texas is attracting excessive tech industries together with chip producers which require dependable electrical energy. A brief interruption can destroy weeks of manufacturing. Unlike their colleagues in California, will the legislators in Texas present the mandatory incentives to guarantee dependable electrical energy? See hyperlinks underneath Seeking a Common Ground, Energy Issues – Texas, Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind, and


Blackouts Coming Near You? The above centered on blackouts in Texas and to a lesser extent California. It is just too early to inform if the Biden administration will comply with by means of in its assertions to cease carbon dioxide emissions. According to the US Energy Information Agency (EIA), in 2019 coal and pure gasoline generated 61% of US electrical energy, nuclear 20%, wind 7.3%, hydro 6.6%, photo voltaic 1.8%, biomass 1.4%, and petroleum 1%. Replacing fossil fuels with wind and photo voltaic will make 70% of US electrical energy topic to sudden blackouts.

National insurance policies apart, Donn Dears has a superb clarification and a video how varied US grid system operators favor unreliable photo voltaic and wind over dependable turbines of electrical energy. Bluntly, a lot of the American public is paying greater than wanted for electrical energy underneath the pretense that the public sale system getting used is offering the bottom worth doable. See hyperlinks underneath Questioning the Orthodoxy and


Fake Proof, Fake Science: UK’s Paul Homewood supplies a transparent video by Ben Pile of “Spiked” explaining one of many methods being utilized by world warming advocates. They use fashions to provide estimates of what fashions calculate might occur with a rise in CO2, then evaluate these estimates to estimates from the fashions of what might occur with out the rise in CO2. This is laptop simulation vs. laptop simulation, slightly than simulation vs. actuality, which it must be. The world local weather fashions significantly overestimate the precise warming of the environment over the previous 40 years. The modelers know this and have gotten determined. No marvel Ben Pile is so closely attacked for clearly figuring out and explaining these methods. See hyperlinks underneath Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Number of the Week: – 70% undependable. As said above, utilizing EIA numbers, if the Biden administration succeeds in changing coal and pure gas-powered electrical energy era to photo voltaic and wind, then it could make about 70% of US electrical energy era undependable (non-dispatchable). The public wouldn’t have the ability to depend on it when wanted. As Donald Rumsfeld may say, recognized unknowns are dangerous sufficient, however changing a recognized with an unknown unknown is folly. See hyperlinks underneath Change in US Administrations.



Facebook now ‘arbiter of truth’ on ‘climate change’

Panel with Yale, Cambridge consultants to debunk ‘myths’ of ‘deniers’

By Art Moore, WND, Feb 18, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

“The experts will come from the likes of the University of Cambridge, George Mason University and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.”

[SEPP Comment: The promoters of the false 97% consensus at George Mason are in charge of fighting misinformation?]

YouTube Shuts Me Down Again

By Tony Heller, His Blog, Feb 19, 2021

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

Who will Ridd us?

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Feb 17, 2021

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013


Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014


Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019

Download with no cost:

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus

By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015

Download with no cost:

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data

By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019

Challenging the Orthodoxy

The New Dark Age: The self-destruction of an vitality superpower

Editorial, WSJ, Via GWPF, Feb 17, 2021

A deep inexperienced freeze: An existential risk to America’s future

Editorial, WSJ, Via GWPF, Feb 16, 2021

Richard Betts’ Pseudo Science

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 17, 2021

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