Saturday, February 20, 2021

How The Texas Electricity System Produced Low-Cost Power But Left Residents Out In The Cold — Theodore J. Kury,

Balancing efficiency and resilience from the systems point of view. From the economic point of view, efficiency wins owing to cost saving. 

Both New Orleans and Texas can be viewed in this light. There are stark examples, where people died. There are many others.
How The Texas Electricity System Produced Low-Cost Power But Left Residents Out In The Cold
Theodore J. Kury, University of Florida
Originally at The Conversation

See also

Common Dreams
Cold Truth: The Texas Freeze is a Catastrophe of the Free Market | By James K. Galbraith


Sputnik International
Texas Houses Destroyed Due to Power Outages Amid Snow Storms, While Bills Are Record-High - Videos


Matt Franko said...

“ A next generation nuclear plant (NGNP) is a generation IV very-high-temperature reactor (VHTR) that could be coupled to a neighboring hydrogen production facility. It could also produce electricity and supply process heat. Up to 30% of this heat could be used to produce hydrogen via high-temperature electrolysis significantly reducing the cost of the process.”

Noooooooooobody in Texas is going to support anything that results in economical hydrogen from water.... they’d rather promote less reliable windmills and solar and a few of the unwashed freeze to death every once in a while... that is a sacrifice they are willing to make...

Matt Franko said...

Yeah but just for 1 week of the year..., the turd world is 24/7/365...

Andrew Anderson said...

Yeah but just for 1 week of the year..., Franko

Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor. Ecclesiastes 10:1 (NASB1995)

Texas will be a long time living down this disgrace and rightly so - the PTB there were warned.

Ryan Harris said...

Everyone tries to confirm their biases on Ercot outage. It was a very simple system design error: Natural gas peaking power plants produce electricity when/as needed when prices are high by buying gas at market price converting it to electricity for a profit.
Ercot created a $9/kwh price cap on electricity product to protect consumers from market spirals when inelastic demand meets rapid supply changes. Problem was that there is no price cap on the fuel. When fuel price rose from $3 to $600 for immediate delivery, it was not economic to buy fuel and produce electricity. The regulator designed the system back when coal was primary peaking fuel. Coal prices don't fluctuate as much. Large stacks of coal are stockpiled but already in possession of plant.
Natural gas prices at physical delivery points where large plants operate require prices to rise to get people that have gas in storage to do whatever is necessary to move it to market. Can mean in very extreme cases getting people out of bed and drive fuel where it is needed when pipelines can not. Solution would seem to be to create incentive for some more storage at the plants.

One long term problem right now is everyone only wants to build intermittent energy because even though it makes zero sense and zero profits, the tax credits, depreciation and deductions are beyond any investors wildest dreams. Financial benefits of wind and solar are really, really great. All the negative externalities are dumped on power consumers obviously and all the reliable energy competition has to subsidize market access, transmission and distribution. Real gusher of cash. Eventually, federal government has to set priorities with taxes and regulatory policy but with current 2-party regime controlling DC, doesn't seem like they are too concerned. Probably falls to states to change the perverse incentives and singular focus on "climate" at any price. Or a 1929 style "climate crash" following crazy irregularities in investment risk in things like electric cars, intermittent generation and the various supporting "ESG growth" industries. All that may be true but not the direct cause. On the other side Dems hate ERCOT and want government controlled power monopolies and that's a whole other set of arguments but also long term and not really directly relevant to this particular failure.

Matt Franko said...

“the tax credits, depreciation and deductions are beyond any investors wildest dreams.”

LOL, and genius Galbraith is claiming it’s a “free market!”...

Ryan Harris said...

I love Griddy for my own personal house. I just flip off appliances once or twice a month when prices spike. I pay like $25.00/mo for electricity for my whole house that might cost 3-4x that much if my power company has to buy financial hedges to fix my price.
This last
week was more severe and I was using it in commercial places where I had less control over consumption... so my bad decision, but, on my personal house, I'd never go back to a regular utility account but without a price cap at $9/kwh now, the price could rationally go to $1000 and that's a big risk so I stopped using Griddy on my personal house until they launch their new hedging and option features next month.

Galbraith asserts that you have no control over timing your electricity use; when you run dishwasher, clothes washing and hvac systems can always be moved around. led Lights and everything else use almost zero electricity, doesn't have an impact anyways.

Matt Franko said...

Yeah and for cooling season it’s not like they don’t know it’s hot as hell in Texas in summer... this was an unusually COLD situation...

In north we sometimes use these kerosene heaters to augment electric heating in winter they are not that expensive... or firewood or pellets...

I saw at one point if you had to recharge your Tesla it cost $900 LOL!