Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 30

Member-owned,
member-focused
and solar capacity in Texas. Over that same time period,
according to a recent report by Bill Peacock of The Energy
Alliance, Big Wind and Big Solar collected roughly $22 billion
in subsidies of one kind or another, including state tax
breaks and federal tax credits. But when the ERCOT grid
was on the brink of collapse on Feb. 15, that $66 billion
was worth next to nothing. There was no solar production,
and of the 31,000 megawatts of wind capacity installed in
ERCOT, only about 5,400 megawatts, or roughly 17% of
that capacity, was available when the grid operator was
shedding load to prevent the state's grid from going dark.
The $66 billion spent on wind and solar resulted in big
changes in the state's generation capacity. Between 2006
and 2020, the amount of electricity generated with wind
went up by about  and coal-fired generation fell by
about the same amount. Meanwhile, thanks to booming
population growth and increased electricity demand in the
Permian Basin, electricity use was soaring.
Over that same time, according to the Energy Information
Administration, electricity use in Texas jumped
by about 67 terawatt-hours per year, far more than any
other state in the country. (For comparison, North Dakota,
which had the second-largest demand growth over
that time frame, saw electricity use rise by about 10 terawatt-hours
per year.)
The surge in electricity demand put more strain on the
ERCOT grid, which was not maintaining enough reserve
generation capacity, that is, standby generation that can
be utilized during peak times. Making matters worse, no
new dispatchable capacity is being built. Instead, ERCOT
is adding more weather-dependent generation. About
24,000 megawatts of solar and 11,000 megawatts of wind
capacity are slated to be added to the ERCOT grid between
now and 2023. Thus, over the next two years, the amount
of renewable capacity in Texas will nearly double.
So what must happen to assure reliability and resilience?
First
and foremost, the state must step up its oversight
and regulation of the energy sector. The electric grid and
natural gas grids have merged. The February blackouts
proved, again, that the electric and gas grids are deeply
intertwined and interdependent.
Since 2001, when Enron went bankrupt, the amount of
natural gas consumed by the U.S. electric sector has more
than doubled. Despite that fact, the two grids are not being
regulated to assure that they are singing from the same
hymnal. During the February blackouts, some gas infrastructure
froze. Some gas processing plants and pipelines
had their electricity cut off. That, in turn, reduced the
amount of fuel available to produce power when electricity
was needed the most.
In the wake of the 2011 winter storm, the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American
Electric Reliability Corp. issued a report that warned about
the " interdependency of the electric and natural gas industries "
and urged " regulatory and industry bodies to explore
solutions to the many interdependency problems which
are likely to remain of concern in the future. " It's well past
time for state regulators to heed that warning.
Second, the lavish federal tax incentives for wind and
When the ERCOT grid was on the
brink of collapse on Feb. 15 ... there
was no solar production, and of the
31,000 megawatts of wind ... only
about 5,400 megawatts, or roughly
17% of that capacity, was available.
XX RURAL MISSOURI | NOVEMBER 2021

Rural Missouri - November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2021

Contents
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - Contents
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 4
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 5
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 6
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 7
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 8
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 9
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 10
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 11
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 12
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 13
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 14
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 15
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 16
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 17
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 18
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 19
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 20
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 21
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 22
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 23
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 24
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 25
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 26
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 27
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 28
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 29
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 30
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 31
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 32
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 33
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 34
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 35
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 36
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 37
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 38
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 39
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 40
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 41
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 42
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 43
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 44
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 45
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 46
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 47
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 48
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 49
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 50
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - Cover4
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