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Experts say renewable energies aren't to blame for power outages

Posted at 10:17 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 11:33:27-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Some families in America are preparing to wake up for a fourth day without heat or water. While companies are trying to figure out how to restore power, the debate of who is to blame is already underway, with some pointing the finger at renewable energy.

“We have become too dependent on intermittent sources of energy or sources of energy where you cannot store on site, and that’s why we’re having problems," Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a press conference on Wednesday.

For others like city council candidate Sara Kohen, ignoring climate change is a reason we saw rolling outages and blackouts.

“A lot of our infrastructure in terms of power plants and that sort of thing is set up for 20th century weather patterns and one thing that we’re seeing with climate change is changing weather patterns," Kohen said in an interview with 3 News Now on Tuesday.

Let’s put the politics aside for a second and ask the experts like the Verdis Group, which specializes in sustainable solutions.

One question that continues to be asked, did frozen wind turbines cause these rolling blackouts?

“It is a true statement to say there was a decrease in wind production when we expected more, and that the cold impacted some of these wind turbines in these southern states that don't see as much cold," said Daniel Lawse, the group's Chief Century Thinker. "It is a false statement to say that the lack of wind production was the primary reason why we had a shortage of power. The primary reason we had a shortage of power is because natural gas, coal and nuclear plants were down which carry a much bigger load."

OPPD president Tim Burke seconds this, saying that though there were a few wind turbines that weren’t spinning, wind energy makes up such a small portion of our power.

Renewable energies as a whole make up around 38% percent of OPPD's power.

"We did not have those issues with renewables," Burke said. "It would have been nice if we would have gotten a bunch of wind, but at the end of the day, it was really some of the energy in the SPP that was creating this overall concern and issue.”

As far as what needs to be changed on our power grids, both say we need to wait for the data to come out from this experience and then we can go to the drawing board.

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