News

Sweden Shows Texas How to Keep Turbines Going in Icy Weather

Source: By Jesper Starn and Krystal Chia, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

With the right gear, wind turbines can keep on generating through the harshest winter weather. That’s the experience by researchers at an Arctic test site in Sweden, and their knowledge would have come handy thousands of miles away as ice and snow storms in Texas downed generators and triggered widespread blackouts. As much as half of the wind power capacity came offline due to the extreme cold.

Frozen wind turbines aren’t why Texas can’t keep the lights on

Source: By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post • Posted: Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

The ongoing electricity crisis in the Lone Star State hasn’t stopped a chorus of conservative pundits and even some Republican lawmakers from pointing fingers at the state’s fleet of wind turbines as the reason for the rolling blackouts, as nearly 3 million remain without power throughout the state. Even the state’s own governor, Greg Abbott (R), joined in.

Biden’s Plea to Remake Grid Gets a Boost on Texas Power Crisis

Source: By Jennifer A Dlouhy and Ari Natter, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

The icy weather that left millions without power in Texas has critics of the Biden administration’s fight against climate change blaming renewable energy, but the failures have more to do with an ill-prepared power grid and shortfalls in traditional electricity sources. Energy analysts and experts said the blackouts in Texas underscore the U.S. electric system’s need for more of almost everything, from additional power lines criss-crossing the country to large-scale storage systems that can supply electricity when demand spikes or renewable generation declines.

Jaguar cars to go all-electric by 2025 as JLR plans full range of e-models by 2030

Source: By CNBC • Posted: Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

Jaguar Land Rover’s luxury Jaguar brand will be entirely electric by 2025 and the carmaker will launch e-models of its entire lineup by 2030, it said on Monday, as it joined a global race to develop zero-emission vehicles. JLR, owned by India’s Tata Motors, said its Land Rover brand will launch six pure electric models over the next five years, with the first one coming in 2024.

A Glimpse of America’s Future: Climate Change Means Trouble for Power Grids

Source: By Brad Plumer, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

Analysts have begun to identify a few key factors behind the grid failures in Texas. Record-breaking cold weather spurred residents to crank up their electric heaters and pushed demand for electricity beyond the worst-case scenarios that grid operators had planned for. At the same time, many of the state’s gas-fired power plants were knocked offline amid icy conditions, and some plants appeared to suffer fuel shortages as natural gas demand spiked nationwide. Many of Texas’ wind turbines also froze and stopped working, although this was a smaller part of the problem.

There’s an invisible climate threat seeping from grocery store freezers. Biden wants to change that.

Source: By Desmond Butler, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

In nearly every supermarket in America, a network of pipes transports compressed refrigerants that keep perishable goods cold. Most of these chemicals are hydrofluorocarbons — greenhouse gases thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide — which often escape through cracks or systems that were not properly installed. Once they leak, they are destined to pollute the atmosphere.

Severe weather, blackouts show the grid’s biggest problem is infrastructure, not renewables

Source: By Jonathan Shieber, Tech Crunch • Posted: Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

It’s becoming harder for the U.S. to ignore the very real effects of global climate change — and despite the efforts of naysayers, it’s not a push to renewables that’s to blame for the outages sweeping the nation. It’s the country’s energy infrastructure. Severe weather conditions caused by global warming have now caused massive blackouts across some of the largest cities in the United States. The inability of the U.S. power grid to withstand the stresses caused by extreme weather events shows that the nation needs a massive investment plan to upgrade energy infrastructure in an effort to make it more resilient.

How a bitter cold snap is crippling power in Texas

Source: By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

Fox News host Tucker Carlson faulted Texas for being “recklessly reliant on so-called alternative energy, meaning windmills” on his program Monday evening. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board piled on, solely blaming “frozen wind turbines” for Texas’s power problems. But that criticism is misleading. While Texas’s capacity to generate energy from the wind is down with some turbines seized up, most of the power generation offline during the cold spell was supposed to come from traditional thermal plants, Texas’s grid operator said Monday. It is a redux of what happened in California after a severe heat wave in August pushed California’s grid to the brink, prompting then-President Donald Trump and other Republicans to blame the blue state for shifting away from fossil fuels.

Frozen Wind Farms Are Just a Small Piece of Texas’s Power Woes

Source: By Will Wade, Naureen S Malik and Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

While ice has forced some turbines to shut down just as a brutal cold wave drives record electricity demand, that’s been the least significant factor in the blackouts, according to Dan Woodfin, a senior director for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid. The main factors: Frozen instruments at natural gas, coal and even nuclear facilities, as well as limited supplies of natural gas, he said. “Natural gas pressure” in particular is one reason power is coming back slower than expected Tuesday, added Woodfin.

GM’s Chevy Bolt SUV joins parade of new US electric vehicles

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

Whether people want them or not, automakers are rolling out new electric vehicle models as the industry responds to stricter pollution regulations and calls to reduce emissions to fight climate change. The latest offering comes from General Motors, which unveiled a Chevrolet Bolt compact SUV on Sunday. It comes with an estimated range per charge of 250 miles (400 kilometers) and a $33,995 starting price tag.