The failing Electric Power Grid – The coming perfect storm

By Joe LaFiandra

The events in Texas last month show how vulnerable the electric power grid is. At one point over two million homes were without power. The cause was a relatively rare ice storm that knocked out at least 20 percent of the state’s generating power. The main reason for this loss of power to the grid was that the wind turbines that supplied the power froze up due to ice on their blades, and rotating mechanisms, and solar panels didn’t generate enough electricity. 

This ice storm also deposited ice on overhead power lines and transformers. Electrical system designers never realized that such event could happen in Texas, despite the fact that ice storms do happen periodically. There were only limited back-up options available, such as natural gas fired generators despite the fact that Texas is the equivalent to Saudi Arabia when it comes to natural gas. 

So what happened? The state retired coal and natural gas fired generators, in favor of windmills and solar panels that don’t produce power under these conditions. We also stopped building pipelines that provided fuel to generating stations nationwide. 

According to a recent Wall Street Journal piece, “A Deep Green Freeze” (pg. A16, 2021), while the U.S. is not building any coal fired generating plants, China has 250 gigawatts of coal fired plants under development, enough to power 330 million homes. 

Coal now accounts for 60 percent of China’s energy. How’s that for limiting CO2 emissions? China is allowed to do this according to the Paris Climate Accords, because they are a “Developing Nation.” So while people are freezing and yes, dying of the cold in Texas, China is toasty warm and pouring tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. The environmentalists are against building natural gas, coal, nuclear energy and even hydroelectric plants. So what’s left, solar panels and windmills?

The present Administration’s plan to ban fossil fuels is really going to get interesting, when all automobiles will have to be battery powered. With a power grid that is already at a tipping point, imagine what would have happened if Texas only had electric powered vehicles. Not only would you have frozen in your home, you couldn’t even escape to a warmer state. 

Charging electric cars takes energy. Keep in mind that there is more energy in two gallons of gasoline than in the entire battery of a Tesla car. For reference, an electric toaster takes 1 kilowatt to operate. Overnight electric car chargers take 4 kilowatts, a reasonable amount for the grid to handle. If you want to charge a car in 15 to 25 minutes, you will need a fast charger that takes 150 to 250 kilowatts, much more than the present grid can handle, if everybody wants to charge their car at the same time. Electricity generated must be consumed as it is generated; there is really no storage capability. So even if you spend billions and billions of dollars to build charging stations, you must completely update the entire electrical transmission, and generation network, to power a nation of electric cars. 

So why are we doing this? All in the name of “Global Warming.” Environmentalists have created a mass hysteria crisis that says we must eliminate fossil fuels to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. This whole house of cards we have built, is based on the false premise that CO2 is causing a global warming crisis. 

Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and it has an effect on the climate, but climate change isn’t that simple. Water vapor is the major greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, not CO2. The Earth’s temperature over the past 500,000 years has varied enormously over roughly 100,000-year periods, because of what are known as Milankovitch Cycles. These cycles are caused by the variations in the Earth’s orbit, axis tilt and eccentricity that change the amount of sunlight that the Earth receives, and thus cause global warming and cooling. In fact the Earth has gone through four ice ages during that period of time. We are warming from the last ice age, 12,000 to 15,000 years ago. 

Humans lived in the U.S. in the time when there was one mile of ice over Chicago and other Northern Hemisphere cities. Long Island wasn’t even completely formed yet. This is considered very recent in geological time. The geological ice core record shows that for approximately 80 percent of the past 500,000 years, the Earth’s temperature was below today’s average. 

With a growing population, plants will die during a period of cool weather lasting hundreds or thousands of years and there will be mass starvation. Since most of the time in the last 500,000 years it was colder than it is today, we should be trying to figure out what to do about global cooling in the future.

The ice core records also show that rising CO2 follows the Earth’s temperature rise by hundreds or thousands of years, because CO2 comes out of warm ocean water just like it does in a warm bottle of beer on a hot summer day.

This climate movement permeates our entire culture, and ends up causing people to freeze to death in Texas because of the lack of electricity, and it’s only the beginning of the real crisis, which is the lack of electrical energy generation in the U.S.  It’s time for us to regain control of the people’s electric grid, and reveal that the “global warming” emperor has no clothes.  

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2 Comments

  1. Silenced in Leesburg on March 10, 2021 at 8:13 am

    As is usual, Joe LaFiandra spins lies, misinformation, and hyperbole into an “opinion” piece that distorts the truth, creates division, and benefits his myopic point of view that burning fossil fuels is the answer to everything and anything renewable is bad. Most of his statements can be shown to be patently untrue or misleading. Why does the BRL continue to publish articles by a man whose lies hurt our society and our planet.

  2. Susan Fischer on March 15, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    I read this disturbing opinion piece. Disturbing because it leads with false information attributing the Texas power outage to wind turbines that failed due to ice. Yes turbines failed but that does not mean wind energy cannot work, it means wind energy that is not properly weather treated may fail. The Texas electric grid ownership has chosen to isolate themselves from the rest of the US grid which was unable to provide energy to Texas. El Paso TX which is not on the Texas grid did not fail.

    Complaining about China’s allowance under the Paris accord to build coal energy is a false comparison. China has a population of 1.398 B (2019) more than 4 times the US population of 328.2 M (2019) .

    We should work to prove that US ingenuity, technology and intelligence will lead the world in clean energy. The world leader should not be playing the blame game.

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