Did renewable energy lead to local power outages?

Despite renewable energy being blamed for recent power outages, experts say that's far from the truth.
wind turbines, renewable energy

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Families across American are waking up to another day without heat or running water. While companies work tirelessly to restore power and bring an end to these sporadic outages, the spotlight is now on renewable energy.

Some citizens believe renewable energy sources are the cause of this energy crisis.

Governor Pete Ricketts even stating, “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.”

MORE: RICKETTS: Blackouts are ‘unacceptable,’ calls out ‘radical environmentalists’

In response to these accusations, Daniel Lawes with Verdis Group, which specializes in sustainable solutions, said that’s not exactly true.

“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 Lawes. “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.”

During a Tuesday news conference, Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) President Tom Kent added that “we don’t count on them to provide a lot of capacity… wind is a piece of the mix. But in order to manage reliability, we have to have that balance.”

Kent estimates that wind energy makes up about 10% of  Southwest Power Pool’s (SPP) footprint and only about 6% of NPPD’s.

“We have other resources available gas, coal, etc. that are there to make up the difference.”

MORE: NPPD gives power outage update

As far as what changes need to be made to our power grids, Lawes and Kent say we need to wait for more data to come out of this experience before moving forward.

Categories: Consumer News, Nebraska News, News