Author Topic: Ice Age in Texas  (Read 3238 times)

Offline aygart

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2021, 09:41:20 AM »
Interesting 'explainer' - they mention the interconnection issues, but focus more on preparedness for extreme weather as the culprit (and the role deregulation plays in that):

The deregulation angle is a bunch of bunk.
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Offline skyguy918

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2021, 09:50:08 AM »
The deregulation angle is a bunch of bunk.
So what you're saying is, you didn't watch the video and just responded to the text above it?
« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 10:04:26 AM by skyguy918 »

Offline avromie7

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2021, 10:04:19 AM »
@aygart , what do you think would have happened if TX was connected to the Eastern US grid? Would the transmission lines be able to handle all the excess demand? Would the power plants be able to handle all that demand? We know they got some power from the Eastern US, but that was cut off when the mid-west had their own storm to contend with. To me it definitely sounds like someone would end up without enough power and because TX is separate they were obviously the first to be cut off.
I wonder what people who type "u" instead of "you" do with all their free time.

Offline aygart

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2021, 10:23:58 AM »
So what you're saying is, you didn't watch the video and just responded to the text above it?
Correct, after have read tens of articles about the topic from all sides of the political spectrum and all levels of expertise of various aspects of energy markets and grid reliability, all with a background of dealing with many of these aspects on a daily basis.
Feelings don't care about your facts

Offline skyguy918

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #49 on: March 04, 2021, 10:29:39 AM »
Correct, after have read tens of articles about the topic from all sides of the political spectrum and all levels of expertise of various aspects of energy markets and grid reliability, all with a background of dealing with many of these aspects on a daily basis.
So to be clear, you're replying to my comment above the video, without the context in which it was posted, the entirety of which is contained in the video you didn't watch.

Let's make this simple - what is the statement/opinion you thought I was putting forward, without watching the video, and what is your response. Try to express your thoughts fully, something you struggle to do on this forum sometimes, opting for glib one-liners instead.

Offline aygart

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #50 on: March 04, 2021, 10:34:42 AM »
@aygart , what do you think would have happened if TX was connected to the Eastern US grid? Would the transmission lines be able to handle all the excess demand? Would the power plants be able to handle all that demand? We know they got some power from the Eastern US, but that was cut off when the mid-west had their own storm to contend with. To me it definitely sounds like someone would end up without enough power and because TX is separate they were obviously the first to be cut off.
There is no way there would have been enough transmission capacity to fix the problem, but there is a chance that it may have been mitigated slightly. Neighboring states also had similar outages. In 2014 when the polar vortex hit the Northeast, there were rolling blackouts in PA despite there being a full and costly capacity market for both generation and transmission. Somehow, when they were needed they weren't available to supply the contracted capacity. In TX the capacity incentive is by having high prices during shortage events instead of a regular capacity payment. Many generators lost out on this. I heard from one company that both owns generation and sells it as a TX REP that they rely on their own generation to supply their customers, but when the gas pipelines shut down or were curtailed, they were unable to get fuel for their generation and needed to buy for all of their customers on the open market. This meant that besides the lost opportunity for being unable to generate at high priced tmes they had losses to the tune of a billion dollars buying energy for $9000/mWh and selling for $40. There are many lessons to take out of this. Some may affect the deregulated aspects of it, but a large portion is from natural gas pipelines which are fully regulated.
Feelings don't care about your facts

Offline avromie7

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #51 on: March 04, 2021, 11:10:09 AM »
So to be clear, you're replying to my comment above the video, without the context in which it was posted, the entirety of which is contained in the video you didn't watch.

Let's make this simple - what is the statement/opinion you thought I was putting forward, without watching the video, and what is your response. Try to express your thoughts fully, something you struggle to do on this forum sometimes, opting for glib one-liners instead.
I think you're not understanding @aygart expertise in the energy industry. Understanding energy rate structures is a big part of what I do for a living and I learned a lot from @aygart. Suffice it to say he understands the intricacies of the energy market very well, a lot better than a Vox video writer trying to make a political point.

There is no way there would have been enough transmission capacity to fix the problem, but there is a chance that it may have been mitigated slightly. Neighboring states also had similar outages. In 2014 when the polar vortex hit the Northeast, there were rolling blackouts in PA despite there being a full and costly capacity market for both generation and transmission. Somehow, when they were needed they weren't available to supply the contracted capacity. In TX the capacity incentive is by having high prices during shortage events instead of a regular capacity payment. Many generators lost out on this.
Alternatively, some of the other states would have shared in the power outages. While that would've been much better for TX, it would have been worse for the other states.
I wonder what people who type "u" instead of "you" do with all their free time.

Offline aygart

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #52 on: March 04, 2021, 11:15:44 AM »
I think you're not understanding @aygart expertise in the energy industry. Understanding energy rate structures is a big part of what I do for a living and I learned a lot from @aygart. Suffice it to say he understands the intricacies of the energy market very well, a lot better than a Vox video writer trying to make a political point.
 Alternatively, some of the other states would have shared in the power outages. While that would've been much better for TX, it would have been worse for the other states.

I appreciate the compliment!

My entire business model is based on understanding the energy tariffs and markets. As a part of that I have been expert witness in litigation and have clarified aspects for people at some large energy suppliers.
Feelings don't care about your facts

Offline skyguy918

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #53 on: March 04, 2021, 11:38:05 AM »
I think you're not understanding @aygart expertise in the energy industry. Understanding energy rate structures is a big part of what I do for a living and I learned a lot from @aygart. Suffice it to say he understands the intricacies of the energy market very well, a lot better than a Vox video writer trying to make a political point.
 Alternatively, some of the other states would have shared in the power outages. While that would've been much better for TX, it would have been worse for the other states.
I appreciate the compliment!

My entire business model is based on understanding the energy tariffs and markets. As a part of that I have been expert witness in litigation and have clarified aspects for people at some large energy suppliers.

Lol, you're both hilarious. I'm well aware that you guys have expertise in this area. But you're discussing things unrelated to what I posted. Just watch the damn video and give your opinion then! It's exceedingly arrogant of you to go on and on about it, defiantly refusing to watch the video.

The reason I posted this is because they talk about the aspect of preparedness on the part of the energy producers. Texas being separate from the major interconnections is mentioned and then specifically put to the side in favor of the fundamental issue of preparedness. I'm sure you have what to add to the discussion - explain things better or argue on some of their points - but you can't do that without watching the video.

Offline aygart

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #54 on: March 04, 2021, 12:08:08 PM »
Just watch the damn video and give your opinion then! It's exceedingly arrogant of you to go on and on about it, defiantly refusing to watch the video.

It is not a refusal but rather that my ability to watch youtube is very limited by filters and where that is not an issue is not a setting that I can watch it.
Feelings don't care about your facts

Offline skyguy918

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #55 on: March 04, 2021, 12:13:48 PM »
It is not a refusal but rather that my ability to watch youtube is very limited by filters and where that is not an issue is not a setting that I can watch it.
That's fine, but then you shouldn't be commenting on it. You understand how condescending that is? "I can't watch the video, but as the expert on energy, let me reply with a comment unrelated to what you were trying to say."

Offline skyguy918

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #56 on: March 04, 2021, 12:39:13 PM »
Just because I actually do want to hear what you have to say about it, I pulled the subs from the video. I'm skipping the beginning, where they talk more about the interconnections, and leaving in the rest, which focuses on weather and preparedness. The italicized parts are their expert speaking - a Princeton professor named Jesse Jenkins. Obviously some of it references visuals that you'll have to watch the video to get.

Quote
So, most of Texas is on its own grid. It means they donít have to follow the same regulations as the rest of the country, like reliability and cost standards. But it also means when it lost power in the storm, it couldnít easily get electricity from other states. Its independence kept it in the dark.

But it wasnít the reason it went dark in the first place. Being on its own, Texas has to make all their own power. They have a variety of sources. When the storm came, it affected every one. Several coal plants stopped operating, as coal piles froze. One of four Texan nuclear plants went offline. Some wind turbines stopped working in the freezing cold.

But the biggest failure, in terms of its magnitude and its impact, was the natural gas system.

Natural gas, which actually contains water vapor, froze in storage wells and pipelines. Every one of these systems failed, in part. And it had nothing to do with the type of energy, and everything to do with these companies not being prepared for the cold.

Clearly, you can run an energy system in cold temperatures. There are wind turbines operating in Antarctica, and gas plants in Alaska and Alberta. So, this is not a technology-specific issue. It was more a failure to anticipate that this is something that could even occur in Texas at this length and severity, and to prepare for extreme cold temperatures.

But it should have been anticipated. Because this has happened in Texas before. In 1989, the same kind of arctic storm caused natural gas plants to have the same problems, resulting in rolling blackouts. And the same thing again, in 2011. And both times, federal commissions recommended that utilities "ensure reliability in extreme weather conditions. "And specifically, for the state government to create winterization standards for these energy sources. The Texas utility commission did make those standards -- but also made them voluntary. So most companies didnít winterize. Private companies like these donít have an incentive to spend their money preparing for unpredictable and infrequent events without being required to. But this problem is not limited to Texas.

The particular vulnerability to the extreme cold may be a uniquely Texas thing. But I think what it shows, is you need to check your blind spots. And that applies everywhere.

This is a chart of the last 40 years of severe weather disasters in the US. Storms in particular are in orange. Here's the Texas winter storm in 1989, and the one in 2011. These costly disasters are becoming more frequent --not just in Texas, but nationally, and globally. And the US is not prepared. Most of this grid was built 60-70 years ago but was only built to last 50 years. And some studies point to nearly 100 facilities, like power plants, in immediate danger of flooding and storm surges. Most of these private energy companies, across the US, arenít going to change unless theyíre required to. But these utility commissions can require it. As can state governments. And the federal government. All three can even help pay for it.

Texas was warned for 30 years to prepare its energy systems for severe weather and climate change. But they didnít. Now the rest of the US is facing the same problem. It is a wakeup call, for everywhere, to think about, how do we prepare our energy infrastructures, and our other critical infrastructure, for extreme events that may become more severe, and may become more likely? And that isn't about just thinking about what's probable, but also, what can break the system in a way that's catastrophic?

Offline aygart

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #57 on: March 04, 2021, 12:39:56 PM »
That's fine, but then you shouldn't be commenting on it. You understand how condescending that is? "I can't watch the video, but as the expert on energy, let me reply with a comment unrelated to what you were trying to say."
You are right. I apologize. What I should have written was that without commenting on the video itself, what I have seen around elsewhere about the deregulation aspect was a bunch of bunk.
Feelings don't care about your facts

Offline avromie7

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #58 on: March 04, 2021, 01:02:37 PM »
Just because I actually do want to hear what you have to say about it, I pulled the subs from the video. I'm skipping the beginning, where they talk more about the interconnections, and leaving in the rest, which focuses on weather and preparedness. The italicized parts are their expert speaking - a Princeton professor named Jesse Jenkins. Obviously some of it references visuals that you'll have to watch the video to get.
This is where they're playing tricks and number games
Quote
Some wind turbines stopped working in the freezing cold.

But the biggest failure, in terms of its magnitude and its impact, was the natural gas system.
My numbers aren't 100% accurate because I'm working from memory, but the point still stands. While it's true that in terms of absolute gigawatts NG lost the most, NG also makes up the biggest part of the supply. At it's lowest it bottomed out at around 70% operational. Wind makes up a smaller but very significant percentage, something around 20-25%, at it's lowest it bottomed out at around 2% operational (98% of the wind turbines were not working) If the wind would have "only" bottomed out at the same percentage as NG (70%) they would have had another 15% of their capacity available. That's a very significant amount.
Quote
Clearly, you can run an energy system in cold temperatures. There are wind turbines operating in Antarctica, and gas plants in Alaska and Alberta. So, this is not a technology-specific issue. It was more a failure to anticipate that this is something that could even occur in Texas at this length and severity, and to prepare for extreme cold temperatures.
Quote
The particular vulnerability to the extreme cold may be a uniquely Texas thing. But I think what it shows, is you need to check your blind spots. And that applies everywhere.
This is overall the biggest culprit, the lack of preparation for such cold weather. Something they're not telling you is that this can (partially) be blamed on the fact that the CapEx for the power grid was spent on renewables instead of winterization.
I wonder what people who type "u" instead of "you" do with all their free time.

Offline skyguy918

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Re: Ice Age in Texas
« Reply #59 on: March 04, 2021, 01:48:27 PM »
This is where they're playing tricks and number games  My numbers aren't 100% accurate because I'm working from memory, but the point still stands. While it's true that in terms of absolute gigawatts NG lost the most, NG also makes up the biggest part of the supply. At it's lowest it bottomed out at around 70% operational. Wind makes up a smaller but very significant percentage, something around 20-25%, at it's lowest it bottomed out at around 2% operational (98% of the wind turbines were not working) If the wind would have "only" bottomed out at the same percentage as NG (70%) they would have had another 15% of their capacity available. That's a very significant amount.
You're arguing against the idea that NG fared worse than renewables (something discussed upthread), but that wasn't remotely discussed in the video. They had a graphic up there during the paragraph you quoted from showing that NG is the highest share of their energy supply at 46% (but you didn't bother with the video, so...). The part you actually quote says explicitly "in terms of magnitude and impact" - which pretty clearly is not by %.

This is overall the biggest culprit, the lack of preparation for such cold weather.
Yeah, that was the point of the video.

Something they're not telling you is that this can (partially) be blamed on the fact that the CapEx for the power grid was spent on renewables instead of winterization.
This is not an either or. The producers aren't saying we're not gonna spend money on winterization because they need to spend it on renewables. They're saying that because they're not forced to spend money on winterization.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 02:12:25 PM by skyguy918 »