Build It, and the Wind Won't Come


Three years ago, in the wake of Winter Storm Uri, the alt-energy lobby and their many allies in the media made sure not to blame wind energy for the Texas blackouts. The American Clean Power Association (2021 revenue: $32.1 million) declared frozen wind turbines “did not cause the Texas power outages” because they were “not the primary cause of the blackouts. Most of the power that went offline was powered by gas or coal.”

NPR parroted that line, claiming, “Blaming wind and solar is a political move.” The Texas Tribune said it was wrong to blame alt-energy after Winter Storm Uri because “wind power was expected to make up only a fraction of what the state had planned for during the winter.” The outlet also quoted one academic who said that natural gas was “failing in the most spectacular fashion right now.” Texas Tribune went on to explain, “Only 7% of ERCOT’s forecasted winter capacity, or 6 gigawatts, was expected to come from various wind power sources across the state.”

In other words, there was no reason to expect the 33 GW of wind capacity that Texas had to deliver because, you know, no one expected wind energy to produce much power. Expectations? Mr. October? Playoff Jamal? Who needs them?

But what happens when you build massive amounts of wind energy capacity and it doesn’t deliver — not for a day or a week, but for six months, or even an entire year? That question is germane because, on Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration published a report showing that U.S. wind energy production declined by 2.1% last year. Even more shocking: that decline occurred even though the wind sector added 6.2 GW of new capacity!

Read the rest of this piece at Robert Bryce Substack.

Robert Bryce is a Texas-based author, journalist, film producer, and podcaster. His articles have appeared in a myriad of publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Time, Austin Chronicle, and Sydney Morning Herald.

Photo: Jeff Miller via Flickr under CC 2.0 License.