(UnitedVoice.com) – Democrats are moving quickly to usher in the Green New Deal and transform how America creates and uses energy. However, in California and Texas, it’s proving to be premature and perhaps not entirely feasible. It’s also dangerous.
The question isn’t whether fossil fuels should be abandoned. The question is, is renewable energy ready to take center stage?
There are tremendous flaws in relying on renewable energy such as solar and windmills. When the power goes out, people immediately become primitive trying to find ways to stay warm or cool down. Just ask California and Texas. Last summer, California experienced massive rolling long-lasting blackouts as the electric grid was heavily taxed. The state experienced a sweltering summer.
Of all places, Texas is currently experiencing a once-in-a-century winter event with significant snow, high temperatures in the single digits and lows below zero as far south as San Antonio and Houston. The average temperature is in the 60’s this time of year. They are also experiencing rolling blackouts at a time when they need the electricity the most.
The Challenge With Renewable Energy
In October 2017, then-Secretary of Energy Rick Perry expressed concerns about prioritizing solar, wind, geothermal, and other forms of renewable energies over fossil fuels and nuclear power. In 2014 and 2015, the Northeast experienced a massive dive in temperatures as the polar vortex kept highs at or below zero for weeks at a time. Perry told a group at the White House that weather-dependent technologies couldn’t be relied upon when things freeze, the sun doesn’t shine, or the wind doesn’t blow. He explained they were a supplement to fossil fuels and nuclear energy, not the main driver.
That’s proving to be the case in California and Texas. Last summer, California struggled to make enough electricity to keep people cool in temperatures that soared over 100 degrees. From 2019 through 2020, the state forced numerous coal-powered power plants to close. Combined with a lack of wind that prevented windmills from turning, it created a disastrous scenario. Some in the state are reconsidering its position on over-reliance on renewable energies.
However, who saw Texas coming? It’s the largest producer of natural gas in the country. It’s also the largest user of windmills. In 2020, wind supplied 23% of Texas’s energy needs and became the second-largest energy source for the state after natural gas. As temperatures nose-dived south of freezing, the windmills in west Texas froze. Suddenly 23% of their energy is just gone.
Renewable Energy Is a Supplement
As America wrestles with the fossil fuel vs renewable energy debate, it highlights the need for balancing fossil fuels and renewable energy technologies. As the nation begins to experience rolling blackouts during unusual weather, will Americans tolerate the consequences of moving too quickly away from fossil fuels?
Thinking ahead is prudent, and new technologies may be on the horizon that transform how Americans generate and use energy. However, current technologies are still a supplement, not the primary creator to meet America’s growing energy needs.
At some point in the future, renewable energy may be ready. However, tomorrow’s energy creation solutions don’t solve today’s problems.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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