Off-Grid Power

Thermal plants, while much more reliable than renewables cannot quickly be turned on and off. Once down they can take weeks or even months to bring back online. The nature of municipal power is a high elasticity of demand supplying to particular areas at particular times but the “grid” itself needs reliable power to distribute. Renewables by their very nature are unreliable and will cause significant reliability and availability problems for municipal electrical power. Building significant capacity into renewables is a really bad idea, but a road we seem to be headed down. Solar doesn’t work on cloudy days or at night and wind doesn’t work when the wind drops or when the turbines freeze as we saw in Texas in the winter of 2020 -2021. Continually increasing the public dependency on these unreliable power sources along with driving the infrastructure to its limits is a “race to the bottom” in the context of providing reliable municipal power supplies. Texas experienced massive blackouts for weeks when this “perfect storm” of poor planning and poor execution with predictably unreliable systems all came crashing down on the people in Texas. Moving forward on our current trajectory we can all expect massive increases in the cost of municipal power and significantly reduced reliability. We must all become more self-reliant with respect to our electrical power requirements.