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Thread: Bloomberg: Natural gas, coal and nuclear played bigger role in blackouts than frozen turbines

  1. #1

    Bloomberg: Natural gas, coal and nuclear played bigger role in blackouts than frozen turbines

    Frozen Wind Farms Are Just a Small Piece of Texas’s Power Woes

    Bloomberg.com | February 15, 2021, Updated on February 16, 2021

    • Natural gas, coal and nuclear played bigger role in blackouts
    • Blaming reduced wind output ‘is really a red herring’


    Don’t point too many fingers at Texas wind turbines, because they’re not the main reason broad swaths of the state have been plunged into darkness.

    While ice has forced some turbines to shut down just as a brutal cold wave drives record electricity demand, that’s been the least significant factor in the blackouts, according to Dan Woodfin, a senior director for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid.

    The main factors: Frozen instruments at natural gas, coal and even nuclear facilities, as well as limited supplies of natural gas, he said. “Natural gas pressure” in particular is one reason power is coming back slower than expected Tuesday, added Woodfin.

    “We’ve had some issues with pretty much every kind of generating capacity in the course of this multi-day event,” he said.

    The blackouts, which have spread from Texas across the Great Plains, have reignited the debate about the reliability of intermittent wind and solar power as the U.S. seeks to accelerate the shift to carbon-free renewable energy. Rolling outages in California last summer were blamed in part on the retirement of gas plants as the state pursued an aggressive clean-energy agenda.


    Wind shutdowns accounted for 3.6 to 4.5 gigawatts -- or less than 13% -- of the 30 to 35 gigawatts of total outages, according to Woodfin. That’s in part because wind only comprises 25% of the state’s energy mix this time of year.

    While wind can sometimes produce as much as 60% of total electricity in Texas, the resource tends to ebb in the winter, so the grid operator typically assumes that the turbines will generate only about 19% to 43% of their maximum output.

    Even so, wind generation has actually exceeded the grid operator’s daily forecast through the weekend. Solar power has been slightly below forecast Monday.

    “The performance of wind and solar is way down the list among the smaller factors in the disaster that we’re facing,” Daniel Cohan, associate professor of environmental engineering at Rice University, said in an interview. Blaming renewables for the blackouts “is really a red herring.”

    That doesn’t mean that frozen turbines are playing no role in the energy crisis, which the grid operator has highlighted. Cody Moore, head of gas and power trading at Mercuria Energy America, noted that wind generation this week is down markedly this week from last week, possibly indicating that turbines are automatically shutting down due to ice.

    “We are seeing wind generation down 60% week-over-week,” said Matt Hoza, manager of energy analysis at BTU Analytics. But wind and solar that are operating “are in a very advantageous position” as power prices have topped $1,000 a megawatt-hour.

    The situation raises questions about the grid’s preparedness. “Grid demand is so much higher than we’ve really built the system for in the wintertime,” said Joshua Rhodes, a research associate at the University of Texas at Austin. MORE: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...s-s-power-woes




    Meanwhile, in the North Sea...

    Rand lied about Crimea and Iran
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  3. #2
    Guess that might be why they use fuel oil and wood in the northeast and coal , propane and wood in the midwest .
    Do something Danke

  4. #3
    The real red herring is avoiding the elephant in the room, i.e. the green freaks that demand the total elimination of fossil fuels. Where would Texas be at if even more of our power generation relied on wind/solar?

    Following that Jesse Jenkins dude and what he is sharing on twitter, the expected wind generation during this time of year was planned to be 6.2 GW. "~6 GW would be available (currently theres 1.6 GW)."

    That means ~73% of expected wind generation went offline! A far higher percentage than other generation methods.
    I just want objectivity on this forum and will point out flawed sources or points of view at my leisure.

    Quote Originally Posted by spudea on 04/20/16
    There won't be a contested convention
    Quote Originally Posted by spudea on 05/30/17
    The shooting of Gabrielle Gifford was blamed on putting a crosshair on a political map. I wonder what event we'll see justified with pictures like this.

  5. #4
    So, what’s the problem with natural gas? The demand went too high. Too much gas was sucked out of the pipe system, and they couldn’t put enough gas in and pressurize it to keep up.

    Northern Natural Gas declared a critical day across its system for Wednesday. The pipeline indicated it is at “imminent risk” of experiencing reduced receipts at pipeline interconnects in its market and field areas. A standard operating limit was in place by late Tuesday.

    “It is uncertain when this situation will improve. As this situation continues, Northern’s pipeline system integrity will be negatively impacted if deliveries are in excess of receipts, resulting in low line pack levels across the entire system,” it said.

    El Paso Natural Gas Pipeline reported equipment failure at the Dumas compressor station in Texas, while Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America was experiencing horsepower issues at two compressors in Louisiana.
    ...
    https://www.naturalgasintel.com/hist...e-cuts-supply/
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
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    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    So, what’s the problem with natural gas? The demand went too high. Too much gas was sucked out of the pipe system, and they couldn’t put enough gas in and pressurize it to keep up.
    That doesn't happen to a pile of coal.
    Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings. - Heinrich Heine 1823

  7. #6
    But this yet another joy of Bolshevik revolution: scarcity of basic necessities.
    Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings. - Heinrich Heine 1823

  8. #7
    Say it with me.... price controls.

    Man, it shouldn’t be this hard at RPF.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptUSA View Post
    Say it with me.... price controls.

    Man, it shouldn’t be this hard at RPF.
    Break it down...I was not aware that there were any energy price controls in place on the source energy.
    Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings. - Heinrich Heine 1823



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Break it down...I was not aware that there were any energy price controls in place on the source energy.
    There are..
    Local plants produce power and sell it to the "Grid".. Customers buy back from the grid..(price Manipulation)

    The Grid system is Phucked. Has been for years.. Easily broken..repeatedly..

    Grid system is a Fail System.. regardless of how or where the power is produced.

    and when damaged it is repaired to the same fail state. since demonstrated in 1965.

    https://www.history.com/this-day-in-...heast-blackout
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by pcosmar View Post
    There are..
    Local plants produce power and sell it to the "Grid".. Customers buy back from the grid..(price Manipulation)

    The Grid system is Phucked. Has been for years.. Easily broken..repeatedly..

    Grid system is a Fail System.. regardless of how or where the power is produced.

    and when damaged it is repaired to the same fail state. since demonstrated in 1965.

    https://www.history.com/this-day-in-...heast-blackout
    OK, price controls on the distribution end, got it.
    Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings. - Heinrich Heine 1823

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Break it down...I was not aware that there were any energy price controls in place on the source energy.
    Oh yeah! Even in ERCOT. Here's an article: https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/m...tating-outages

    Energy markets can get a little complicated, but if you are "setting" prices instead of allowing the supply and demand to dictate prices, you will have issues when either the demand increases dramatically or supply drops dramatically. In this case, both happened.

    There's another issue at play here in that the end users of energy are rarely aware of what the prices are when they are consuming the power. In order of prices to balance supply and demand, you need some price transparency. Large industrial users generally get that information through hourly spot prices. In most cases, that's enough to shed enough load to keep the prices from going out of whack. But when residential and small commercial loads are driving the demand upwards, they don't have the awareness to shed. You watch what's going to happen in a few weeks when people start getting their bills for this... Depending on their supplier contracts, many of them will see huge spikes because they had no idea the prices had spiked. Some of these contracts will have power purchase agreements in place to prevent intermittent spikes from hitting their customers - in that case, the owner of the PPA's will be left holding the bag. (Kinda makes them beg for rolling blackouts, doesn't it?!)

    What should have happened is that the prices should have spiked even higher beyond these caps and ALL customers should have been notified immediately of the price increases. We call these Demand Response events. Unfortunately, most customers do not understand or have the capability to respond to DR events. If they did, non-essential electric use would have voluntarily been reduced because of the price and the supply/demand would have been brought back into equilibrium.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    So, what’s the problem with natural gas? The demand went too high. Too much gas was sucked out of the pipe system, and they couldn’t put enough gas in and pressurize it to keep up.
    Maybe they have become too dependent on alternate energy that they no longer have the gas available. Why does California have drought when they flow water and protect minnows? I have lived thru many catastrophes and nobody ever bails me out. So what? Deal with it. I would think the electric company would have some culpability and should have methodically turned off some people and rotated their available power. What about all the news stations that are always so concerned with micromanaging life? Did they tell people to shut off their water main? What would I do? Gather my family in one small room. The good news is the food in their refrigerator and freezer should still be good. I call BS on the houses not built for the cold. If you are in a hot climate you still need to insulate to keep out the heat. When the ground is warm it takes awhile for it to get frozen deep.

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptUSA View Post
    Oh yeah! Even in ERCOT. Here's an article: https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/m...tating-outages

    Energy markets can get a little complicated, but if you are "setting" prices instead of allowing the supply and demand to dictate prices, you will have issues when either the demand increases dramatically or supply drops dramatically. In this case, both happened.

    There's another issue at play here in that the end users of energy are rarely aware of what the prices are when they are consuming the power. In order of prices to balance supply and demand, you need some price transparency. Large industrial users generally get that information through hourly spot prices. In most cases, that's enough to shed enough load to keep the prices from going out of whack. But when residential and small commercial loads are driving the demand upwards, they don't have the awareness to shed. You watch what's going to happen in a few weeks when people start getting their bills for this... Depending on their supplier contracts, many of them will see huge spikes because they had no idea the prices had spiked. Some of these contracts will have power purchase agreements in place to prevent intermittent spikes from hitting their customers - in that case, the owner of the PPA's will be left holding the bag. (Kinda makes them beg for rolling blackouts, doesn't it?!)

    What should have happened is that the prices should have spiked even higher beyond these caps and ALL customers should have been notified immediately of the price increases. We call these Demand Response events. Unfortunately, most customers do not understand or have the capability to respond to DR events. If they did, non-essential electric use would have voluntarily been reduced because of the price and the supply/demand would have been brought back into equilibrium.
    Thanks, that's a great angle I had not even considered.

    You also just described one of the big reasons why health care costs are $#@!ed as well.

    +rep

    I'm outta ammo, somebody cover me please.
    Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings. - Heinrich Heine 1823

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    You also just described one of the big reasons why health care costs are $#@!ed as well.
    Oh, without a doubt!!! Basically, any industry where the government gets its dirty fingers into and starts manipulating the market.

    Energy, Health Care, Education, Housing, "Defense"...

    The things we care about the most. People think the magic of "government" should take care of it. Meanwhile, bureaucrats be like, "yes, thanks for your liberty, wealth and power! Now, we'll screw you over until you give us more of those things!!"
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  17. #15
    Not derail the thread, but poking around the Internet shows the left salivating at this "demise" of TX, naturally. I've seen people blaming deregulation (huh?), inept Republicanism (ok...), and all around "bad karma" for them being a red state.

    Keep in mind, these are the people we're supposed to keep living peacefully alongside with. People who cheer the destruction of others instead of helping.
    Welcome to the R3VOLUTION!

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by GlennwaldSnowdenAssanged View Post
    Maybe they have become too dependent on alternate energy that they no longer have the gas available. Why does California have drought when they flow water and protect minnows? I have lived thru many catastrophes and nobody ever bails me out. So what? Deal with it. I would think the electric company would have some culpability and should have methodically turned off some people and rotated their available power. What about all the news stations that are always so concerned with micromanaging life? Did they tell people to shut off their water main? What would I do? Gather my family in one small room. The good news is the food in their refrigerator and freezer should still be good. I call BS on the houses not built for the cold. If you are in a hot climate you still need to insulate to keep out the heat. When the ground is warm it takes awhile for it to get frozen deep.
    One thing people don’t realize about capacity management in just about anything is that as a general rule, you don’t provision for worst case scenarios. It’s a given that during extraordinary loads that there will be a supply issue. Think of telephones when there is some kind of emergency like an earthquake or 9/11 type incident. The demand exceeds capacity, and many people can't make calls.

    As for California water, I’ve heard that the movie Chinatown explains it. Old water rights contracts mean that SoCal can still get water (and waste it), even if the entire state is in a drought. The southwest is mostly a desert. Always has been, probably always will be. Human intervention with dams and canals is what makes it livable for masses of people, but that is prone to failure, especially during extra dry years. Nature is in charge of supply.
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Okie RP fan View Post
    Not derail the thread, but poking around the Internet shows the left salivating at this "demise" of TX, naturally. I've seen people blaming deregulation (huh?), inept Republicanism (ok...), and all around "bad karma" for them being a red state.

    Keep in mind, these are the people we're supposed to keep living peacefully alongside with. People who cheer the destruction of others instead of helping.
    Somewhat related, Elon Musk may be shooting himself in the foot with his criticism. Texas ain’t California, and his public musings may have a different result in Texas.

    Elon Musk
    @elonmusk
    .
    @ERCOT_ISO is not earning that R
    12:55 AM · Feb 17, 2021

    https://www.twitter.com/elonmusk/sta...62505573031938
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    You also just described one of the big reasons why health care costs are $#@!ed as well.
    That's what I was thinking, too.

    Under the medical "market" we have now, the two groups of people who most need to know the prices of medicines, procedures, etc. in order to have anything like a sanely functional system - namely, doctors and patients - are the ones who are least likely to have any idea what those prices actually are.


    Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)

    • "When law and morality are in contradiction to each other, the citizen finds himself in the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense, or of losing his respect for the law." - The Law (p. 54)
    • "Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." - Government (p. 99)
    • "[W]ar is always begun in the interest of the few, and at the expense of the many."
      - Economic Sophisms - Second Series (p. 312)
    • "There are two principles that can never be reconciled - Liberty and Constraint."
      - Harmonies of Political Economy - Book One (p. 447)

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  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    That doesn't happen to a pile of coal.
    True to a certain extent.

    But if demand starts to go through the roof, it’s still possible that people (and electrical generators) will run out, and not be able to get immediate delivery, especially if delivery is hindered by weather. I’d guess that power plants would get priority though.
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Okie RP fan View Post
    Not derail the thread, but poking around the Internet shows the left salivating at this "demise" of TX, naturally. I've seen people blaming deregulation (huh?), inept Republicanism (ok...), and all around "bad karma" for them being a red state.

    Keep in mind, these are the people we're supposed to keep living peacefully alongside with. People who cheer the destruction of others instead of helping.
    Then why the $#@! are they moving there in droves from failed blue states like NY, CA and Ill-Annoy?

    $#@!ing idiot hypocrites, hateful small minded slugs.

    Think that's bad, go read some leftist drivel on the death of Limbaugh.
    Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings. - Heinrich Heine 1823

  24. #21
    Reporters suck at math. Apparently, so do the elite commentariat at Bloomberg.

    Dec 2020, ERCOT has 1.7 GW of solar generation capacity and 18 GW of wind generation capacity for a total of 19.7 GW.

    From this article.
    https://www.powermag.com/ercot-signa...to-fourth-day/
    By Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., forced outages surged to 46 GW—nearly 60% of installed capacity at the end of 2020. About 28 GW was thermal capacity, and 18 GW was wind and solar, ERCOT said. It estimated 185 generating units had tripped offline during the event. By 7 p.m. on Wednesday, generators provided more relief, though ERCOT still reported that 43 GW of generation—26 GW of thermal capacity and 17 GW of wind and solar—was still offline.
    Bold emphasis mine. Almost every single watt of "renewable" capacity went away. The legacy media can say that this wasn't a problem. Piss on them. I hope they have tax accountants cause they sure as hell ain't smart enough to do their own returns.

    XNN
    "They sell us the president the same way they sell us our clothes and our cars. They sell us every thing from youth to religion the same time they sell us our wars. I want to know who the men in the shadows are. I want to hear somebody asking them why. They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are but theyre never the ones to fight or to die." - Jackson Browne Lives In The Balance

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    True to a certain extent.

    But if demand starts to go through the roof, it’s still possible that people (and electrical generators) will run out, and not be able to get immediate delivery, especially if delivery is hindered by weather. I’d guess that power plants would get priority though.
    CSX was in the clutches of a CEO more interested in liquidating assets than running a healthy business for a time. Even so, coal moves by rail, and the railroads are very good at dealing with weather.
    Quote Originally Posted by DamianTV View Post
    Define Terrorist please.

    According to, well, pretty much both political parties, the other party is now guilty of Terrorism.
    Listening to the mainstream media is like standing under a power line when the birds are migrating.

  26. #23
    Lets be extremely clear here.

    For years, all those things that you have been made to be dependent on? You know, electricity, food, water, money? Those things are now being WEAPONIZED AGAINST THE PEOPLE. That is HOW you kill a BILLION people. You make em starve and freeze and die of dehydration. That keeps the rulers hands "clean" as there was no one that "pulled a trigger", no explosion, no bloodshed, etc.

    Texas is being PUNISHED for TEXIT.

    And yet again, they are pushing an AGENDA. They want VIOLENCE. That gives them the EXCUSE they need to declare WAR on the American People. Thing is, they are trying VERY hard to play the victim after doing everything in their power to antagonize the people into attacking. And doing $#@! that causes people to freeze to death and starve is the line in the sand that they are INTENTIONALLY crossing in order to support their agenda. The Agenda requires that the outcome fits their narrative. The narrative is that Patriots are Racist Extremists who are VIOLENT. Thus, they push Patriots to defending themselves and cause them to become VIOLENT. Then they have their excuse and we all go to war with those in power. And they have a single finger to push "the button".

    So this whole thing is BIGGER than just power outages.
    1776 > 1984

    The FAILURE of the United States Government to operate and maintain an
    Honest Money System , which frees the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators, is the single largest contributing factor to the World's current Economic Crisis.

    The Elimination of Privacy is the Architecture of Genocide

    Belief, Money, and Violence are the three ways all people are controlled

    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Our central bank is not privately owned.

  27. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    True to a certain extent.

    But if demand starts to go through the roof, it’s still possible that people (and electrical generators) will run out, and not be able to get immediate delivery, especially if delivery is hindered by weather. I’d guess that power plants would get priority though.
    Hmmm.... If only there was something that could mitigate demand... You know, like...

    PRICE SIGNALS
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire



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  29. #25
    There are times when people are forced to realize the shortcomings of mankind, and that no one (especially gov't) can solve, control, fix, or protect you from everything.

    I can remember several events even in my lifetime when these realizations brought Americans to their knees before a sovereign God.

    Those days are sadly almost gone, as our leaders blaspheme and vow to rebuild the tower of Babel even higher.
    Last edited by tfurrh; 02-19-2021 at 09:35 AM.
    "It's probably the biggest hoax since Big Foot!" - Mitt Romney 1-16-2012 SC Debate

  30. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Banana View Post
    That's what I was thinking, too.

    Under the medical "market" we have now, the two groups of people who most need to know the prices of medicines, procedures, etc. in order to have anything like a sanely functional system - namely, doctors and patients - are the ones who are least likely to have any idea what those prices actually are.
    Exactly, how in the hell can you make any kind of rational market decisions when you have no idea how much a thing costs until three months after you bought it?

    And then find out that price varies wildly simply based on where you go.

    Try buying a car that way.
    Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings. - Heinrich Heine 1823

  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Exactly, how in the hell can you make any kind of rational market decisions when you have no idea how much a thing costs until three months after you bought it?

    And then find out that price varies wildly simply based on where you go.

    Try buying a car that way.


    Ok, what if, and stay with me here.... What if we had the technology to not only send electricity over the lines at near the speed of light, but also send with it the current price signals? What if you had equipment in your home to receive those price signals and alert you? What if you could configure your hot water heater or dishwasher to evaluate those signals and adjust based on your settings? What if people who have home generation could also use those price signals to decide when to sell their excess back to the grid for a profit? What if someone in your neighborhood had a battery that could charge at low prices and dispense at higher prices?

    In other words, what if we could have a working market for energy?

    This is not outside the realm of possibility. The technology exists. But you have to get government out of the way. And they're more interested in how to control that market instead of how to allow it to operate freely.

    If you can imagine the implications, you can understand the frustration in my life's work.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by tfurrh View Post
    There are times when people are forced to realize the shortcomings of mankind, and that no one (especially gov't) can solve, control, fix, or protect you from everything.

    I can remember several events even in my lifetime when these realizations brought Americans to their knees before a sovereign God.

    Those days are sadly almost gone, as our leaders blaspheme and vow to rebuild the tower of Babel even higher.
    And that realization made one prepare beforehand, and use forward thinking, to say:

    "Gee I live in a area prone to hurricanes, cold weather outbreaks, tornadoes and ice storms.

    Probably would be a good idea to keep a week or so of non perishable food and water around, and a way to make light and heat if I lose power...

    Even just a couple boxes of canned goods, water and oil lamps with fuel would do the trick. Gonna take care of that right now."

    But today, that is literally denounced in the public square as racist, white supremacist thinking.
    Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings. - Heinrich Heine 1823

  33. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptUSA View Post

    There's another issue at play here in that the end users of energy are rarely aware of what the prices are when they are consuming the power. In order of prices to balance supply and demand, you need some price transparency. Large industrial users generally get that information through hourly spot prices. In most cases, that's enough to shed enough load to keep the prices from going out of whack. But when residential and small commercial loads are driving the demand upwards, they don't have the awareness to shed. You watch what's going to happen in a few weeks when people start getting their bills for this... Depending on their supplier contracts, many of them will see huge spikes because they had no idea the prices had spiked. Some of these contracts will have power purchase agreements in place to prevent intermittent spikes from hitting their customers - in that case, the owner of the PPA's will be left holding the bag. (Kinda makes them beg for rolling blackouts, doesn't it?!)

    What should have happened is that the prices should have spiked even higher beyond these caps and ALL customers should have been notified immediately of the price increases. We call these Demand Response events. Unfortunately, most customers do not understand or have the capability to respond to DR events. If they did, non-essential electric use would have voluntarily been reduced because of the price and the supply/demand would have been brought back into equilibrium.
    I just read an article on zerohedge about that. People whose bills normally were $200-300 were getting bills for $5,000-$10,000 for one month! I don't know if it's true but that sounds criminal. The problem is you can't say screw you to the power company, they'll cut your power off.

    Does energy always work that way? I think I read that some customers are on a "variable rate plan". Did they choose that? Are there fixed rate plans anywhere?

  34. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Madison320 View Post
    I just read an article on zerohedge about that. People whose bills normally were $200-300 were getting bills for $5,000-$10,000 for one month! I don't know if it's true but that sounds criminal. The problem is you can't say screw you to the power company, they'll cut your power off.

    Does energy always work that way? I think I read that some customers are on a "variable rate plan". Did they choose that? Are there fixed rate plans anywhere?
    There are fixed and variable rate plans depending on how you set up your contract with the supplier. (BTW, this varies by state)

    But as AF and I have been discussing, what good is a variable rate plan if you don't have insight into the current rate you're paying? The problem with fixed rate plans is that the provider now has to eat the risk. You probably pay more each month, but with huge spikes like these, your supplier has a big incentive to limit their liability. In fact, this may send many of them out of business. So, their incentive to trigger blackouts is tremendous!

    Think of the fixed rate plan like this: Your provider buys power on the open market and sells it to you. On a typical day, he makes a decent profit on what he sold you. But when the supply price goes up, you have zero incentive to trim your usage because you're still paying the same price. He's getting killed on every kWh he sells you! So, his incentive to stop you from using his power are HUGE!

    The variable rate plans cushion the provider's loss, but the individual ratepayer is probably unaware of the current (pardon the pun) cost of the kWh that they're using. So again, they have an incentive to shed their load, but they can't respond because they don't even realize what's happening. They just know it's cold outside and their shoddily-insulated homes need juice to stay warm.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

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