Texas Legislature Ignores Renewables in Grid Reform: More Problems Ahead (Peacock Interview)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 15, 2021 3 Comments

“In 2011, even though the market was caught by surprise by one of the hottest summers in Texas history, Texans did not experience any blackouts because of reliable generation. Today, however, the reckless rush toward renewables has changed the situation completely. ”

– Bill Peacock, Energy Alliance (below)

Bradley: How did the just-completed Texas legislative session deal with the February Blackout that caused so much damage to life and property?

Peacock: The session had two issues to address here. One was dealing with the aftermath costs; the other was reform to prevent it from happening again. The lawmakers did poorly with both. 

Q: What did the Legislature do wrong in dealing with the aftermath? 

A: The Legislature failed to appropriately address the massive financial costs of the blackout, most of which came from the Public Utility Commission of Texas’s (PUCT) panicked decision to raise electricity prices to $9,000 per MWh and leave them there for three days.

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ERCOT’s SNAFU: $16 Billion? $30 Billion? (perils of central planning)

By -- March 17, 2021 3 Comments

“Other than desperation, why would the commissioners have increased electricity prices to the point that Texans paid more for electricity in one week than they had for the last three years combined?…. At the heart of the PUC’s decision seems to be a belief in theoretical market constructs over actual markets.”

“At the time, the new PUC chairman, Arthur D’Andrea, noted, ‘I think we all expected that when we were in load shed we would be at $9,000.’ In other words, the commissioners did not care what market prices actually were. They were going to impose their vision on the market, regardless.”

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is a government agency advertised as a ‘nonprofit corporation.’ It is also a government planning agency, not a free-market institution, under the thumb of state legislators and regulators.

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‘Is it time for the political fall of renewable energy?’ [Peacock in the Houston Chronicle]

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 18, 2020 1 Comment

“Renewables will never catch up to modern, efficient sources of energy. But this hasn’t stopped federal, state and local governments from continuing to force consumers and taxpayers to subsidize renewable energy companies, making energy in America less affordable and reliable in the process.” (- Bill Peacock, below)

Four years ago, after the election of Donald Trump, I contacted the head of the editorial page of the Houston Chronicle requesting a visit with the editorial board to introduce myself, the Institute for Energy Research (IER), and the classical-liberal worldview applied to energy. I got no response.

I then resent the request and got a curt no caps rely from the gentleman as in don’t-have-time-for you. I then responded with the fact that IER was a go-to Trump think tank, and my being the founder and from/in Houston would add interest.

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Electricity Planning: Physical vs. Economic (an exchange with Eric Schubert)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 25, 2021 1 Comment

“The physical operation of the grid can be separated from the economic decisions of what power is generated, transmitted, and sold at wholesale or retail in terms of quantity, cost, and price.”

“Mistakes by ERCOT or the PUCT or Texas legislature make my point–this is a planning failure, not a market failure. Not physics but economics. A historian is weighing evidence about this either being a market or government failure. It is a government failure writ large.” (Bradley, below)

Electricity is different. Power flows must the centrally managed. Ergo, regulators and politicians must manage the grid.

WRONG. The physical operation of the grid can be separated from the economic decisions of what power is generated, transmitted, and sold at wholesale or retail in terms of quantity, cost, and price. Companies themselves, vertically and horizontally integrated, what might be called electricity majors, is the opportunity cost of the present regulatory regime.

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ERCOT “worked as designed” (architect Hogan gives no quarter)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 23, 2021 No Comments Continue Reading

Texas’ Renewable Fail: Remember Georgetown’s Green New Deal Too

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 24, 2021 2 Comments Continue Reading

Texas Windpower: Will Negative Pricing Blow Out the Lights? (PTC vs. reliable new capacity)

By Josiah Neeley -- February 17, 2021 2 Comments Continue Reading

Reflections … and the Year Ahead

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 4, 2021 3 Comments Continue Reading

Wind Subsidies and ‘Predatory Pricing’ in Texas (Part III: Time for Regulators to Investigate Predatory Pricing in Texas?)

By -- October 15, 2020 2 Comments Continue Reading

Wind Subsidies and ‘Predatory Pricing’ in Texas (Part II: Harming ERCOT)

By -- October 14, 2020 No Comments Continue Reading