Just two weeks before the energy grid in Texas failed due to unprecedented freezing temperatures and other winter related damage including frozen water wells, I was researching hybrid energy systems for a freelancing client of mine. Texas has two small nuclear reactors pumping out about 3,200 megawatts each plus fossil fuel and renewable energy sources so, normally, the grid does its job quite well. No, most of it wasn’t winterized when it was built and serviced since being built. In a state where the snow belt ends just below the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, why would it be?
Personally, I think all these disparate energy producers need to be replaced by at least one hybrid system that uses all of these sources in a more efficient and safe manner. One of the nuclear reactors went offline automatically when its water source froze over, and it couldn’t get any more water. That’s not something that’s being talked about in the media here in Texas. Instead, people are playing politics and the blame game when there’s nothing to blame except the weather. Politically, that’s unacceptable and so, the bullshit continues.
Instead of playing around, Texas researchers need to access the research the United States’ Department of Energy has been working on regarding novel hybrid energy systems. They have three of their top research labs working on this, and they’ve been working on it since Summer of 2020! A paper co-written by the three labs was released in Joule earlier this year, and it outlines the work they’ve been doing.
In a nutshell, the labs are taking a holistic approach to energy generation with the goal of producing cheap, efficient energy that will be available to everyone while producing little to no emissions. Any emissions it does create will be captured and used to make by products needed by the Industry and Manufacturing sectors. They plan to develop a blueprint of a system using only the best parts of all current energy producing systems namely: nuclear, fossil and renewable, maximizing efficiency and output of the energy produced. This means all the related items such as transmission, storage and transportation(to name a few) of this energy will need to be developed to meet the needs of the new system once it’s created.
And it will be created. There is too high a demand for energy that is efficient, cheap and reliable. Winterizing the system will be done even where there has never been snow before because you just never know. Making the system’s housing hurricane/tornado proof wouldn’t hurt either. Best to be prepared.
So that’s my thought for today. Let me know what you think.
See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!