Need diverse energy supply

Published 5:13 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

President Biden’s climate plan includes carbon-free electricity by 2035, and more wind and solar to get the nation to net-zero emissions and 100% clean energy by 2050. One only needs to look at California and Texas to see the potential consequences of this plan.

In August, millions were without power from rolling blackouts during a sweltering heat wave as California’s greener power grid with large-scale solar and wind farms was struggling to meet demand.

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Frozen wind turbines and limited gas supplies hampered the ability to generate enough power in Texas, according to a statement from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). “Gathering lines freeze, and the wells get so cold that they can’t produce,” said Parker Fawcett, a natural gas analyst for S&P Global Platts. “And pumps use electricity, so they’re not even able to lift that gas and liquid, because there’s no power to produce.”

Pipeline compressors used to run on natural gas. Rotating blackouts throughout the state left millions without power and heat at the very time they needed it most. More than two dozen people died in Houston alone, according to The Houston Chronicle.

We all want cleaner energy, but emission-free technologies like wind and solar alone have proven to be only somewhat reliable. Texas and California should serve as cautionary examples of why we need a well-rounded, multi-sourced energy infrastructure with all forms of energy in the mix, including clean-burning fossil fuels and carbon capture and sequestration technology.


Joe Naneville