TUCSON, Ariz., March 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- When unusual Arctic weather hit Texas in early February, millions were without power, and the system came close to collapse, states Physicians for Civil Defense. Some resorted to burning furniture to keep from freezing.
While other sources of generation also experienced difficulty, owing partly to lack of preparedness for such cold weather, wind turbines were producing very little. Most Texans who had power were getting it from natural gas.
Dozens of new lobbyists are descending on Washington, D.C., to promote policies that benefit wind and solar energy production. The experience of Texas, which boasts of being a leader in wind power, shows the need for caution. "Over-reliance on weather-dependent sources may mean the cleanest of 'clean energy'—no energy—when most needed in freezing weather," states Physicians for Civil Defense president Jane Orient, M.D.
Wind or solar generation needs 100 percent backup. Baseload is reliably provided by coal and nuclear, she said. Coal plants can have a several months' supply of fuel on site, and nuclear only needs refueling every 12 to 18 months. Texas relies mostly on natural gas, which requires just-in-time fueling. If politicians block pipelines, delivery depends on tanker trucks—which depend on open roads.
"Having reliable, affordable electricity is not just a matter of convenience, but of life and death," Dr. Orient said. "Appealing words like 'renewable' must not be allowed to substitute for robust, dependable, steady supply, regardless of the weather."
Physicians for Civil Defense provides information to help save lives in the event of natural or man-made disasters.
Contact: Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110, [email protected]
SOURCE Physicians for Civil Defense