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

“After a winter storm in Texas earlier this month left the state’s residents to contend with widespread power outages and skyrocketing electricity prices, William W. Hogan, the architect of the state’s energy market system and a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, said … the state’s electricity market had ‘worked as designed’ given the conditions.”

“One Texas resident … now owes $16,752 for his energy bill, wiping out his savings. Hogan acknowledged in the Wednesday interview that such situations are ‘terrible.’ Still, he argued the end result could have been much worse.”

Kennedy School Professor Who Designed Texas’s Energy Market Defends Skyrocketing Prices Following Winter Storm,” The Harvard Crimson (February 26, 2021).

“‘I feel like a caveman,’ said Alexander D. ‘Alex’ Kontoyiannis ’23, describing his experience studying for his organic chemistry midterm Tuesday night.

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

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

“It’s unfortunate that the Georgetown [100 percent renewable] experiment went so quickly from being a success story to being something of a cautionary example,” said Adrian Shelley, director of the Texas office of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group.

“Gore wasn’t available for an interview with E&E News last week to discuss the electric situation in Georgetown [Texas].”

It was supposed to be green and cheap, a 25-year fixed-price contract for solar and wind beginning in 2018. Instead, as one news story in October 2019 reported: “After losing tens of millions of citizens’ money on a green energy gamble, city officials are trying to escape their self-inflicted mess.” How? By filing a lawsuit against its solar provider Buckthorn Westex to cancel its 25-year contract. A countersuit by Buckthorn followed.…

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

By Josiah Neeley -- February 17, 2021 2 Comments

Ed. note: This post, originally published at MasterResource in November 2012, is reposted verbatim for its relevancy now that wind power has two seasons of questionable output: freezing winter as well as stagnant summer. (Two updates are provided in brackets at the end of the article.) The ‘seen’ today is the frozen wind turbine; the ‘unseen’ is the gist of the post below: phantom fossil-fired generation capacity given the ruined economics from unfair competition.

“It is well known that Texas is undergoing a major challenge in maintaining resource adequacy due to improper price signals; less well known is that a significant portion of the problem can be laid directly on the doorstep of subsidies for wind generation.”

The federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), which currently provides a $0.022/kWh subsidy to qualifying renewables, is set to expire at year-end.…

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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

Wind Subsidies and ‘Predatory Pricing’ in Texas (Part I)

By -- October 13, 2020 No Comments Continue Reading

Inferior, Subsidized Energy Feels the Pain

By -- May 11, 2020 1 Comment Continue Reading

Robert Bryce: Guilty as Charged (DeSmog hit piece boomerangs)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 28, 2020 5 Comments Continue Reading