People in Texas are suffering at present on an unprecedented scale and when the city mayor shot himself in the foot, while the response should have been a shot in the arm – not in vaccine sense – it hardly helps to boost the morale of ordinary people, let alone the vulnerable.
Clearly, the demand of electricity has outweighed supply and the risks of wind power as a substitute are there for all to see. How many of us saw this coming – the frozen wind turbines? I certainly is not one of them.
Since the energy provided by wind turbines in Texas rose from 11% in 2015 to 23% in 2020, i.e., almost a quarter of the state’s need, everyone talks about the impact on it by the frozen wind turbines for valid reasons.
Even the website of those who manage the electricity supply cannot be accessed right now, citing security; it’s like remedying diarrhoea with a tight pamper.
Over 2 million people are affected it’s just outrageous to ask people to fend themselves and to be told, ‘no one owes you.’
A picture is circulating online with a helicopter, powered by fossil fuels, de-icing the turbine blades with chemicals; the success of the costly – and risky - operation remains to be seen.
Ice-covered solar panels are not in power-generating mode either during this difficult time; the removal of ice from them is much more delicate than the process of removing ice from wind turbines; panels could potentially be damaged by both chemicals and mechanical tools.
In Europe too, a cold snap is causing havoc and the countries that heavily rely on renewables are paying a heavy price for turning their back on fossil fuels.
In Germany, for example, frozen wind turbines and solar panels, have forced the officials to turn to neighbours in order to bridge the gaps in domestic electric supply, something that comes from burning fossil fuels such as coal.
All in all, it’s far too early to make plans to turn our back on fossil fuels; at this stage, however, it certainly should be confined to aspirational realm; what we witness in Texas and Germany are true wake-up calls.