Wind Power in Texas

Ive been looking more closely at the Ercot renewable energy grid and just realized at its
low point during a 24 hour period, wind is providing the equivalent of 4 times the power of the South Texas Nuclear Power plant. And its been pretty consistent for days. Thats amazing. Even more amazing to me is the anti-renewable sentiment.

COP HSL for Current Day Forecasted and Actual Wind Power ProductionHelp?
Graph Updated: May 14, 2021 17:55 Wind Power Production:



May 14, 2021 18:10
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Iowa getting nearly 60 percent of its power from wind. Apparently Iowans know how to winterize.

P.S. Don’t wig out because this is Daily Kos. I was going to link directly to the Des Moines Register story, but it’s subscription only.

Iowa nears 60% of power from wind turbines. (

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So 4 nuke plants would create as much power as all the f’ing windmills in Texas?

Yes I think about 4 to equal low peak. To build 4 STNP plants would be about 60 billion dollars in todays dollars . At peak windmill output you need about 10 nuclear plants, at about 150 billion. Plus you have the spent nuclear fuel problem, plant EOL decommissioning, and ongoing security costs.

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Wow, I had no idea Iowa was that heavily invested in wind power. Percentage wise they are
almost 3 times ahead of us. Resets your internal compass when you hear things like this.

Another Interesting line in that article is this:

The DMR does note there is growing resistance in some areas to wind farms, with claims of negative health and aesthetic impacts.

Would like to hear more about these negative Heath effects, from researchers and doctors.

Iowa? With less population than the city of Houston and no heavy industry? lol, nice comparison. Texas has the most wind capacity in the nation. Thats the only stat that matters.

What is wind capacity?

Most of the nuke plants we build are one-offs, always over budget. Nuclear power is expensive but may may become cheaper in the future. Fossil fuels will always be part of the energy mix. Just like the coal industry cares most about preserving their profits, same goes for O&G, and it is understandable.

The installed wind capacity in Texas exceeds installed wind capacity in all countries but [China]"(, the United States, Germany and India. Texas produces the most wind power of any U.S. state.["


I would say the stat that Iowa, which has harsher winters with many subfreezing days and did not
go dark in February is an important stat too. But they are plugged into a national grid and are
an electricity exporter as well. True they rank only 31st by state population, but to be near
60% renewable electricity is nothing I’d sneer at. If anything, it’s like a real live laboratory experiment and points to future potential.

Are you referring to future non-fission nuclear technology that’s being developed, or
improvements in design and construction methods to lower cost ?

Fossil fuels will always be part of the energy mix

I think that’s true too, at least for next 20 years.

New technology may someday make nuclear power cheaper. Also, cloning the same design will make for cheaper construction and maintenance.

The military will always rely on gasoline and diesel, as it should. Commercial airplanes, too.

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Texas subsidized wind to the tune of 19 billion so far. Estimated 15 bill in the next decade. Doesn’t count federal subsidies.

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Except the Navy which is pretty heavy into nuclear submarines and air craft carriers.

Great news. I understand fossil fuels receive subsidies too in various forms.

Those fossil fuel subsidies are very overrated/overstated, at least in terms to the subsidies that only apply to oil and gas and per capita.

Yes, I’ve seen some wild estimates that take into account pollution and it’s huge. On the other
hand this estimate pegs it at 4-5 billion annually for a long time. Nothing on the scale of renewables currently but not insignificant either. It depends on who is doing the counting :slight_smile: Do you dispute these estimates too ?

Congressional Budget Office testimony delivered March 29, 2017 showing the historic trend of energy related tax preferences

At first glance, they are including subsidies that every industry gets like R&D. I’ve seen others call tax deductions for legit business expenses as subsidies. Same for the use of tax losses.

Everyone does those things (and rightfully so), yet some call them subsidies for oil and gas. I just don’t view something that everyone gets as a subsidy in one industry. Some of the arguments are around taking away “subsidies” from oil and gas that everyone gets (and it’s happened before).

The chart above show how much more renewables gets at this point and that’s in absolute dollars. Imagine if you did that per capita based on spend in the two industries.

Now I’m not saying that’s necessarily wrong either. Governments use subsidies (generally tax benefits) to incentivize certain behavior. We need that to happen with renewables.

To be fair and just skimming the surface of what a “subsidy” is in different industries is …a bit confusing , at least to me. Does Something like a “resource depletion allowance” in oil count ? No doubt renewables are getting and have gotten the lions share of $$$ the last 10-20 years. At some point, that has to end, and it’s my expectations it will. Government is unique in this capacity
to nurture nascent technology at this point in human development.

I also discovered that nuclear PWR is far from dead looking into the wind financials. There are approximately 50 nuclear power plants under construction in 2021 and 2022. Most in China , India , and Russia. The west seems to have totally abandoned new nuclear at this point due to build costs and the Fukushima disaster ( $ 470 billion decommissioning estimat with 40 year cleanup and employing 10,000 people annually).
The argument has been made that more standardized designs and better project management
could lower the build cost. I’m not sure significant savings are possible, as this low hanging fruit would have been exploited over last 40 years, but perhaps I’m wrong about that too. I’m curious now to find the true cost and timelines that the big 3 in nuclear power plants have working for them.

I’m good with it. That’s what the government is supposed to do. Just get frustrated with all the fossil fuel subsidy talk that’s very much overstated as I mentioned earlier.

The resource depletion allowance is another word for percentage depletion. It’s a real thing and a subsidy specific to the mining industry (oil and gas is a big piece of that). That said, integrated oil and gas companies don’t qualify for it (Exxon, Chevron, Shell, etc.).

Energy from nuclear plants has been effective, safe and reliable for decades. I have never understood why there is such a stigma here. I am familiar with the three miles island accident in 1979. Why it happened in the first place should have taught a lesson.
Now see how effective it is.
France can build nuclear power plants why can’t we and be as safe as theirs and on budget?
That makes no sense. Our geography combined with our waterways is made for it.

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