The general public has a misunderstanding that somehow, energy experts have found a way around wind and solar coming and going.

It's not true. THREAD.

Here we have Chief Energy Correspondent at Bloomberg News @JavierBlas patiently explaining record prices to a curious follower:
No matter how many tens of billions of £ are spent on wind and solar energy in the UK, it still turns off more or less daily.

It turns off in the UK as it turns off in surrounding countries.

There's no solution except more gas or electricity rationing.

Now gas is expensive.
This problem gets dramatically worse as you get more wind & solar, as these energy types soak up power system revenues when they're on, but must be expensively made up for when not on.

And more wind and solar means weather prediction errors become much more costly for society.
In Feb '21 Texas blackouts, $50 billion of wind turbines, which had in good times absorbed much customer revenue, was barely producing. Even $500 billion of installed wind would've left Texas in severe deficit.

Then the underfunded, unprepared gas system faltered under stress.
The end result in Texas is that there is very little that can be done. Billions of dollars of batteries are rushing into the system, but they'll only last for a tiny portion of the state's needs for little freezes. And they have to be paid for out of total system revenue, also.
Because the power sources that don't produce in times of crisis absorb so much revenue and planning attention in normal times, we're simply not ready for crises.

Increasingly, a "crisis" is just "whenever the weather is really bad for wind and solar."

Fragility spreads.
After a few years of close calls and actual catastrophes, as the public starts asking "what happened to the wind" and the experts respond "it didn't blow, but we didn't expect it to!", the public backlash to pro-wind politicians is likely to be severe.

"It didn't blow," indeed.

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More from @energybants

15 Sep

You must model the loss of transmission lines. You must model continent-wide wind droughts. You must model continent-wide droughts that knock out hydro.

If you're still selling 100% Wind-Water-Solar after that, you're a knave or a fool. Or both.
I don't have to model these things because I fundamentally distrust giant intricate energy models.

Shit goes wrong. Big shit. Crazy shit. Shit that's never gone wrong goes wrong.

I didn't predict what's happening now in the UK specifically, but that's the point: YOU CAN'T KNOW.
Texas weirded me out.

How it had been managing to have such crazy low revenue going to generators, but seemed ok.

How it was running with lower and lower reserves each year, but appeared to be fine.

Until it wasn't.

After the fatal blackouts energy modelers got another try.
Read 5 tweets
13 Sep




Brussels erupts in cheers, nuclear advocates from around the world cheering Bryon, Dresden, Chicago, Illinois, USA, and nuclear plants fighting for survival around the world:
We must never lose another plant!

GERMANY: We must not lose Gundremmingen in December! We must not lose Grohnde! WE MUST NOT LOSE BROKDORF. Image
Read 6 tweets
6 Sep
Power prices gone wild across Europe... and it's not winter yet.

UK needs to commit to more nuclear plants straight away as a hedge against this phenomena in the future.

All Euro wind and sun goes and comes at more or less the same time, and can't stop this.

Gas is exploding.
The UK bet almost everything on the use of markets to decide what types of power plants should be built a few decades ago.

Gas was cheap then so gas turbines were built.

Gas is no longer cheap, but it's too late.

Earlier this year, I noted that the giant nuclear plant being built in the southwest of England, Hinkley Point C, now looks like it'll be a good deal after all if gas remains at all scarce:

Read 6 tweets
4 Sep

A gorgeous morning for a solemn event: a demonstration in support of the nearby Gundremmingen nuclear plant, scheduled to close in a few months, taking with it 9TWh of clean energy.

Replacement? Coal, and natural gas should Russia decide to send some.

It would take approximately 18 large liquified natural gas tankers to replace Gundremmingen's electricity if burning gas in a modern combined cycle natural gas plant.

Natural gas prices in Europe are already hitting record highs in anticipation of supply shortages this winter.
Germany has maintained the majority of its coal power fleet in preparation for the closure of nuclear, its cheapest major source of electricity.

Lignite or 'brown coal', mined in enormous open pits that swallow towns and forests as they expand, is plentiful and cheaper than gas.
Read 11 tweets
29 Aug
Seriously: because they need energy.

Same as Indian Point: built near millions, because millions need reliable power to sustain life.

Same as Diablo: power to ride through the big one & recover afterwards.

Nuclear's built when risks are serious and nothing less will do.
Whereas Fukushima-Daiichi had an unacceptably short sea wall, over ten thousand souls perished because of even shorter seawalls nearby.

We build nuclear when energy just has to survive. It's literally our strongest infrastructure.
The only reason Waterford in Louisiana is shutting down for a while is that the REST of the grid isn't built as tough as Waterford.

It'll be back up soon.
Read 4 tweets
27 Aug

And just like that, the UAE doubles its number of online reactors: second unit at Barakah goes critical.

From a wild dream in 2006 to reality a few years later.

There's nothing like nuclear for decarbonization and development.… Image
The magnitude of this achievement should not be overlooked.

In 2006, the UAE was taking a reputational beating in the USA because of the Dubai Ports World controversy.

A Dubai-based seaport operating company was negotiating to provide its services to US ports.

Giant "scandal."
It was clear that UAE was not trusted as an responsible international partner.

During this, a chance encounter led to a singular idea rising in the minds of UAE's leaders: if they got a nuclear program, they could decarbonize while gaining a reputation of highest trust.
Read 15 tweets

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