Tall Texan Tales: Hyperbolic Claims About Wind & Solar Performance in Texas Are Pure Nonsense

It takes more than audacity to promote an all wind and sun powered future – it requires the deluded to make nonsense sound reasonable.

When zealots start waffling about wonderful wind and solar ‘resources’, that the wind and sun are ‘free’ and if we all believed together, we’re just a heartbeat away from ditching fossil fuels forever – don’t just grab a bucket, make sure you’ve got a firm grip on your wallet, as well.

Because – whatever the prospects might be for nature’s wonder fuels – the cost will be astronomical; and it’s you who will end up paying.

Texas is held up by American wind worshippers as a model of what can be done. However, as Willis Eschenbach points out, the Lone Star State is the perfect example of unhinged hyperbole. As Willis details, the cost of adding even a trivial amount of chaotically intermittent wind power to your grid is utterly staggering.

Where The Texas Winds Blow
Watts Up With That?
Willis Eschenbach
4 January 2019

There’s a typically hyper, deceptive, and Pollyanna article in the Houston Chronicle with the headline “Texas has enough sun and wind to quit coal, Rice researchers say“. You gotta watch out for these folks, it’s the old bait and switch.

Because sure enough, as they say, there’s more sun and wind in Texas than would be required to quit coal. But then, there’s enough sun alone to quit everything. Texas uses about 450 terawatt-hours (million megawatt-hours) of electricity per year. And there are about a million terawatt-hours of sunshine falling on Texas every year. In short, every year the sun pours down on Texas about two thousand times the amount of energy that Texas uses in the form of electricity.

So there’s more than enough sun and wind, just as they say … but is it economical to harvest it? That’s the real question.

Let’s start by looking at the evolution of the fuel mix in Texas over time. Figure 1 shows the situation from 1990 to 2016.

Figure 1. Evolution of Texas electricity sources by fuel, 1990 – 2016.


Other biomass includes agricultural byproducts, landfill gas, biogenic municipal solid waste, other biomass (solid, liquid and gas) and sludge waste. Other gases include blast furnace gas, and other manufactured and waste gases derived from fossil fuels. Other includes non-biogenic municipal solid waste, batteries, chemicals, hydrogen, pitch, purchased steam, sulfur, tire-derived fuels, waste heat, and miscellaneous technologies. Note: Totals may not equal sum of components because of independent rounding. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-923, “Power Plant Operations Report” and predecessor forms.

Recall that we set out to see if Texas wind energy is economical. I note that the US Congress is up in arms about whether to spend five billion dollars or less on a border wall … and meanwhile, we’ve already wasted over seven billion dollars in US taxpayer subsidies to prop up the Texas wind producers.

Note that this sum was paid, not just by the Texans who will presumably benefit from it, but by every taxpayer—including taxpayers who live in states where there is no wind energy generated.

In addition, Texas has had to spend an additional seven billion dollars to upgrade and extend their grid out to the remote locations where the wind is blowing. So we’ve blown fourteen billion on this nonsense.

The other deception in the Houston Chronicle article involves solar energy. Over the years we’ve spent billions of dollars propping up the solar industry … and at the end of all of that, solar is a measly two-tenths of one percent of the Texas electricity generated. Two-tenths of one lousy percent! On the graph above, it’s too small to even see.


It has cost us fourteen billion taxpayer dollars to provide 13% of Texas electricity … and all that we’ve gotten from that is some unreliable wind power that requires gas-powered backup generation for when the wind doesn’t blow.

So yes, as the headline said, Texas has enough sun and wind to quit coal … but at a billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies per 1% of the total generation, it is totally and completely uneconomical to use it.

This is my shocked face … the only good news is that the US Federal windpower subsidies are supposed to end in the next couple of years. Well, that is, unless the Trump Administration caves in to the predictable pressure from the wind parasites and extends the subsidy …

It’s enough to make a man say bad words … not that I would do such a thing, you understand … in public, at least …
Watts Up With That?

Now, brace yourself for the bill …

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Take a look at how Millie Weaver has exposed the wind industry:

    • Thanks for the video link Sommer.

      A glimmer of hope for the future from these young ‘free thinking’ video producers. And thank you to the participants who took time out of their day to speak on camera. I concur with the health effects these residents experience.

      As does my Doctor!

      The real meaning of ‘Climate Change’ is now revealing itself in the Australian Federal election.

      Political gain!

      It is only a matter of time as to whether this master plan works. It would also seem to be a means of mopping up ex EU member countries. As they pull out of the EU on the one hand, they sign up to ‘Climate Change’ with the other, keeping these countries ‘on the tit’.

      Good on President Trump for pulling out of Paris. He has seen through this scam for what it is. Whether you like Trump or not, he is a strong decisive leader. A quality lacking in so many others today.

      As for PM Scott Morrison continuing to sign up to Paris, he has effectively signed up to a system that is designed to bring about his own political demise.

  2. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  3. Son of a goat says:

    Yoda Yates for Kooyong

    If you cant beat the join them! With the master of the universe Yoda Yates taking on Joshi Frydenberg for the federal seat of Kooyong, I’ve signed on as a honorary campaign director.

    If one wants to destroy Australia’s once reliable and cheap power generation, you might as well do it properly. Josh in his role as energy minister only ever did a half arsed job in destroying the power grid, in the end I don’t think Josh even knew what he was rootin’ for.

    I’m accompanied at team Yoda with them boys and girls from “Get Up.” That certainly makes life simple, one doesn’t get out of bed till 10:30am or even have a shower for that matter, only the odd plunge in Yoda’s pool. Press releases follow the standard format, consisting of a few key words and phrases such as,COALition,Tony Abbott, renewables are the cheapest form of new generation and don’t forget to mention the grand kids.

    Yoda plans to carpet Australia with wind mills thereby destroying the enemy in climate change.

    Yoda says by voting for him the rains will return, the Darling river will again have fish and the wheat fields will yield a bountiful harvest.

    Hang on a minute…….I seem to remember some other guy producing a banquet of loaves and fishes?

    Vote 1 Yoda 4 Kooyong # the second coming

    Because Yoda is doing it for the grand kids.

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