…WSJ Joins Fake Media…
Over the past several week the WSJ has published a number of articles promoting the policies of the left, such as the Green New Deal and catastrophic climate change.
These were in the news portion of the paper, and presumably the Editorial Pages would remain conservative.
It should be noted that Senior Judge Laurence Silberman of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has said the WSJ is trending in the same direction as the leftist media.
The February 19 issue now made it clear that the paper is turning left.
There was an article on Texas blackouts that attempted to exonerate wind and solar by shifting the blame to coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants.
But, there was also an OpEd that took unnecessary cheap shots at Rush Limbaugh on his passing.
It’s a sad day when it’s not possible to rely on the facts in the front news section, and feel as though you are reading the New York Times in the editorial section.
As for Texas, let’s identify where the reporter tried to shift the blame from wind and solar.
This augments the earlier article, Media Launches Texas Counter Attack.
A fundamental problem in Texas, not recognized by the WSJ reporter, was that ERCOT allowed wind and solar to be included in its reserve margin.
The reserve margin refers to the amount of excess generating capacity that must be available at all times to ensure reliability and prevent blackouts.
This chart from an ERCOT report in December 2020, said that its reserve margin was 15.5%, but it included wind and solar.
In fact, the reserve margin, using only baseload power, i.e., coal, nuclear and natural gas combined cycle power plants, was essentially zero.
If ERCOT had adhered to its historic level of a 14% reserve margin, using only baseload power, there would have been nearly 10,000 MW of additional generating capacity available when the winter storm hit. With this additional capacity, blackouts would have been less severe.
Remember, reserve margins are to ensure reliable supplies of electricity when electricity demand exceed previous peaks in demand, such as in the summer when air-conditioning suddenly comes on line, and also for when generating equipment fails.
There is no question that natural gas power plants were not able to supply power when needed, but this was due to bad management and lack of foresight that could have been avoided. It’s not possible to avoid the inability of wind to supply electricity when the wind doesn’t blow or for solar power to provide electricity when the sun doesn’t shine.
In this instance, there were failures of generating capacity due to frozen water lines and the inability to transport natural gas, and that these failures exceeded any reserve margin that should have been in place.
There were many instances of bad management and these will be identified in subsequent investigations in Texas, but the fact remains that ERCOT was relying on wind and solar for its reserve margin, and that this was an important factor in making blackouts in Texas worse than they would otherwise have been.
- The failure of natural gas power plants can be avoided with proper management and sufficient pipelines. This is a manageable issue.
- It’s impossible to prevent wind and solar from failing to generate electricity, because their failures are the result of natural causes.
Wind and solar should ever be included in reserve margins.
Wind and solar are unreliable, and cannot be relied on. Only baseload power, i.e., coal, nuclear, and natural gas combined cycle power plants, can provide electricity 24/7, 365 days a year.
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Related Article: Texas and The Looming Energy Crisis