American Thoracic Society (ATS)

Dr. John Balmes, Noted Clean Air Expert, Says Gov. Greg Abbott's Claims Are False

Fact Check By: John Balmes, MD, American Thoracic Society (ATS)

Truthfulness: False

Claim:

Greg Abbott: "Our wind and our solar got shut down ... and that thrust Texas into this situation where it was lacking power at a statewide basis.”

Claim Publisher and Date: Gov. Greg Abbott on Fox News on 2021-02-16

While frozen wind turbines underperformed during the Texas power grid failure, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) around 29,000 megawatts of thermal energy — which is sourced from coal, gas and nuclear plants — were missing from the grid. Natural gas power plants were just as impacted by the freezing weather as wind turbines.

Renewable power was not the primary problem with Texas’ energy shortfall. To prevent future shortfalls during freezing weather both natural gas plants and wind turbines should be “winterized.”

Another issue is that unlike the other states in the union, which are mostly interconnected, Texas has its own power grid. That grid, which operates as ERCOT, covers 90 percent of the state. ERCOT should move a more regional approach to power. The 10 percent of Texas not covered by ERCOT did not experience power failures because of power from other states.

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Dr. John Balmes, Noted Clean Air Expert, Says Gov. Greg Abbott's Claims Are False
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

While frozen wind turbines underperformed during the Texas power grid failure, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) around 29,000 megawatts of thermal energy — which is sourced from coal, gas and nuclear plants — were missing from the grid.


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