The emergency order allowed the state's grid operator to exceed certain air pollution limits to boost generation amid record power demand in the state. The Texas Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT), whose service area includes 90 percent of electric customers in Texas, requested the emergency order on December 23 as demand on the power grid exceeded 74,000 megawatts early that day.
"While the vast majority of generating units in the ERCOT region continue to operate without any problem, a small number of units have experienced operating difficulties due to cold weather or gas curtailments," the Energy Department said in its order.
"Fortunately a repetition of the blackouts last year was avoided, thanks to gas power which came to the rescue, as wind power collapsed to virtually nothing at the same time as demand surged," Paul Homewood wrote in a climate blog.
He pointed out that Texas has 35 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity, but the output was running below five GW throughout December 24, and down to two GW for much of the day.
"This certainly was not due to lack of wind, quite the opposite in fact. Whether wind power collapsed because of the winds being too strong, or because of freezing up, I do not know. But either way, it was a weather-related issue," he added. "Thankfully ERCOT was able to call on ample gas power capacity, both to replace the loss of wind power and meet surging demand, which peaked at 74 GW, about 15 GW more than normal."
President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 14057 in 2021 to catalyze American clean energy industries and jobs through the Federal Sustainability Plan.
This ambitious plan of action is supposed to deliver an emissions reduction of greenhouse gases by 50 to 52 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The sustainability plan includes 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) on a net annual basis by 2030.
"How many millions of Americans will freeze to death if he gets his way?" Homewood pointed out.
Additionally, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy issued on December 16 solicitations for the purchase of CFE to support Department of Defense (DoD) installations and federal agencies in two key regions.
"This is an important step forward in transforming how the U.S. government buys and manages electricity and putting the nation on a path to achieving a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035," the DoD press release stated.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said that the transition to clean energy can make U.S. military installations more resilient, operating forces more agile, and the country more competitive in the face of rapidly-shifting global energy markets.
"The Department of Defense is one of the largest electricity purchasers in the world, and when it comes to clean energy, we’re sending a clear signal to the marketplace: DoD is buying," she added.
However, Craig Idso, founder and CEO of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, has debunked claims that high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) cause a direct threat to health and the environment. (Related: Studies: Current atmospheric carbon dioxide levels NOT a threat to humans or the environment.)
According to Idso, CO2 levels would have to surge 36 times above the present concentration before they would even begin to pose a mild health concern. "That value (i.e., 15,000 ppm) will never occur, given it is a factor of ten above the approximate 1,500 ppm atmospheric CO2 limit that scientists think is possible if society utilized all of the currently-known fossil fuel reserves on the planet," he explained.
Visit EnergySupply.news for more news on the advantages of gas-powered energy.
This video is from the NewsClips channel on Brighteon.com.