Major national media (CNN, AP, Washington Post, etc.) have quickly started adding the words “false” or “falsely” whenever referring to charges by elected officials or experts that wind turbine freezing set off the Texas disaster. This may signal that social media giant monopolists will soon start censoring such statements. Consider that the anti-nuclear, anti-coal policies of Green power brokers as Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom of California can be effectively attacked as pushing more “Texas” calamities. That’s why the media are activated against public knowledge of what happened.
But burning money doesn’t generate power. And low-density interruptible electric generators don’t generate power reliably.
More fine-tuned data are available showing how the failure of wind power triggered the calamity in Texas. The data-driven research firm Cascend created charts of ERCOT’s power generation reports, by source and by day, and found a pattern not previously understood by most. The wind turbines across Texas, with their rated capacity in the winter of 25.1 GW, fluctuated wildly all during February with some points as low as 3-4 GW actually generated, some as high as 22 GW. But then on Tuesday, Feb. 9, as the polar vortex began settling down across Texas, wind power generation fell precipitously to 2 GW, rebounded over that week only to 8 GW at most, and fell by Sunday-Monday Feb. 14-15 back down to 2 GW and was below 4 GW through Wednesday Feb. 17. That’s 80-90% of the rated wind capacity gone for more than a week, the loss of nearly 20 GW of power generation. In fact, that was a loss of nearly 20% of all power generation.
Cascend’s charts show that natural gas power production ramped up slowly but strongly during the days from the 9th to the 18th, going from about 15 GW of generation to briefly as high as 40 GW on Sunday, Feb. 14—at which point it was replacing the lost wind power—but then failed on the disastrous Monday, Feb. 15, dropping back down to 25 GW. For that day and the following two, gas power was making up only about half of the lost wind power. (The small amount of solar power capacity that Texas has installed, rarely generating as much as 8-9% of total power, disappeared entirely.)
Coal-fired and nuclear power generation also fell from Feb. 13 onward, but by much smaller amounts; they fell from a combined total of about 35% of power generated, to about 25%, with most of the loss coming from reduced generation by coal plants.