Why the Texas Energy Grid FAILED | Fundraiser
The Texas Energy Grid was knocked down by a single winter storm. Residents are still dealing with power loss, natural gas shut offs, cuts to the water supply and burst pipes. Link to my Patreon page: www.patreon.com/Belinda_Carr http://">www.patreon.com/Belinda_Carr
Chapters: 0:00 Introduction 1:58 Political reaction 2:49 Natural gas power plants 03:22 Wind power 4:13 Coal, nuclear, hydro power 4:56 What is ERCOT 5:31 Preparedness 6:03 Construction flaws 7:15 Population growth 7:53 Consumer awareness 8:47 Conclusion
At 1am on Monday morning the entire state began rolling blackouts because the demand for energy was greater than the supply. Texas lost about 30% of its power-generating capacity which left over 4.5 million people in the dark. Many offices, schools and homes are flooded because of burst water lines which has lowered water pressure for entire cities. Natural gas leaks have caused fires, but low water pressure affects the ability to put out fires quickly.
Natural gas is 51% of total energy production in Texas. The pipes were not winterized because it was too expensive and the last time Texas faced such extreme weather was 100 years ago. Windmills account for 24% of the total energy production. These were also not winterized and were frozen. Wind turbines work in much colder conditions in Canada and Sweden because they have in-built heaters in the blades, gearbox, yaw and pitch motors and the battery. Blades have thin layers of heated carbon fiber and water-resistant coatings to prevent icing.
Next, coal accounts for 14% of total energy production. Several coal power plants also went offline because they either lost electricity or their parts were frozen. Nuclear power is 5% of total production. One of the two reactors of the Power Station in Matagorda County shut down because of freezing water. Solar panels which are 4% of total production were covered in snow and ice. Hydro and biomass account for 2% of the total production, I assume frozen rivers affected them.
The US has 3 main electric grids: the Eastern Interconnection, Western Interconnection and Texas Interconnection. ERCOT or Electric Reliability Council of Texas manages electric flows and payments for 85% of the state. They implemented the much hated rolling blackouts to prevent a more prolonged blackout for the entire state. Many are blaming the deregulation of the electric grid for this mess.
This was a freak, unexpected storm. People typically dont even own generators here because there hasnt been a need to own one. Most dont have insulated roofs, just batts in the attic. Uninsulated copper and pex pipes froze in that unconditioned space. Almost all homes here have a water heater in uninsulated garages, so the pipes going to and from the heaters froze. We dont even have a fireplace in our home. We can only rely on our gas and electric powered furnace. Many other people have natural gas furnaces that didnt work when their supply was cut. Apartment complexes dont have fireplaces either.
Texas is home to 6 of the fastest-growing cities in the States. This massive influx of residents has led to construction of hundreds of thousands of cheaply built homes and sprawling, energy-guzzling suburbs. Homes here are typically larger than in other states, and consequently consume more energy. All these factors are straining the crumbling, aging infrastructure. I live in an older neighborhood that has overhead power lines supported by leaning electric poles. These are more prone to power cuts than underground power lines.
We, the consumers, dont value the bones of a home as much as we value the stuff that goes in it. Every home listing boasts about the new granite or quartz countertops, fresh paint and hardwood flooring. New insulation, wrapped pipes and ducts and conditioned attics are not sexy topics, but they are extremely important. People dont rip out all the drywall and replace all the insulation in walls and attics when they flip homes. When we bought this house 2 years ago, we made superficial changes to it because insulation changes dont have the same ROI as granite countertops do. Thats a change that we, the consumers, have to initiate. We have to value and demand better built homes.
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This very civilized lady busts up so many peecee myths I don't mind her having moved here from her native Dubai. There's always been room in America for some nonwhite presence. Her conclusion is the same as our absolute best commentator, Russ Winter of Winterwatch (the name a priceless coincidence): The crisis happened because bldgs and infrastructure aren't winterized in TX.
She waves off ppl blaming it solely on 'green' energy schemes but shows what a stupid fail they are, revealing that THE BLADES ARE INTERNALLY HEATED. (Was that in this video or another of hers? Watch 'em all!) Texas is exonerated in that such weather simply never occurs there. It's like expecting people in Nicaragua to build everything for Alaskan winters...... EXCEPT..... that TX had such a storm only 100 years ago.
I'm left wondering, tho -- are the 1000s of miles of in-ground and on-pole utility lines there supposed to be insulated like the hot water line in your basement? Or is this only about elements in buildings. Her classic on the fun and nifty but hopeless fad of shipping container construction: