The Tennessee Valley Authority was one of the success stories of the New Deal, or at least, so it was long believed. But that was when they could keep the lights on. Now, Tennessee is experiencing rolling blackouts. Clay Travis is appropriately appalled, as Tennessee–one of our better-run states, in general–slips toward third-world status:
Nashville’s mayor is asking the @titans to postpone kickoff to conserve energy. What kind of banana land republic has our national energy policy become that this could ever be possible. https://t.co/12QGvNSSsj
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) December 24, 2022
It isn’t just Tennessee. Bill Glahn reports:
Many residents of the eastern United States received an unwelcome Christmas gift this year: rolling blackouts during cold weather.
I received this email on Christmas Eve from Appalachian Power Company, which serves about one million customers in western Virginia, West Virginia, and eastern Tennessee.
The email references PJM, the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland power grid, which actually serves a swatch of America stretching from northern Illinois to eastern North Carolina.
Customers in the region appear to have dodged rolling blackouts, but customers further south were not so lucky. Around 550,000 customers were subject to blackouts in North Carolina on Christmas Eve, although that figure had dropped to around 2,000 on Christmas Day. From a local news report:
The company said the rolling blackouts were “temporary outages that were taken to protect Duke Energy customers from more extended outages during extreme temps across much of the eastern U.S.”
But, many customers were upset when outages lasted for hours.
Nor is that all: the Midwestern and Mid-Southern states served by the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO) are at serious risk of blackouts over the coming winter:
Grid monitors warn that the electricity system that serves Minnesota and 14 other states, the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO), is at a high risk of blackouts, and this threat will get worse over the next five years because coal, nuclear, and natural gas generation exit the system faster than replacement resources are connecting.
Why, after many decades of grid stability and reliable energy, are we suddenly talking about blackouts? The answer is obvious. Across America, reliable coal and nuclear power plants are being retired, and supposedly replaced by “green” wind and solar energy. This is frankly absurd, because an intermittent energy source that works less than half the time (wind) or rarely (solar) can’t possibly replace reliable, 24/7 electricity, no matter how many billions we spend.
Kevin Roche makes the point with MISO data from a recent week. Kevin’s focus is Minnesota, where the data would look even worse. But this is for all of MISO, including the southern states:
A few takeaways:
* Solar power is utterly and completely worthless.
* Wind turbines can indeed produce electricity. The problem is you never know when. Also, they generally produce the least electricity when we need it the most, like at night and when it is cold out. The problem can’t be overcome no matter how many billions we spend on wind turbines, because if the wind isn’t blowing, it isn’t blowing.
* Despite all of the hoopla about “green” energy, the reality is that coal and natural gas–fossil fuels–keep our lights on and heat our homes. And nuclear can do so as well, if we start building plants instead of shutting them down. The rest is BS.
There is no doubt about the fact that conservatives are winning–have already won–the energy argument. The question is how many lives will be lost, how badly we will all be inconvenienced, and how many trillions of dollars will be wasted, before voters finally rise up and demand a reliable, first-world energy system like the one their parents enjoyed.