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ERCOT Urging For Energy Conservation


Vic Mackey

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45 minutes ago, Captainant said:

Lol like the issues with our grid weren't exposed, documented, and had mitigations proposed back in 2011. Which were ignored because it would've hurt next quarters profits. 

It definitely did.  But when the turnaround planning goes.  You have basically a wish list.  Then they start cutting things or push it off. Freeze protection is always one of the first things to get whacked.  Will it happen this time?  Fuck no.

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On 6/20/2021 at 8:06 AM, Grimas said:

Texas residents say the temperatures on their smart thermostats were RAISED overnight without their permission after state's power operators warned of shortages amid a heat wave

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9703747/Texas-residents-say-temperature-smart-thermostats-raised-remotely.html

 

 

 

Um, you gave them permission to do this when you joined the program. It wasn't even in the fine print, that was exactly how it was advertised. You get some sort of discount or rebate, but in exchange, they get partial control over your thermostat. 

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2 minutes ago, SquishMitten said:

Um, you gave them permission to do this when you joined the program. It wasn't even in the fine print, that was exactly how it was advertised. You get some sort of discount or rebate, but in exchange, they get partial control over your thermostat. 

Yeah, that was my reaction when I first read it.  Several years ago I was offered a "free" smart thermostat by the city if I joined the program, and I responded "eff you."

No way I'm going to allow someone else to control my temperature selection.

 

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6 minutes ago, SquishMitten said:

Um, you gave them permission to do this when you joined the program. It wasn't even in the fine print, that was exactly how it was advertised. You get some sort of discount or rebate, but in exchange, they get partial control over your thermostat. 

Sounds like marriage.

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Speaking of ERCOT and last week.

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/06/24/texas-ercot-power-plants-offline/

Quote

Last Monday, Texas’ main power grid operator asked Texans, mid-heat wave, to turn their thermostats to 78 degrees during the afternoon and evening for the week to reduce electricity demand on the grid after 12,000 megawatts of power generation unexpectedly went offline — enough to power 2.4 million homes on a hot summer day.

...

Were there damages to the power grid infrastructure stemming from February’s deadly winter storm? Were there nefarious actors looking to manipulate the electricity market? What does this mean for power generation during the rest of the hot Texas summer?

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So far, ERCOT has not revealed which power plants went down last week — or even how many were down.

Quote

“Based on preliminary information received from generation owners, the vast majority of forced outages that occurred last week are due to equipment issues,” ERCOT spokesperson Leslie Sopko said. “Our Operations group is analyzing the information and will be providing a more comprehensive overview of the causes.”

Quote

Vistra Corp., the state’s largest power generation company, had one unit down: The Comanche Peak nuclear plant outside of Fort Worth shut down one of its units when the main transformer experienced a fire, according to the company, which owns the plant. Each unit at Comanche can generate about 1,150 megawatts of energy at full capacity.

Quote

"Aside from one unit at Comanche Peak, which makes up about 6% of Vistra’s generation capacity in ERCOT, the rest of our fleet performed very well throughout the week," said company spokesperson Meranda Cohn.

But that one outage between the two large companies accounts for less than 10% of the lost power generation last week. ERCOT likely will not give more information to the public for 60 days, per ERCOT and Public Utility Commission rules, officials said.

Quote

Less than 500 megawatts of thermal generation offline last Monday were planned to be out for maintenance, ERCOT officials said.

That data undercuts Gov. Greg Abbott’s claim last week that the power plants that went offline were undergoing repairs to prepare for the summer heat. Power plants typically undergo maintenance repairs in the spring.

In April, the last time ERCOT asked Texans to cut back electricity use, the supply of electricity to the power grid was struggling to keep up with demand because a large number of power plants were offline — some due to repairs from the February storm — combined with higher demand than ERCOT predicted.

From reading a few other articles as well, it sounds like a lot of the repairs due to February were mostly finished by April/May.

I don't think ransomware stuff was involved, otherwise it would have hit the news.

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On 6/20/2021 at 1:00 PM, Captainant said:

This dude puts out a bunch of layman's explanations of engineering concepts and events. I thought his explainer was very understandable and it's only 16 minutes long

 

He's a good subscribe if you like this kinda thing, based out of New Braunfels too

Thanks for the rec. Watched several now. As you stated, he makes fairly complex issues easy to understand.

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1 hour ago, SquishMitten said:

Um, you gave them permission to do this when you joined the program. It wasn't even in the fine print, that was exactly how it was advertised. You get some sort of discount or rebate, but in exchange, they get partial control over your thermostat. 

Exactly. That was the entire point of the program and the participants complaining about it are probably the type to be underwater with their auto loans.

On a side note, I was involved in a lot of smart grid projects. I was brought in to review the security of one of those remote thermostat setups.

Me looking at the network architecture for a major city in Texas.

Laurence Fishburne Sweet Jesus GIF by NETFLIX

 

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50 minutes ago, F250 said:

Exactly. That was the entire point of the program and the participants complaining about it are probably the type to be underwater with their auto loans.

On a side note, I was involved in a lot of smart grid projects. I was brought in to review the security of one of those remote thermostat setups.

Me looking at the network architecture for a major city in Texas.

Laurence Fishburne Sweet Jesus GIF by NETFLIX

 

IOT devices were built for a loooooooong time without considering security. It's not really a hard fix, aside from the billions of devices sitting out on the edge that will probably never get updated 

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2 hours ago, SquishMitten said:

Um, you gave them permission to do this when you joined the program. It wasn't even in the fine print, that was exactly how it was advertised. You get some sort of discount or rebate, but in exchange, they get partial control over your thermostat. 

I opted in a couple years ago when I got a new thermostat - was part of new thermostat registration. The "sell" was they will monitor things for you and you will save money. No discount, just more of a information feedback type thing.  I was fine with that.  After a few times this year of them changing my thermostat at inconvenient times I went on the device and the online website and opted "out" of the program.  They have continued to control it after that. I have it forced locked on a temp now so they can't change it now until I can figure out what it going on and how to fully separate.

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2 hours ago, SquishMitten said:

Um, you gave them permission to do this when you joined the program. It wasn't even in the fine print, that was exactly how it was advertised. You get some sort of discount or rebate, but in exchange, they get partial control over your thermostat. 

Yeah. This was the same thing that happened in Feb on those exorbitant electric bills. People signed up for "wholesale electricity" and then only want the benefits when wholesale is cheaper than market but don't want the flipside when wholesale is more expensive. Obviously it got grossly expensive, but that's the peril of saying "I will just pay wholesale no matter what"

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On 6/20/2021 at 3:12 PM, Nivek said:


Why were we in this situation in the first place?

After the house started burning is not a good time to buy smoke detectors.

we are in this situation because since 2018 Texas has taken enough coal fired power plants offline to power about 2.5+ million homes in normal times and about 1/3 that in peak times

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2017/10/09/texas-monticello-power-plant-closes-signaling-the-undeniable-shift-to-natural-gas-and-renewable-energy/

that plant was 1,880Mw stated enough to power 940,000 homes in normal times and 376,000 in peak times.....that is HOMES not people so that is 2.5 people per home in Texas so Texas has about 10,000,000 homes so coal fired plants that could feed 2.5 million homes (25% of Texas in normal times) have gone offline since just 2018 and about 800,000 homes in peak times

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_power_stations_in_Texas

here is a list of what has come offline in Texas that was coal fired

Big Brown Freestone County3  1,186 2018

J.T. Deely Bexar County 932 2018

Monticello Titus County 1,980 2018

Oklaunion Wilbarger County 650 2020

Sandow Milam County 1,252 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

in addition Gibbons Creek is offline as well

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbons_Creek_Reservoir

it was supposed to be opened back up for summer 2021, but instead it will be sold and torn down

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/energy/article/Closed-Texas-coal-plant-is-restarting-15268177.php

 

in addition to the above a large portion of Lubbock and a smaller portion of areas outside of Lubbock were added to ERCOT this year and taken off the SWPP.....Lubbock has a small power plant they own, but the remaining power they had came from Xcel, but about 10 years ago Xcel told Lubbock they wanted to exit the residential power generation and supply business so Lubbock went through a long process of looking for where they would get their wholesale power from including looking at some natural gas fired plants that were idle near Odessa.

It was determined that the lowest cost choice was to join ERCOT especially since during the Rick Perry administration Texas built large power lines to carry west Texas wind from the area of Texas that was served by the SWPP and move it to the ERCOT grid. The availability of those lines meant that Lubbock would not need to pay to build large scale lines from ERCOT areas to Lubbock to get wholesale power.

People need to understand that what is going on now is only partially related to what happened in the winter. In the winter natural gas fields froze in at the wellhead and gas was not able to be moved from the field to collector pipes. In addition the rolling blackouts and other issues knocked offline plants that condition natural gas from the wellhead and prepare it to be sent to the larger pipelines. From there you run into the issue that natural gas supply lines are not redundant and never will be for any reasonable cost.

When one looks at the internet you have rings that go around cities (like freeway loops) and like freeway loops traffic flows both ways and like freeway loops there are many access points to those rings. Thus if you have break in that ring traffic can be sent in the other direction and it can exit elsewhere and go to where it needs to go (moving data packets much easier than reversing or turning around cars of course). End users and originators of internet traffic can have multiple connections to that ring from their facility and if one of those connections is cut well they can send the traffic down a different path.

With natural gas the flow is basically one way.....from well field, to collector pipes, to processor, to major hub from major hub to smaller hubs to end user. Flow with few exceptions goes one way. The only "backup" you have is at the major hubs where is supply from one of the smaller pipelines is cut you can hope that others can make up the difference, but that requires those other pipelines to have the capacity and to take the time to open wellheads, get the gas processed, and get it to that major hub. The real issue is if you have a cut to the supply to a major end user well they are fucked there is no backup supply. Also if you get well fields frozen in or you have other supply issues to the major hubs that you cannot get more from other areas well then you are fucked. That is what happened in the winter to Texas.

If you look at the CNG export facilities and their "exclusion zones" and their cost and the security protocols when a ship is at those facilities loading CNG well it is clear that it is near impossible to have emergency supplies of natural gas at the power plant. It is simply too costly, too dangerous, and often times impossible to have enough clear land around the plant to do it.

So when you rely on large scale natural gas plants you have an issue where if natural gas supply goes down and natural gas infrastructure goes down or is damaged well that ripples through the system. All the more o because that infrastructure relies on electricity to operate so when electricity goes down in the wrong area you just increase the issue massively. It will be prohibitively expensive  to ever solve those issues and some of them really cannot be solved.

So the issue in the winter was not related to wind or solar, but Texas did get very lucky that the available wind (wind especially) and solar was able to meet their low expected supply metrics. If wind especially had not delivered what was expected Texas would have been really fucked.

Now as to what is happening in the summer. Well basically ERCOT has allowed too much cola fired energy to go offline without having enough supply of any type available to meet the demand. This is not strictly a "wind and solar" issue, but there are issues with wind and solar. Solar does not ramp up to full capacity in the morning until after the peak demand has already hit. This is because people are getting up in the morning and large buildings and other large users are ramping up for the day prior to full sunlight.

With wind the wind in west Texas blows mostly at night when demand is lower. In fact for many years and possibly still today wind farms would PAY end users to use their electricity instead of conventionally generated power so the wind farms  could still collect the tax credits and subsidies.

here is a story from 2008

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/texas-wind-farms-paying-people-to-take-power-5347

You can also see on that story the ERCOT map and now a PART (not all) of that area around Lubbock is on ERCOT as of last month.

So what is happening this summer is a reduction in generating capacity, the decision to sell of a coal plant and demolish it near College Station, and the addition to the ERCOT grid of a large portion of Lubbock.

As to those that believe that having an interconnect for ERCOT to the SWPP or the Eastern interconnect well you are 100% wrong on that. The SWPP has some rolling blackouts during the winter storm and they had pretty much zero extra capacity to give that would not have helped and there is a chance that an interconnect would have taken down power in a large portion of the USA.

The other issue with an interconnect is all of those states that were laughing at Texas in the winter storm are about to be in a world of fucking hurt themselves. There are large scale coal plants 9in large scale coal country) all over the midwest that are scheduled to be taken offline starting this year and over the next few years and there are some natural gas plants to take their place, but mostly there is a lot of hopes and dreams and other stupid shit that will leave them fucked. It is going to leave them fucked in the summer and winter probably for several years if not more. You see because of the availability of cheap natural gas and the large natural gas infrastructure in Texas 9and the overall lack of coal) we are actually ahead of the game when it comes to taking coal plants offline. The rest of the USA is just catching up to this only they do not have near the natural gas infrastructure in place and a lot of them really do not have the wind potential that Texas has.

So Texas hooking up to those systems is just singing up to get fucked with a lot of other states on a larger scale and with less ability to take control of the issue ourselves. Also many states (including Ohio) are in the process of trying to ban natural gas lines for home heating and cooking. So they will be 100% reliant on electricity in a lot of those newer developments in those areas. So they will not even be able to cook food, or run a natural gas heater when they have blackouts in the winter so they will be really really fucked.

 

What is the solution? Well the best solution is to build clean coal plants in Texas even if just a few of them that are very large scale. (we are going with the idea that nuclear is fucked in the USA for the long term future). Why coal and why coal in Texas that has little coal? Well the answer is simple when you look at the major issues. Coal can be stored at the power plant onsite. It cam be stored with a months worth of use cheaply and easily. Coal is not used for home heating or home cooking. So the demand for coal for uses other than power plants does not spike at the same time that power plant demand spikes. The ability to buy it and store it on site means you can lock in prices long before you need it. To feed the plant you need a loader or a conveyor you do not need a functioning natural gas line. Coal does not rely on an infrastructure that is also reliant on electricity. Trains still run without electricity and again with the ability to store large amounts on site safely you do not need just in time delivery anyway. With natural gas it is the ultimate "just in time delivery" product. Natural gas is also the ultimate "one way delivery dedicated delivery method" product. Gas flows one way for the most part. Gas has a limited ability to rapidly increase supply, gas has almost no ability to redirect supply or to move supplies from one place to another where there is not a pipeline already in place. Gas has no storage ability and gas has no redundant delivery methods.  Gas is also subjected to massive increases in demand for cooking and home heat during cold times. In the summer gas is still subjected to massive increases in price when demand is high. There is no cost effective way to mitigate this other than having electricity that is generated by a method other than gas.

With wind and solar until there are reliable large scale energy storage methods available it is not reliable or smart to increase their contribution to the overall grid unless you want massive unexpected blackouts to happen "whenever". That is just the nature of those methods of generating power.

In Texas pumped hydro storage is limited because the areas that have the elevation changes lack the water to make that happen. The good news to this is that Texas needs water and Texas should be fucking moving to product water with large scale desalination (using cheap natural gas, off shore wind, and solar) and the better news is Texas does have some of the infrastructure that could make pumped hydro in meaningful amounts of the water to do so was available. But it will take people that look 10+ years into the future to make that happen and as you can see in this thread that type of thinking is lacking in the USA even in Texas.

Large scale battery storage should already be in place, but Texas (and pretty much anywhere else outside of Australia) has not seen fit to make that happen.

           
           
           
           
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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, ButtFumble said:

What is the solution? Well the best solution is to build clean coal plants in Texas even if just a few of them that are very large scale. (we are going with the idea that nuclear is fucked in the USA for the long term future). Why coal and why coal in Texas that has little coal? Well the answer is simple when you look at the major issues. Coal can be stored at the power plant onsite. It cam be stored with a months worth of use cheaply and easily. Coal is not used for home heating or home cooking. So the demand for coal for uses other than power plants does not spike at the same time that power plant demand spikes. The ability to buy it and store it on site means you can lock in prices long before you need it. To feed the plant you need a loader or a conveyor you do not need a functioning natural gas line. Coal does not rely on an infrastructure that is also reliant on electricity. Trains still run without electricity and again with the ability to store large amounts on site safely you do not need just in time delivery anyway. With natural gas it is the ultimate "just in time delivery" product. Natural gas is also the ultimate "one way delivery dedicated delivery method" product. Gas flows one way for the most part. Gas has a limited ability to rapidly increase supply, gas has almost no ability to redirect supply or to move supplies from one place to another where there is not a pipeline already in place. Gas has no storage ability and gas has no redundant delivery methods.  Gas is also subjected to massive increases in demand for cooking and home heat during cold times. In the summer gas is still subjected to massive increases in price when demand is high. There is no cost effective way to mitigate this other than having electricity that is generated by a method other than gas.

Lol man, where to even start... Coal is dying out not because of it's environmental impact but that it's more expensive than other forms of power. NG is cheap, efficient, and flexible and has relatively few toxic emissions. To clean up coal emissions is a pretty expensive process and it's a hell of a lot harder than just burning NG in a turbine cycle with relatively few post-processing steps on the emissions and nearly zero ash.

Ultimately, lack of NG supply wasn't what killed Texans in February - it was a failure of availability due to neglected maintenance, planning, and weather proofing. I think you're going out on a limb with your coal salesman bit though, as it's feasible to stockpile considerable quantities of NG. It's just as much of an expensive pain in the ass as building a "clean coal" plant is. Which is why generators have favored NG, they can kick the can down the road to get another quarter or two of profits.

Edited by Captainant
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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Captainant said:

Lol man, where to even start... Coal is dying out not because of it's environmental impact but that it's more expensive than other forms of power. NG is cheap, efficient, and flexible and has relatively few toxic emissions. To clean up coal emissions is a pretty expensive process and it's a hell of a lot harder than just burning NG in a turbine cycle with relatively few post-processing steps on the emissions and nearly zero ash.

Ultimately, lack of NG supply wasn't what killed Texans in February - it was a failure of availability due to neglected maintenance, planning, and weather proofing. I think you're going out on a limb with your coal salesman bit though, as it's feasible to stockpile considerable quantities of NG. It's just as much of an expensive pain in the ass as building a "clean coal" plant is. Which is why generators have favored NG, they can kick the can down the road to get another quarter or two of profits.

 

this is incorrect

coal is being phased out because of the environmental impact even in areas where coal is cheap and abundant

and at some point the price of NG vs coal is irrelevant if you do not have the natural gas when you need it and the spikes in the price of NG need to be taken into account not just the day to day cost that are there during times that are not extreme

and last time I checked "failure of availability" is exactly the same as "lack of supply"....if something is not available then there is not a supply

it is not cheap to go in and weatherize every natural gas wellhead for events that take place once every decade or longer.....it is not "lack of maintenance" that cut power to the natural gas processing plants in the Permian Basin

in addition to that it is very expensive to go in and weatherize every natural gas processing plant for weather events that come once a decade and doing that is outside the control of ERCOT even if they wanted that done

and while you can stockpile quantities of natural gas at a very large expense there is still the issue of being able to do so near any much less many of the power plants that rely on it......because you still need the very large exclusion zone around that storage which is why there are limited places that can be used for LNG exports

and while there is a large amount of natural gas out there and available there is not a large amount of pipelines to get that gas to where it is needed.....that is what the midwest and northeast is going to find out sooner than later

one need only look at what happened with the Colonial Pipeline just a few months back to see what the issue is.......the supply of that refined gas is no different than the supply of natural gas....one way supply on a large scale being broken down to smaller end users with no other available source and when that supply goes down you are fucked

when you take off small refineries in the northeast because they are "not efficient" well then you are fucked and you do not even have a small supply to draw from.....much less those smaller refineries could be supplied by pipeline for raw crude, by barge, and by rail and have many available sources of raw crude

when you remove all of that in favor of one large pipeline for refined gas and that is your only source you are fucked....sure it was "lack of software security"......but it could have just as easily been a guy on a backhoe digging in the wrong place, a major rupture of the pipeline for some other reason, or an issue with a major refinery that feeds that supply (or a hurricane that shuts many of them down on the gulf coast even if they are not damaged)....or for smaller areas it could be an issue with the smaller supply line off of that major pipeline......just like with a large scale NG power plant

then that area has to start trucking in gas from the next major terminal and that major terminal gets backed up and the price increases and shortages grow larger and larger

you seem to want to live in a world where we pretend that shit does not happen or if we put all of our eggs in a large enough basket that when shit does happen we will still be OK instead of the most probable outcome of more eggs getting fucked up and even more people going without

I would prefer to have a number of different sources that are not subjected to the same issues and that have a very high probability of being online if others go down.....you seem to be in favor of the idea that the more dependent we become on a single supply the more that supply will be made reliable and less subjected to large scale events.....when history suggest that is never how it works out.....much less the failed idea that as you become more dependent on a singular supply (or very few very large scale suppliers) the lesser the price swings become when that event happens.....similar to lumber, cars, wafer chips, copper, toilet paper and many other things in very recent history 

Edited by ButtFumble
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7 minutes ago, ButtFumble said:

I would prefer to have a number of different sources that are not subjected to the same issues and that have a very high probability of being online if others go down.....you seem to be in favor of the idea that the more dependent we become on a single supply the more that supply will be made reliable and less subjected to large scale events.....when history suggest that is never how it works out.....much less the failed idea that as you become more dependent on a singular supply (or very few very large scale suppliers) the lesser the price swings become when that event happens.....similar to lumber, cars, wafer chips, copper, toilet paper and many other things in very recent history 

I'm by no means arguing that we should only be using NG and no other forms of power - quite to the contrary - diversification is good! Even those pesky renewables you coal bugs seem to hate so much.

I merely meant to point out that coal loses the economic argument compared to other forms of power. Because Texas sure as fuck doesn't give a shit about pollution or emissions. It's a pretty cut and dry economic decision. 

That's also why we've been seeing renewables get picked up more and more - they're substantially cheaper per KWhr because you don't have to pay for fuel. But to your point on the importance of source diversification, they're also not 100% always-on, which is why we still need plants that can rapidly (and cheaply) spin up and down. NG fits that bill, coal doesn't. 

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20 minutes ago, Captainant said:

I'm by no means arguing that we should only be using NG and no other forms of power - quite to the contrary - diversification is good! Even those pesky renewables you coal bugs seem to hate so much.

I merely meant to point out that coal loses the economic argument compared to other forms of power. Because Texas sure as fuck doesn't give a shit about pollution or emissions. It's a pretty cut and dry economic decision. 

That's also why we've been seeing renewables get picked up more and more - they're substantially cheaper per KWhr because you don't have to pay for fuel. But to your point on the importance of source diversification, they're also not 100% always-on, which is why we still need plants that can rapidly (and cheaply) spin up and down. NG fits that bill, coal doesn't. 

I did not downplay renewables at all and I am far from a "coal bug" especially considering the supply of coal Texas does have is low energy

and NG is great for spinning up and down faster and it is great for larger plants too

but when it comes to relying on that for almost all the large scale and the smaller scale Texas and anywhere else is going to continue to have issues

the fact is that coal has done great for a long period of time and you can criticize how much Texas gives a shit about the environment, but most of the places making that argument are filled with hypocritical assholes that made their way in life burning coal and fuel oil and other shit like that until they "went green" and simply relied on power brought in from other states on the larger grid and pretended it was not from coal

if close to the amount of money that was put into wind and solar was put into coal (or trash or other shit that burns) well those sources of energy would be a lot further along and would be providing much more power and much more reliable power day to day than solar or wind.....because the people that hyped that ignored the issues with it.....like the fact that it is in abundance in areas with much lower populations and you have to build hundreds of miles of power lines to move it to places.....and they have totally fucked off any energy storage methods so Texas and most other places are at about the max they can get from wind and solar without major issues

there is still plenty of room for coal to supply baseline power on a large scale even in NG does the same

there is plenty of room to develop more efficient smaller NG plants

there is still plenty of room (in fact all the room possible) to develop energy storage

what there is less room for is wind and solar without large scale storage in place and what there is less room for is more large scale NG without doing something to get past the supply issues and the peak price issues.....and the reality is getting past those issues  will most likely be more costly than getting past the environmental cost of coal and it will probably be as much if not more than large scale storage for wind and solar to be used efficiently whenever it is available regardless of demand

Texas has a lot of infrastructure in place to be a leader in all of those areas (perhaps with the exception of clean coal), but Texas can still push to make coal cleaner and more efficient and doing so will e a benefit to all of the USA instead of going down the current path

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3 minutes ago, ButtFumble said:

I did not downplay renewables at all and I am far from a "coal bug" especially considering the supply of coal Texas does have is low energy

and NG is great for spinning up and down faster and it is great for larger plants too

but when it comes to relying on that for almost all the large scale and the smaller scale Texas and anywhere else is going to continue to have issues

the fact is that coal has done great for a long period of time and you can criticize how much Texas gives a shit about the environment, but most of the places making that argument are filled with hypocritical assholes that made their way in life burning coal and fuel oil and other shit like that until they "went green" and simply relied on power brought in from other states on the larger grid and pretended it was not from coal

if close to the amount of money that was put into wind and solar was put into coal (or trash or other shit that burns) well those sources of energy would be a lot further along and would be providing much more power and much more reliable power day to day than solar or wind.....because the people that hyped that ignored the issues with it.....like the fact that it is in abundance in areas with much lower populations and you have to build hundreds of miles of power lines to move it to places.....and they have totally fucked off any energy storage methods so Texas and most other places are at about the max they can get from wind and solar without major issues

there is still plenty of room for coal to supply baseline power on a large scale even in NG does the same

there is plenty of room to develop more efficient smaller NG plants

there is still plenty of room (in fact all the room possible) to develop energy storage

what there is less room for is wind and solar without large scale storage in place and what there is less room for is more large scale NG without doing something to get past the supply issues and the peak price issues.....and the reality is getting past those issues  will most likely be more costly than getting past the environmental cost of coal and it will probably be as much if not more than large scale storage for wind and solar to be used efficiently whenever it is available regardless of demand

Texas has a lot of infrastructure in place to be a leader in all of those areas (perhaps with the exception of clean coal), but Texas can still push to make coal cleaner and more efficient and doing so will e a benefit to all of the USA instead of going down the current path

What a load of shit. Seriously, coal loses because it is vastly more expensive than natural gas or renewables. Are you under the impression that coal plants in Texas would somehow not have supply constraints? That prices from coal plants wouldn't increase during periods of heavy load? Seriously, pretty much every one of your vulnerabilities for natural gas is similarly a vulnerability for coal. You breeze right by that issue and jump to the conclusion that coal would magically save the day. Poorly maintained and prepared facilities are going to fail, whether they be natural gas, coal, or renewable. Having fucking coal wouldn't have solved our problems because I can guarantee you those plants would have had similar maintenance problems that would have caused them to fuck up too.

Instead of wasting money on ramping up a dead industry, we could, I don't know, just properly build out and protect our existing, and far more economical, power supply. 

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8 hours ago, utee94 said:

Yeah, that was my reaction when I first read it.  Several years ago I was offered a "free" smart thermostat by the city if I joined the program, and I responded "eff you."

No way I'm going to allow someone else to control my temperature selection.

 

I did that for a few years, mainly because I had a broken thermostat. Only one time, when I came home early from work, did I ever notice anything.

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But fumble actually had a pretty good write up overall on the root causes. We’ve taken a shit load of what used to be baseload power & replaced it with Wind & Solar - majority wind. The forward prices don’t justify building any new power plants no matter what fuel they use. Coal ain’t happening… the natural gas supply in Feb wasn’t as simple as you imply. A huge portion ( we will never know the exact %) of it going off line was due to the processing plants & compressor stations having their power turned off by ercot, so this compounded the problem. Now, all of those facilities should have been labeled “critical facilities” & never lost power. Supposedly they fixed that issue. Like some people said, we were minutes away from an even bigger disaster, if the transmission lines would have been damaged. The Texas grid was never designed for peak load in February, it’s designed for July / August. This summer if it’s 100+ & all the thermal plants are on ( we always have a few MW offline, something is always broken) & the wind dies across the state, we are fucked. We just don’t have enough thermal baseload anymore, and like he said above, lots of states are headed in this same direction. So, you want to solve the issue, the answer is higher forward prices or Ercot pays companies for stand by reserves ( which probably means higher prices) & new thermal gen will get built


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18 hours ago, Dahobbs said:

What a load of shit. Seriously, coal loses because it is vastly more expensive than natural gas or renewables. Are you under the impression that coal plants in Texas would somehow not have supply constraints? That prices from coal plants wouldn't increase during periods of heavy load? Seriously, pretty much every one of your vulnerabilities for natural gas is similarly a vulnerability for coal. You breeze right by that issue and jump to the conclusion that coal would magically save the day. Poorly maintained and prepared facilities are going to fail, whether they be natural gas, coal, or renewable. Having fucking coal wouldn't have solved our problems because I can guarantee you those plants would have had similar maintenance problems that would have caused them to fuck up too.

Instead of wasting money on ramping up a dead industry, we could, I don't know, just properly build out and protect our existing, and far more economical, power supply. 

I dunno, man. If we all had big piles of coal laying around during Snovid, we could have kept much warmer.

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Hunting whales again seems about as forward thinking of relying on more coal, not less.  

If only we had a fiery ball in the sky we could rely on in the summer months.  Ah well, a Texan can dream.   

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23 hours ago, Lobo said:

Hunting whales again seems about as forward thinking of relying on more coal, not less.  

If only we had a fiery ball in the sky we could rely on in the summer months.  Ah well, a Texan can dream.   

Wait, does the fiery ball go away in non summer months?

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I was advising some Chinese investors a few years ago. They were evaluating coal mines for export, and we could not make the economics work. It was cheaper to ship NG than goal given the projected cost of the projects over the lifetime. 

I don't buy that environmentalism is killing coal. It is purely economic, and coal is no longer subsidize through the nose to make it economically competitive. 

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My BIL is an environmental engineer who does consulting for some midwestern power companies.  He says the EPA 10 years ago put some new rules on their scrubber waste or something.  The coal might be cheap, but burning it is expensive.  

But he has a good point up there re: staging coal at the power plant.  Electricity generated from NG is less reliable, as much of Texas knows.  So what though.  We aren't gonna be building new coal-fired power plants.

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