University of Houston: More Renewable Energy to Prevent Another Texas Ice Storm Outage

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to the University of Houston and Houston Advanced Research Centre, more investment in renewable energy will prevent a repeat of the deadly power outages during last year’s ice storm.

Energy experts say renewable energy will be key in making Texas’ electricity more reliable in 2022

To learn more about what’s expected in 2022 for clean energy, Houston Public Media spoke with Gavin Dillingham, Vice President of Research for energy with the Houston Advanced Research Center. 

KYRA BUCKLEY | POSTED ON JANUARY 7, 2022, 1:20 PM

Experts watching Houston’s energy industry say the pandemic has accelerated the transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy — and demand is growing worldwide for clean, affordable energy. 

It comes as leaders in Texas are working to increase reliability of the electric grid after last February’s deadly winter storm caused widespread outages across the state. 

Growth in renewable energy will be key making the grid better able to handle sharp increases in energy demand, like what happened during Winter Storm Uri.

To learn more about what’s expected in 2022 for clean energy, Houston Public Media spoke with Gavin Dillingham, Vice President of Research for energy with the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Read more: https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/in-depth/2022/01/07/416801/in-2022-expect-renewable-energy-to-be-key-in-discussion-around-how-to-make-texas-electricity-more-reliable/

My first reaction was to wonder what they are putting into the drinking water in the University of Houston. Anyone can tell just be looking at the output graph (above) that renewables performed dismally during the ice storm. Solar energy dropped away to almost nothing, and wind turbines froze solid.

I’m not denying winterising wind turbines might have saved a few from freezing, but there are other problems.

New York Times wrote a frantic defence of wind last February, which hilariously claimed that “… Blades of some Texas wind turbines did freeze in place, but wind power is estimated to make up only 7 percent or so of the state’s total capacity this time of year in part because utilities lower their expectations for wind generation in the winter in general. …“.

If utilities do “lower their expectations” for wind power generation in winter, there seems no point chasing more wind.

Solar is also a poor performer because in winter the days are shorter and the angle of the sun is lower, even without the added bonus of winter storm clouds darkening the sky or ice and snow covering the solar panels.

So the question is, how could more investment in renewables possibly improve the situation? No amount of investment can capture renewable energy which does not exist, in a winter environment which appears to be consistently hostile to the harvesting of any form of renewable energy.

via Watts Up With That?

https://ift.tt/31H2pcK

January 10, 2022 at 12:26PM

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