The Texas Oil & Gas Association (TXOGA) paid ENVERUS to prepare a report.

The report says gas = good & wind/electricity = bad

Are you surprised that a consulting company gave its customer a report that makes them look good?

The report is highly flawed. Let’s dig in. [THREAD]
Main problem: It says that gas supply disruptions were because of power outages rather than the other way around.

But that doesn’t make sense from an engineering perspective: gas supplies started to fail Feb 10-12 & load shedding in ERCOT didn’t begin until 1:20 a.m. Feb 15.
The report makes a fundamental mistake, confusing OUTAGES for LOAD SHED. There are always outages, but rarely load shed.

This mistake undermines the entire logic of the report's conclusions. This sequence (gas failed first, power failed second) is critical, yet they missed it.
But there are several other big problems with the report.

It’s based on surveys, rather than instrumental measurements. Survey respondents have an incentive to push a particular narrative so this survey is at risk of severe bias. That bias is not discussed or corrected for.
Surveys are always difficult, by the way, but this one is mysterious because its data collection methods aren’t revealed. Were data collected over the web? By phone? With an interviewer or automated? Was the sampling representative geographically?
Results are summarized by % of respondents rather than production-weighting the answers which is a HUGE problem.

For example, if 65% of respondents complain about power cutoffs but only represent 20% of production it changes how to interpret the results. That's a major flaw.
Outage and load shedding data are primarily shown for February 14th and beyond, conveniently ignoring the problems with gas in the days leading up to that period.
It says interconnections don’t help with grid reliability, pointing to outages in the Eastern Interconnection to prove the point, somehow forgetting entirely about the Western Interconnection. El Paso did fine with its power, but the report skips right over that.
The surveys did not ask whether gas producers had signed up for interruptible power, winterized equipment, or registered their sites w/ ERCOT as critical infrastructure.

These questions would probe whether gas companies acted responsibly but were left out entirely.
If gas systems lost power before load shedding began Feb 15 it’s likely b/c they signed up for interruptible power and/or failed to winterize.

If gas systems lost power after load shedding began Feb 15 it’s likely b/c they failed to register with ERCOT as a critical site.
The report fails to consider those aspects that would cast gas in a bad light, and instead focuses on aspects that would cast the power sector in a bad light.
Overall this report presents non-rigorous, sloppy, biased work that misinterprets some key points, fails to examine critical issues, doesn't reveal its methods, and uses faulty logic to draw a conclusion that would make its client happy.

Ya know, just what you'd expect. [END]
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More from @MichaelEWebber

21 Apr
In 2009 TX had <7 MW of total installed solar capacity, almost entirely rooftop PV and 0 MW utility-scale.

In 2021 installed solar is 8+ GW (up >1000x) of utility-scale alone, not including rooftop PV.

That TX would eventually dominate the solar market was entirely obvious.
Here is an article I wrote for @ASES_Solar "Solar Today" magazine in November/December 2009 where my co-author Erin Keys and I explain the positive fundamentals of the TX solar market and predicted "don't be surprised if Texas takes the lead in solar generation."
What are the fundamentals that make Texas such a hotspot for solar farms?

*Lots of cheap, flat sunny land

*Robust transmission infrastructure

*Competitive markets that reward low marginal cost generators

*Ease of permitting/construction

*Weak enviro opposition (cont'd)
Read 7 tweets
25 Mar
Winter Storm Uri 5+ weeks ago knocked out power, heat & water to millions of Texans, including me.

I installed several technologies at home to make it resilient. I thought you be interested to hear how they performed through the energy crisis. [THREAD]

Image: @weatherchannel
B/c of the 2011 TX freeze that knocked out power I installed several solutions to make my house robust against shortages:

1) super-efficient windows, insulation, etc.
2) electric heat pumps
3) natgas backup to the central heat pump in case the power went out
4) large solar array
#1 was very helpful, but items #2, 3 and 4 all failed.

This chart shows the last three months of consumption (in red) and solar panel generation (in green) for my house.
Read 13 tweets
12 Mar
A year ago today my wife @JuliaCWebber and I evacuated France. Our daughter called us at 2:30 am Paris to say President Trump was shutting down the borders. We got up, packed a duffel bag for each of us & our 14 yo son, shut down the house and left for the airport. It was scary.
The Trump Administration did not coordinate with airlines, airports, or border officials. It was mayhem. It didn't have to be.

It was unnecessary. Trump's announcement misrepresented basic facts about his policies, which made evacuations of returning expatriates more expensive and difficult than they needed to be.

Read 12 tweets
27 Feb
I keep thinking about the interdependencies of the gas and power networks in Texas.

The natural gas system depends (partly) on power.

The power system depends (heavily) on natural gas.

This creates a risk of cascading failures from one to the other. [THREAD]
These two interdependent have two asymmetries, both of which benefit gas:

1) The power system has a price cap of $9000/MWh for generators in the wholesale market.

The gas system does not have a cap.
2) The power system is isolated in Texas and cannot lean on neighbors for help.

The gas system connects to national and international markets. Out-of-state providers can help fill in shortfalls of gas.
Read 8 tweets
23 Feb
Please consider this a public thank-you letter to @AustinEnergy for working around the clock to get the power back on and prevent an even bigger catastrophe.

People are mad. But believe me, it could have been worse. Their good decisions staved off a complete disaster. [THREAD]
In May 2020 I wrote for @ASMEdotorg that I considered utility workers to be society’s hidden heroes – after the Texas energy crisis I believe that is even more true today than before.…
I know people are frustrated with the power outages-- I lost power for 2.5 days – I know what it was like.

Read 10 tweets
22 Feb
The Texas Energy Crisis makes me think of thermal energy storage for system resilience.

Can storage reduce electricity consumption? An equation for the grid-wide efficiency impact of using cooling thermal energy storage for load shifting… via @IOPscience
With a battery for energy storage it's an energy loser: 90% charging efficiency & 90% discharging efficiency gives 81% round-trip efficiency.

But with thermal storage, the system efficiency can actually be greater than 100% compared w/ baseline. How is that possible?
Power plants, transmission lines and A/Cs all have lower efficiency when it's hot. By using thermal storage we can charge the system (such as making ice or chilling water) at night when it's cooler and when those systems have higher performance.
Read 4 tweets

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