Februarys energy crisis did something no Texas political leader has actually done in years: It brought Texans together to require our leaders in Austin fix the flawed energy system that failed so badly, caused almost $300 billion in damage and eliminated more than 200 Texans.Unfortunately, nonrenewable fuel source interests and their willing allies in the Texas Legislature are pressing costs that would have absolutely zero effect on the issues that triggered the crisis and would rather put additional expenses on manufacturers and customers of electrical power produced by solar and wind. The Houston Chronicle called the bills a “inexpensive shot at renewable resource” and “outrageous political opportunism intended at assisting the oil and gas market earnings off Texans misery.”At concern are Senate Bill 1278 and House Bill 4466, companion costs that would require onto wind and solar power generators a disproportionate percentage of ERCOTs “ancillary service” costs– expenses that are presently divided similarly among all electrical energy generators and then passed on to their customers.Texas politicians spoke loudly and angrily after the grid crisis and assured to recognize and resolve the states failure. On February 24, Gov. Greg Abbott offered an uncommon statewide address, telling Texans: “I ensure you of this: this Legislative session will not end until we fix these problems.”But these bills do not repair anything, much less the issues that caused the grid meltdown. Fossil fuel industry stopped working Texans during the freeze, now its utilizing the crisis to attack renewables Click To TweetAncillary services had absolutely nothing to do with the grid failure, and neither do these billsA lack of ancillary services did not trigger the February crisis. Generators and fossil fuel supply systems failed because they were woefully unprepared for the winter season storm and froze. These bills say absolutely nothing about weatherizing natural gas wells, pipelines or generation plants. Nothing about improving insulation and security of homes from extreme weather condition or power and water outages.Nothing about protecting Texans from exorbitant electricity bills.With just one month left in the legislative session, every minute invested in costs that have absolutely nothing to do with the grid crisis is a minute wasted.The most cynical element of these bills is that they were even submitted at all throughout a session where real services to the energy crisis are so desperately required. These expenses dont provide Texans any options, they will increase costs to consumers instead.SB 1278 and HB 4466 will cost eco-friendly generators and consumers moreHow a lot more? Nobody– consisting of the bills sponsors– can state for sure. However historically, ERCOTs ancillary services expenses have actually hovered around $250 million a year. Additional language in the legislation needing wind and solar to purchase back-up generation could run into the billions of dollars a year.SB 1278 and HB 4466 safeguard fossil fuel profits at the expenditure of renewable resource business and their customersThe coal and gas industry have targeted solar and wind for many years, spreading out false narratives that the increase in solar and wind have actually increased ERCOTs secondary services expenses. The truths tell a various story: ERCOTs supplementary services costs have stayed relatively flat, while eco-friendly generation in Texas has actually increased more than 260%. Merely put, the coal and gas industry sees these bills as a chance to shave their costs at the expense of their rivals. Furthermore, all generators– nuclear, gas and coal power plants– require supplementary services, as do big industrial customers. Combined, their need and expense to the system are far greater than wind and solar.If there is good news to share, its that a broad group of stakeholders is speaking loudly against these punitive costs. Today, the U.S. Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance sent out a letter to Texas leadership on behalf of its more than 20 members (Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Citi, BlackRock, Bank of America, GE and others) objecting the bills and pointing out the threat they position to Texas reputation as organization friendly.If you have not observed, less and less companies are buying natural gas and coal nowadays. They are investing in eco-friendly energy since it is the cheapest source of electrical energy today. PREF mentions that punitive expenses like SB 1778 and HB 4466 overlook the $380 million in state property taxes eco-friendly energy investments produced for Texas last year and nearly $250 million in rent and royalties to farmers, ranchers and other landowners.In the wake of the historical energy failure, Texas leaders guaranteed us they would get to the bottom of things and repair the origin. Its important that we hold our leaders to their promises and call out cynical expenses like SB 1278 and HB 4466. We should have genuine options that are meaningful and reasonable. These bills are neither.
Februarys energy crisis did something no Texas politician has done in decades: It brought Texans together to require our leaders in Austin fix the problematic energy system that stopped working so badly, triggered nearly $300 billion in damage and eliminated more than 200 Texans.Unfortunately, fossil fuel interests and their willing allies in the Texas Legislature are pushing bills that would have absolutely zero effect on the problems that triggered the crisis and would instead position additional costs on producers and consumers of electrical power produced by solar and wind.”At issue are Senate Bill 1278 and House Bill 4466, buddy costs that would require onto wind and solar power generators an out of proportion portion of ERCOTs “ancillary service” costs– expenses that are presently divided equally among all electricity generators and then passed on to their customers.Texas political leaders spoke loudly and madly after the grid crisis and assured to determine and address the states failure. Nothing about enhancing insulation and security of homes from extreme weather or power and water outages.Nothing about securing Texans from outrageous electrical energy bills.With only one month left in the legal session, every minute spent on costs that have absolutely nothing to do with the grid crisis is a minute wasted.The most cynical element of these bills is that they were even filed at all throughout a session where genuine solutions to the energy crisis are so desperately needed. PREF points out that punitive expenses like SB 1778 and HB 4466 neglect the $380 million in state residential or commercial property taxes sustainable energy financial investments produced for Texas last year and almost $250 million in rent and royalties to farmers, ranchers and other landowners.In the wake of the historic energy failure, Texas leaders guaranteed us they would get to the bottom of things and fix the root causes.