Author Topic: Terrible electricity problems  (Read 4542 times)

TheDrake

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Terrible electricity problems
« on: June 15, 2021, 04:10:18 PM »
So now, after collapsing under a freeze, Texas electric grid is fixing to collapse again this time because its hot.

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ERCOT asked Texas residents to set their thermostat to 78 degrees or higher; turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances; and turn off and unplug unused electric items.
The advice is altogether similar to California's recommendations last summer during its own heat wave. At the time, US Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, attacked California's conservation pleas as representative of a "train wreck of an energy policy."

"It's hot everywhere—try Texas every summertime—but the rest of the country doesn't have such a dysfunctional state govt that you can't turn the lights on or run A/C. That's a policy failure of the Dems," he said then.

That soundbite didn't age too well.

msquared

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2021, 04:13:18 PM »
If only the wind turbines would spin faster.  It must be their fault.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2021, 06:47:21 PM »
Time for rationing?

msquared

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2021, 07:03:44 PM »
Maybe they didn't summerize the system. You know it never gets hot in Texas.

Ouija Nightmare

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2021, 10:20:33 PM »
Market forces at work. Create shortage, reap extra profits!

At least people can just open their windows and won’t be freezing to death this time.

Drinks lots of water folks!

Fenring

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2021, 10:44:53 PM »
Drinks lots of water folks!

inb4 water shortage

cherrypoptart

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2021, 10:53:23 PM »
Unfortunately people die in heat waves too, especially the elderly.

I don't even know if the power went out during the 2003 heat wave in Europe that killed 30,000 across the continent with 14,000 just in France. My guess is they don't rely on AC as much over there as we do in the States.

The rationing remark may have seemed flippant but if it really came down to there just not being enough electricity to go around then some tough calls would have to be made.

For instance, would it make sense to let a neighborhood of rich people air condition their 10,000 square foot mansions down to 70 degrees while an apartment complex with a thousand households living in about a 1000 square feet per family go without? Well it's kind of the same grid so I guess the point would be those using the most electricity to provide for the least number of people would be causing greater per person strain on the grid so from a utilitarian point of view if there just isn't enough juice to go around and each person gets a certain allotment it'd be those using the most electricity to provide for the least number of people who would logically be asked to make the first concessions.

Now they could afford to maybe make some temporary and relatively inexpensive modifications to their houses so as to only cool a limited number of rooms to still stay comfortable with their electricity ration and that would make sense.

I doubt it would come to all that though. Just a thought exercise mostly, but something worth at least thinking about in advance just in case.

Sure usually, you can have as much of anything as you can afford and that's fine. But when there's just not enough to go around anymore that just won't do.

fizz

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2021, 05:46:59 AM »
This week we also had a Last Week Tonight service on AC (or lack of it) in US prisons (with Texas being the mostly talked about state, but also pointing out that they were using it because it was the one were this was most documented, not because it was the only one).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fiRDJLjL94

I wonder what also lacking electricity will do to *that* problem...  (joking, I've few doubts about what will happen)

Wayward Son

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2021, 12:43:05 PM »
Texas could look to California, to see how we handled a (man-made) shortage of electricity a number of years ago.

But, then we are on the grid, and could buy electricity from other states (at highly inflated prices), so I guess that's not an option. :(

DJQuag

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2021, 01:28:15 PM »
Man, that's just...

Look. I'm an Arizonan. Spent twenty years growing up there. I know how living in a desert works, and here's the secret.

It's AC.

AC in the cars, in the stores, in the homes, in any place that a reasonable person would expect a living human being to walk in.

That's how it works. Right up to teenage parties not taking place until the sun has gone down. This is a place that might be good for servers, but sometimes the humans need to step aside.

If you've ever met an Arizonan in your life who tried to make out like it was 115 outside and they were just going about their day, you got sold a bill of goods. If it's 115 or 120 out the only thing any reasonable human being is doing is reconsidering their life choices for being in that situation or finding the nearest  AC.

Best of luck, Texans. I guess? Y'all kinda chose this for yourselves.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 01:38:31 PM by DJQuag »

yossarian22c

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2021, 10:38:03 AM »
That's how it works. Right up to teenage parties not taking place until the sun has gone down. This is a place that might be good for servers, but sometimes the humans need to step aside.

Ha, those servers would fair worse than your average human without the AC.

DJQuag

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2021, 03:25:09 PM »
That's how it works. Right up to teenage parties not taking place until the sun has gone down. This is a place that might be good for servers, but sometimes the humans need to step aside.

Ha, those servers would fair worse than your average human without the AC.

Haha, humans, those *censored*.

Anyway, humans, well. No one is fond of them, perhaps myself most of all.

When it comes to a *server* that can live beyond the inevitable earthquake, blizzard, tornado, hurricane, or whatever other spot in the eye of a god believing person that can't be blamed on them, that can attributed to just... whatever?

Ball don't die. Companies pay money. Of all places Arizona is the home of servers

Crunch

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2021, 09:02:16 AM »
Maybe they didn't summerize the system. You know it never gets hot in Texas.

You have no idea what’s really happening, do you?  Typical

msquared

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2021, 09:11:00 AM »
Texas is having a record heat wave and their power companies can not keep up with demand.

Just like in the winter when they had record cold and could not keep up with demand.

The point was that last year Ted Cruze made fun of CA when they had the same issue. Now that TX is having the same issue he is silent.  At least CA can buy energy from other states. I think that since TX has basically cut it self off from the rest of the US grid they are not able to.

Otherwise explain what I have wrong and what is really going on?

TheDeamon

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2021, 11:11:30 AM »
It likely is a bit more than just "record heat wave" it is a record heat wave happening "unseasonably early."

Large power plants do need to be taken offline periodically for maintenance and limited overhaul of key systems. Generally those periods of extensive work are scheduled based on "average power grid demand expectations" for various times of the year. If late spring/early summer is typically reasonably mild and not particularly intense for power grid demand, that's a great time to take plants offline to do such work...

Right up until you have a record breaking heatwave hit your region while several of your power plants are offline for maintenance.

msquared

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2021, 11:34:06 AM »
Until Climate change moved higher heat up earlier in the year and for a l longer section of the year.  No one ever saw that comming did they?

yossarian22c

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2021, 11:44:52 AM »
It likely is a bit more than just "record heat wave" it is a record heat wave happening "unseasonably early."

Large power plants do need to be taken offline periodically for maintenance and limited overhaul of key systems. Generally those periods of extensive work are scheduled based on "average power grid demand expectations" for various times of the year. If late spring/early summer is typically reasonably mild and not particularly intense for power grid demand, that's a great time to take plants offline to do such work...

Right up until you have a record breaking heatwave hit your region while several of your power plants are offline for maintenance.

Mid/Late June in Texas should be expected to be hot. Its hotter than usual but power companies should expect high demand.

More likely the power companies saw how much money they made by not providing power in the winter and are trying to cash in on some of the same action over the summer.

Crunch

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2021, 12:37:40 PM »
Texas is having a record heat wave and their power companies can not keep up with demand.

Just like in the winter when they had record cold and could not keep up with demand.

The point was that last year Ted Cruze made fun of CA when they had the same issue. Now that TX is having the same issue he is silent.  At least CA can buy energy from other states. I think that since TX has basically cut it self off from the rest of the US grid they are not able to.

Otherwise explain what I have wrong and what is really going on?

Exactly as I suspected, a raft of talking points that fit the demanded narrative. If it wasn’t for half truths, you’d have no truth at all. You gotta stop depending on CNN for information, bro. 

Texas is the #1 electric power generator in the US, generating more than double the electricity than the second place state. CNN will likely prefer you didn’t know that.

Over 25% of Texas power comes from “renewable” energy, mostly wind power. If Texas was a nation, it would be the #6 generator of wind power in the world. Also something CNN would prefer you remain ignorant of.

The talking point you’re blindly regurgitating, that Texas cannot simply keep up with demand due to weather, is a half truth.

First, let’s talk about demand. Why is ot growing so rapidly? It’s mostly due to the insane number of people fleeing to Texas as they escape their blue state sh1tholes. Where I currently live, over 120 people a day move here and this has been going on for years. My city is not even the primary destination for blue state refugees. The demand is not coming from just weather, it’s the ongoing , unprecedented, and continuous influx of those escaping blue states.

Second, power generation. Texas made a mistake investing in renewable energy like wind. We are relying on it to pick up the slack from thermal generation but you know what’s happening right now? Of course you don’t, CNN isn’t gonna tell you. The wind is not blowing.  It’s exactly what critics of wind power warned about, no wind, no power.

Combine those two things, and you get what we got. If the wind was blowing as hoped, there would be no problem. We could meet the demands all the refugees are placing on us. But, no wind so here we are.

Texas should noy buy one single additional windmill. Ever. 100% nuclear from here on out would be the smart play.

Wayward Son

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2021, 12:17:18 AM »
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The demand is not coming from just weather, it’s the ongoing , unprecedented, and continuous influx of those escaping blue states.

So what you're saying is that Texas electrical system is being overwhelmed with an average yearly population  increase of 1.5 percent over the last 10 years (with last year being only 1.29 percent).  Why didn't anybody plan for this increase?  It's not like it suddenly happened just last year. :)

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Texas made a mistake investing in renewable energy like wind. We are relying on it to pick up the slack from thermal generation but you know what’s happening right now? Of course you don’t, CNN isn’t gonna tell you. The wind is not blowing.  It’s exactly what critics of wind power warned about, no wind, no power.

Strange.  I thought that thermal generators were supposed to pick up the slack when wind is not blowing, not the other way around.  Who's bright idea was it that wind was supposed to be available any time a thermal generator is off-line?  Sounds like really stupid planning again, just like not weatherizing the generators in case it got really cold in Texas.

And don't forget the other half: the electricity demand on June 14 of 69,943 MW broke the June record, and 11,000 MW of power generation was out of service.

TheDrake

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2021, 09:07:32 AM »
Luckily they'll be able to build a lot more generators using the windfall profits they made when they gouged residents due to high demand they created by not weatherizing their plants. Every regulated state would have A) built more capacity. B) mandated weatherization. C) protected consumers from price fluctuation. But deregulation cures all and meets all demand, I thought? Deregulation maximizes profit, not necessarily service.

What Ted said is a matter of fact not narrative. He criticized California for doing exactly what Texas is doing. Maybe you need to drop the newsmax feed, and pay attention to the fact that every time someone has blamed wind production for Texas power problems they have zero data or analysis to back that up with. There is no article "Less wind in June leads to underproduction and blackouts". The wind production is exactly where it was supposed to be, until I hear different. Next you'll want to blame solar, but you also won't find an article, "Overreliance on solar energy leads to overnight blackouts in Texas". Not even articles written by the people who want to demolish clean energy and burn loads more coal.

Do you really think that the hundreds of electrical, mechanical, and civil engineers pulled a collective headslap and never accounted for variability from these energy sources?

TheDeamon

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2021, 10:21:10 PM »
The engineers? Yes.

The people paying for it and making decisions on what is implemented? Not so much.

msquared

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2021, 11:31:30 PM »
You mean the Republican leadership of the State?

cherrypoptart

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2021, 12:57:05 AM »
The governor of Texas is inviting crypto mining companies to relocate to the state so it's going to be interesting to see what effect that has on the grid. One of the reasons China may be booting them is because of all the power they use. I don't know if it puts a strain on their grid or not but one can imagine it might. Of course there are the all the other reasons to boot them that deal with authoritarianism but the power requirements are significant.

Our power companies don't operate at a loss though so if these miners can pay for their power and we need more of it then it seems like we'll just develop more of it, more solar and wind farms and power plants as long as there is a profit to be made. There may be some growing pains though until more power comes online. We're inviting super high electricity users at a time when electricity is in high demand and the supply is strained. It's going to be interesting to see what happens.

I think some of them are intent on generating their own power with renewable energy close by that they own so if they make more than they need and get a side hustle selling some on the side that's the win-win. I understand some renewable energy farms actually can't use all the power they generate either because there isn't enough demand at the time it's produced and they can't store it so setting up the mining operations close by to reduce line losses and soak up the extra electricity is something I understand they're intent on which, with the jobs they are bringing, is another win for everyone.

NobleHunter

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2021, 08:29:40 AM »
And when cryptocurrency collapses, there will be plenty of excess capacity for people to use instead of running giant crypto-farms that produce nothing but numbers and heat.

TheDrake

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Re: Terrible electricity problems
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2021, 09:10:06 AM »
The engineers? Yes.

The people paying for it and making decisions on what is implemented? Not so much.

You mean the highly efficient free market and private companies made that mistake? Because I think we all see clearly now that the utility commission just rubber stamps whatever those guys want to do.

I'll just chill out here unless you have some kind of source that shows a correlation between underproduction by wind farms versus targets and shortages. Wind turbines, notably, lost less percentage of its production during the ice storms than natural gas.