A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from December 0

Will Texas Legislators Take on Renewable Energy?

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#bpeacock">Bill Peacock</a> -- May 25, 2021

“As Texas faces the possibility of high temperatures this summer and the certainty that wind will operate at only a fraction of its installed capacity during periods of peak demand, it is possible the Legislature may adjourn on May 31 having done nothing to address the harm renewables are doing to the Texas grid.”

Despite years of increasing reliance on intermittent generation sources like wind and solar, Texas policymakers seem to have been caught by surprise by the prolonged blackouts experienced by millions of Texans in February.

They should not have been. While temperatures dropped into the single digits for extended periods over much of Texas, solar and wind generators were largely no-shows on the Texas grid.

While other factors were in play, it was renewables that led Texas into darkness.…

Texas Wind Power: New Record, Bad Economics (and capacity inhibiter for future reliability)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#bpeacock">Bill Peacock</a> -- March 12, 2013

“Renewable energy subsidies harm the reliability of Texas electricity markets by resulting in artificially low sales prices, victimizing conventional energy generators and investors. Why build a new gas-fired plant when spot prices might be below production cost because wind receives a $0.02/kWh federal production tax credit?”

Last month, a cold front propelled Texas to a new record for wind power, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Wind-generated electricity provided 9,481 MW on Feb. 9, almost 28 percent of the power generated in ERCOT at that time. This surpassed the previous record of 8,667 MW set only two weeks earlier.

Hold the applause. These records are being set because of Texas’s renewable-energy mandate–the strictest in the nation–and a raft of special tax subsidies. This government largesse harms taxpayers, consumers, and businesses as documented in a study released by the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) last November.…