Category Archives: Texas

Texas freeze casts renewable energy as next battle line in US culture wars

Conservatives have blamed the state’s power fiasco on solar and wind even though they account for a fraction of supply

The frigid winter storm and power failure that left millions of people in Texas shivering in darkness has been used to stoke what is becoming a growing front in America’s culture wars – renewable energy.

Related: Aggressive push to 100% renewable energy could save Americans billions – study

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Australia was the first casualty of the big blackout lie blaming wind power – the US could be next | Ketan Joshi

As climate impacts intensify, power grids stuffed with ageing fossil fuel infrastructure crumble

Climate change is full of surprises. We were warned about heatwaves, hurricanes and high-intensity firestorms. What we didn’t see coming was a cynical, cyclical economy of blackout bullshit. As climate impacts intensify, power grids stuffed with ageing fossil fuel infrastructure crumble. Those blackouts are usually blamed on wind and solar – and used to extend the lifespan of existing fossil fuel generators. Opportunity costs increase, climate impacts worsen and blackouts intensify. It’s an accelerating death spiral.

Last week Texas suffered an outage likely to be the worst on record in the US. Millions of people were without power for days, initially at a scale roughly equivalent to all of eastern Australia going dark at once. A burst of winter weather froze vital components at power stations, gas supplies were limited by frozen pipelines and, consequently, a third of the state’s thermal power stations were offline (mostly gas). An unspecified proportion of wind turbines were disabled due to icing and low-temperature shutoffs, but “gas and coal were actually the biggest culprits in the crisis”, Eric Fell, director of North America gas at Wood Mackenzie, told Bloomberg.

Related: Why the cold weather caused huge Texas blackouts – a visual explainer

Related: Green giants: the massive projects that could make Australia a clean energy superpower

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US conservatives falsely blame renewables for Texas storm outages

Lawmakers and the Murdoch media target wind and solar but grid operator says fossil fuel generators suffered biggest problems

The electricity outages suffered by millions of Texans amid frigid temperatures sweeping across the United States have been seized upon by conservative commentators presenting a false narrative that renewable power was to blame.

“We should never build another wind turbine in Texas,” read a Facebook post on Tuesday by the state’s agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller. “The experiment failed big time.”

Related: Millions without power and 21 dead as ferocious winter weather sweeps US

American infrastructure, especially our power grids, are not prepared for a world in climate crisis. We need to wake up. Today it’s Texas, but these problems aren’t only local and they’re going to get worse.

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