*Resilience* 🧵

The disastrous TX blackouts should teach us that we need power plants that are 1) reliable and 2) resilient. Reliable means: they can produce as much power as we need, when we need it. Resilient means: they can keep producing power even under adverse conditions.
One key to resilience is "on-site fuel storage"--keeping a large amount of fuel at a power plant so that it can produce power even during a supply disruption. The champions at on-site fuel storage are coal and nuclear, which can cheaply keep months of fuel on hand.
Natural gas is not usually as resilient as coal and nuclear, because natural gas is expensive to store in large quantities. Most natural gas power depends on "just in time" delivery from pipelines. If pipeline transport is disrupted, many natural gas plants will go down.
Another key to resilience is weatherization--ensuring that plants can handle a wide variety of weather conditions, even unusual ones. For example, the weatherized coal and gas infrastructure in Alberta, Canada was able to handle far colder temps than TX had during its blackouts.
Resilience requires reliability. A wind turbine can't be resilient. Even if, at great cost, it is winterized to withstand low temps, you can't count on it in any weather conditions, let alone extreme ones. And you can't count on solar for most of any day, extreme weather or not.
In fact, wind and solar are *particularly bad* for extreme weather. Wind works worst when temps are extremely cold or extremely hot. Solar totally fails during any kind of storm, and even for hot days is largely useless because it fades in late afternoon--when AC is needed most.
Wind/solar are not only non-resilient themselves, their rapid fluctuations create resiliency challenges for reliable power plants. Example: gas plants in TX had to rapidly ramp down to accommodate high wind before the TX freeze and then rapidly ramp up to compensate for low wind.
Wind/solar also cause huge resiliency problems by *defunding resiliency*. In CA, power-line maintenance funding was cut to pay for solar. In TX, money that could have been used to weatherize plants was used for wind turbines that provided almost no power when it was needed most.
The TX blackouts should spark a national conversation about resilient power. Instead, we are shutting down more and more coal and nuclear plants, while mandating more resilience-destroying wind/solar. Tell your elected officials: support resilience or I won't support you.

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More from @AlexEpstein

12 Mar
When you think "Joe Biden's climate policy," think of the 13-year-old Ethiopian girl who will have to keep spending 8 hours a day collecting dirty water for lack of reliable, low-cost fossil fuel electricity.

Learn more in this @Life_Powered_ piece: lifepowered.org/realclearenerg…
"The first thing Aysha picks up when she opens her eyes...is...her collection of large plastic gasoline canisters. The 13-year-old Ethiopian straps them to her camel...and begins the four-plus-hour walk to the nearest river. The water there is dirty and brown and unsanitary..."
"President Biden’s administration...is beginning to enact policies that will deny Aysha and the countless girls like her the opportunity to move from bleak, backbreaking destitution to a self-actualized life of equality and opportunity."
Read 7 tweets
11 Mar
The House Democrats' "CLEAN Future" Act, by forcing us to depend mostly on unreliable wind and solar, would destroy our standard of living--and global emissions would still rise.

It should be rejected in favor of an *aggressive nuclear decriminalization policy*.

The only practical way to lower global CO2 emissions is to develop low-carbon sources that are cheaper than fossil fuels. If the US, which causes <1/6 of global emissions, mandates unaffordable low-carbon sources, we'll hurt ourselves--while global CO2 emissions continue rising.
The world, especially the developing world, overwhelmingly uses fossil fuels because that is by far the lowest-cost way for them to get reliable energy. Unreliable solar and wind can’t come close. That’s why China and India have committed to building hundreds of new coal plants.
Read 16 tweets
8 Mar
Embarrassing: this chart in a supposed "fact-check" of @RepDanCrenshaw by @PolitiFact falsely portrays wind subsidies as unremarkable using the bogus and dishonest metric of total subsidies, not the proper metric of per-unit subsidies.

The proper way to measure energy subsidies is: How much taxpayer money does the government pay per unit of energy? Every per-unit analysis using data from the US Energy Information Administration is clear: solar and wind get *dozens of times* more subsidies than fossil fuels.
A comprehensive analysis of federal subsidies per unit of electricity generated from 2010-2019 found that solar got 211 times more subsidies than natural gas and wind got 48 times more subsidies than natural gas.

Read 8 tweets
2 Mar
Joe Biden's energy plan would shift us from energy production that is low-cost, high-reliability, and *America-centered* to energy production that is high-cost, low-reliability, and *China-centered*.

This would destroy, not create, millions of well-paying American jobs.

Joe Biden says that his policies to eliminate US CO2 emissions through a largely solar- and wind-based energy system will create millions of well-paying "green jobs"--far more than will be destroyed in the fossil fuel industry.

This is impossible.
A largely solar-and wind-based energy system will necessarily destroy far more well-paying US jobs than it creates because the "green jobs" will be 1) far less productive, 2) largely in China, and 3) cause job losses in other industries via skyrocketing energy prices.
Read 16 tweets
22 Feb
A tale of two places: TX vs. Alberta, Canada.

In TX, a spike in demand during cold temps led to devastating blackouts.

In AB, a spike in demand during *far colder temps* led to... very little disruption.

Why? AB has a reliable, resilient grid with 43% coal and 49% gas.

The media want you to believe that TX's failure to handle spiking demand during cold temps proves that a fossil fueled grid can't handle such a challenge. They don't want you to know about Alberta, CA--where a fossil fueled grid handled a far bigger challenge with relative ease.
Alberta was far colder than TX last week.

Between Feb 14th and 17th, while Dallas, TX temperatures averaged between 10 and 25 degrees F, Calgary, AB temperatures AVERAGED between -13 and 16 degrees F!

Alberta's 43% coal, 49% gas grid performed spectacularly.
Read 8 tweets
19 Feb
Q: Is the solution to TX's reliability problems to join the national grid and be regulated by the Federal government?

A: No, because the Federal government is pursuing policies that are even more anti-reliability than TX's. The solution is pro-reliability policies in TX.

Many say the problem causing the massive TX blackouts is TX's insistence on being an independent grid, depriving it of ample power from local states as well as wise regulation from the Federal government. But joining today's Federal grid would make TX's problems far worse.
Texas is perfectly capable of having an ultra-reliable grid on its own. It is the size of a fairly-large country. Any weather challenges it has faced or will face have been easily dealt with by grids around the world using reliable and resilient nuclear, coal, and gas plants.
Read 20 tweets

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