Power outage, Southwestern Electric Power Company And Bitter Cold Means Chaos On Global Energy Systems

This morning’s number is 500 natural gas for physical delivery. Here in the u.s was trading for as much as 500 per million british thermal units on monday as demand for the heating and power plant fuel soared amid a deep freeze. Now the fuel normally trades for less than three dollars per million british thermal units or mmbtu spot gas has been trading for hundreds of dollars across the central u.s since thursday, with a surge in heating demand triggering widespread blackouts and sending electricity prices soaring. Bloomberg’S oxshot rothy uh is joining us now, akshat thanks so much for your time. Um i’m wondering what the climate change and green connection is here, as we we’re talking with brian just now. What we ended up, seeing you know in in different parts of the world, can actually have an effect on local weather in texas, what’s. The climate change connection here, yeah, i think, as brian was saying, i think people underestimate how much the weather, which is a phenomena that happens on a daily basis, is connected to the climate, which is a longer term trend, that’s playing out across the planet and what Brian was explaining was essentially that on the poles uh, you have more warming happening just because of the way the planet rotates and heat gets trapped than heating around uh the equator, and so the gradient of temperature difference which used to be large, has changed, and that Is keeping essentially uh every so often uh? The fridge opens up so to speak.

The polar vortex that keeps the cool temperature up in the poles uh opens up and gives you these deep freezes that north america and a few weeks ago, europe was experiencing so the retirement of fossil fuel plants. Akshat has caused disruptions before as the world chases its clean energy goals. Jobs are also at stake. Um i’m wondering what the connection is here to the retirement of fossil fuel power providers and and what’s happening in texas, because it does seem like uh that critics are are blasting texas in texas’s, increased reliance on wind power right now, so that’s. A common criticism. That comes up every time. There is a concern that energy demand has gone up or down and is not being able to met being be met as required. We should know that, yes, wind turbines have frozen. You know they are not built in texas for that weather. Of course we have wind turbines up in canada, uh up here in norway and sweden uh that run perfectly well, but they’re just designed to be working at that temperature. So it’s no surprise that some wind turbines in in texas have stopped, but it’s also only a small proportion of the problem. So you know the numbers show approximately about a fifth of electricity was expected to come from uh wind and it you know. Some of that has fallen through okay, a large proportion has been from fossil fuel power plants, uh, which have some of them have turned off unexplained, uh unexplained reasons, and others have turned up, because gas isn’t able to get to uh the power plants uh that you Know because of frozen pipes uh in that those places yeah, i mean an absolute host of issues what’s the solution here, though, if renewables aren’t necessarily to blame um, an increased reliance on on renewables and things aren’t quite working out from a fossil fuel fuel perspective, either What is the solution here so this doesn’t happen again i mean millions of people without power and heat.

So right now, we’re worried about power and heat uh. You know in in terms where uh climate change gets worse, we’ll be worried about air conditioning as well, and so the eventual outcome that we need is more reliable energy, but also fewer emissions. That means renewables will have to play a bigger and bigger role. The solution that you can apply now and something that europe has done quite well and the us can really replicate – is to build these uh long interconnectors, they’re called they’re, essentially long transmission lines connecting countries. So here in the uk, we are connected to norway uh. You know uh, spain is connected to france, uh. Denmark is connected to sweden and what that allows you to do is being able to move renewable electricity from where it’s being generated to where it’s required. The u.s doesn’t have those kinds of interconnectors, especially not at the scale where the middle of the country is known. For its renewable resources and the coasts are known, for you know consuming a lot of that electricity, and those connectors really need to be built. Is that something that is politically tenable in in the united states? Is it something that is is um from an engineering perspective? Is is tenable is realistic, so 100, tenable from an engineering perspective. Uh china, for example, has a 2 000 mile uh high voltage dc line, which connects their uh western region with their eastern region, where most of the consumption happens, um from a political perspective, it’s complicated, but not undoable.

So in the past there have been projects that have been put forth by american companies to build these transmission lines, but because utilities did not want change too quickly or weren’t sure that renewables will be cheap enough. They stopped these projects from happening, and so now that there is a goal under joe biden to reach a carbon free grid by 2035, there is 100 um the case to be made that these transmission lines are needed. Bloomberg’S oxshot, rothy oxshot.

What do you think?

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