In her fifth appearance on the podcast, we welcome back Meredith Angwin, the author of Shorting the Grid: The Hidden Fragility of Our Electric Grid. (Her last appearance was on February 18, 2022). In this episode, Meredith talks about the blackouts that hit the eastern U.S. over the Christmas holiday, why grid reliability is getting worse, why generators in New England are having to burn more oil to produce power, why “’renewable’ is a marketing term,” and why trying to “electrify everything” and “run all that electricity on renewables and natural gas…No. That’s a really bad idea. We are putting too many eggs in those baskets.” (This episode was recorded on January 5, 2023.)
Robert Bryce 0:04
Hi, everyone, welcome to the power hungry Podcast. I’m Robert Bryce. And this podcast we’re talking about energy, power, innovation and politics. And I’m pleased to welcome back for a record fifth appearance. My friend, Meredith Angwin. She is the author of shorting the grid, the hidden fragility of our electric grid. Meredith, welcome back to the power hungry Podcast.
Meredith Angwin 0:24
I’m very happy to be here, and very flattered to be here. Fifth time, it’s lovely.
Robert Bryce 0:29
Well, you were last here in February of last year, February 18 2022, was when that episode aired, and we have just gone through a Christmas winter storm in which there were a lot of blackouts. But before we get to that, we have to do the introduction. And for people who don’t know you, it’s required that guests on this podcast introduce themselves. So I know you’ve been here before, but you have 60 seconds. Tell us who you are, please.
Meredith Angwin 0:56
Okay. My name is Meredith Angwin. I’m a physical chemist by training, I worked at corrosion and control and, and, and pollution control and the electric utility industry from my working life. In semi retirement, I began defending the Vermont Yankee power plant. And that led me into an interest in how the plant and the grid interacted with each other because there being a headline in the paper, and I realized that after decades in the power industry, I couldn’t understand the headline. So I began, began getting to know more and more about how the options were how the grid operator dispatches plants and so forth. And I found that reliability is not an important aspect of this whole thing in the in the supposedly deregulated areas. And I and when I tried to explain this to people, I ended up getting very long winded. So I wrote a book, which is called shorting the grid, the hidden fragility of our electric grid. So I guess that’s about it.
Robert Bryce 2:06
And that book is now out two years, is that right? A
Meredith Angwin 2:10
little more than two years. And it’s so funny when I wrote it, I say it I wrote it beachy before taxes, because it was before the the big blackout in Texas. Now, those of us who were watching the grid had noticed for years and years and years, that Texas ran with a very low reserve March and they just didn’t have very much freeboard. They were like, a boat that the top of the gunwales were at the water level, you know, and go gotten old. And so anyway, that was, you know, we and then the day of it for the week ahead of time, there were all these predictions on different groups, I was insane, chances is going to be in trouble, Texas is going to be in trouble. And I just stayed up at night, thinking maybe they won’t, maybe they won’t. And as a matter of fact, when they began to rolling blackouts, that’s when I went to bed. I was like, Okay, it’s happened just like a predicted watching, it won’t change, and so forth. But if people are like who was an unexpected event, I’m like, an expected by who are plenty of people who predicted it, expected it, et cetera.
Robert Bryce 3:27
So just one quick point I wanted to make on your books. Are you self published shorting the grid? Is that right? You didn’t. And you created a car, no communications, I guess that was that was your your trade name then for the book?
Meredith Angwin 3:38
Yeah, well, I actually had published other things as cargo communications, I have a book about nuclear advocacy, called campaigning for clean air. And I just always thought that Colonel communications was a great name, because it’s the Carnot cycle, which is the the, the most effective thermodynamic cycle, you can’t actually build one. But if you could, you know, that’s the most efficient cycle for taking heat, like from a fire or a gas turbine, and turning it into useful work like a turbine spinning the wheels of your car spinning. So I mean, I just I just thought that was fun. It’s sort of like a little in joke.
Robert Bryce 4:21
Sure. And that’s, of course, the French scientist Karno, who determined that he can’t have a 100% efficient heat engine, right, that there are limits on thermodynamic limits. Okay, so let’s cut to the chase here and talk about what’s been happening on the grid. And Bloomberg had a remarkable story that was published just yesterday, was headlined that the entire grid narrowly dodged, huge collapse. Those were the key words in the headline. And the key sentence here, the strain in North Carolina, the focus was on Duke and its service Terry, the territory the strain in North Carolina threaten to throw the flow of power off balance on the entire eastern interconnection. grid stretching from Maine to Oklahoma and required grid institute a Duke to institute outages on its own system to predict, protected the grid at large. So I knew that there were problems. And TVA, of course, had blackouts as well. And these are regulated utilities, not RTOS. So I know this is, I mean, it’s outside of what your thesis was about. But the broader implications here to me are, well, what’s the punch line? This storm demonstrated, again, the fragility of the electric grid, how? I mean, how close did we come to blackout? I mean, a possible failure of the Eastern interconnection? Well, I
Meredith Angwin 5:36
would say that we came close, except we’ve got really great grid operators. And they, they, they, they give rolling blackouts, and they they, they instituted, you know, one, one, emergency situation, measure after another, you know, asking for people took cut back, pulling in all their demand response, telling every every power plant to get online, you know, even if it wasn’t scheduled to be online. And finally, rolling blackouts. And so they kept the grid up. And that’s what they’re supposed to do. The thing is, it’s not supposed to be so dramatic, what you want is a boring grid, a grid where you know, it the problem with the operators have is like, we need a lot of coffee, because really, it just nothing, nothing much going on around here that we haven’t seen a million times. But that is not what was going on around Christmas. And one of the things I think that nobody is is is noticing about it is you know, people are focusing on the weather and on the failures of the the natural gas to be delivered. Okay. I mean, that was a big deal that were compressor failures that were plants going offline. But I think nobody’s noticing that people are saying, and it was the highest demand day ever on the grid. Well, okay. Was it the coldest day ever on the grid? No, it was one of the colder days, that’s for sure. But nobody has said such temperatures have never been seen before in Tennessee. No, nobody’s saying that. And the reason they’re not saying it, it says it isn’t true. It’s unusual. But it’s not out of the bounds of what people should be expecting on the grids in a cold snap in the winter. I mean, it’s it’s heavy duty cold snap. But that shouldn’t be such a close call. And
Robert Bryce 7:30
well, so where are you going with this, because of what I’m, I’m leaping ahead or trying to walk in just a little bit ahead of you here. I think in that I also saw there was a headline about the fact that now there’s been a big increase in electric only heating in the south. And, and that that was one of the key reasons for the high demand load, which to me, speaks to this whole craziness. And I’ll use that word and I think it is the right word. For this electrify everything push. If we like tried to eliminate all gas heating in homes across the country will then you’re going to place a massive amount of new demand on the grid during these periods of extreme weather and increase the possibility of grid failures. Am I Am I wrong?
Meredith Angwin 8:11
You’re correct. And one of the things that was the point I was gonna make, and I was kind of moving up toward it. Before I rudely interrupted. Great, I’m saying that basically, nobody is seems to be noticing that the demand on the grid was unprecedentedly high, but the temperatures weren’t. And that is because of all the movement toward you know, you get rid of your gas furnace. By do your part for the environment and buying an electric stove. Do you park for the environment and buying an electric car? And you know, now as obviously most people haven’t thrown out their stoves, electric cars, they’re still not exactly in every garage. But a lot of people have changed this way because there’s there’s a push toward it. It seems like the proper thing to do there are rebates and and subsidies and all kinds of things that happen if you begin to go more electric. And what does that do it? What it does is it has people going more electric and then you get a cold snap on the grid and everybody goes like unprecedented. Just unprecedented use of electricity. No, that’s what you planned for. I mean, you didn’t plan for it. It’s what you in you. You put the incentives in place and the incentives were both financial and moral. The idea is that if you were to put your buyer gas furnace now you’re being immoral, you’re just not doing the right thing. You should be buying heat pumps, you know So forth and so on.
Robert Bryce 10:01
And the heat pumps are very inefficient during extreme, extremely cold weather. And so I know this from experience, and I’ve lived in a house with a heat pump, and it was terrible. I mean, I wanted a resistance heater, we bought a bunch of those dish heaters. And that was what we wanted in our, you know, in our in right in our room because they were warmer. They were much more as you pointed out a long time ago, that that radiant heat is very soothing to us as mammals that we like we’d like that. But let’s let’s shift to New England, if you don’t mind, because I think this. I mean, we talked a little bit about I want to come back to this what happened in the eastern interconnection, but you’re in Wilder, Vermont, you were blacked out for what two days right before Christmas, is when
Meredith Angwin 10:40
we’re back out for 36 hours. And the thing is that we have a well insulated home homes in Vermont tend to be well it’s middle class homes tend to be well insulated. I mean, not pretending that there are no people in Vermont in homes that are not well insulated, but most people who can insulate their home, okay. And, and so ours was well insulated. And then there was 36 hours without ability to heat the house from our main oil burning furnace because that furnace is controlled by electricity. But we are we are like many Vermonters we have a backup. And in our case, a backup was a very nice little Oh, propane burning fireplace in the living room and another propane heater in the mudroom. And between those two, we didn’t have any pipes freezing. And we were able to sit around by the propane heater in the living room and and take our meals out and eat them in the living room like a kind of picnic. I mean, what I’m trying to say is we weren’t really suffering. But it’s because we have a propane tank right outside the back door. stored on site in our house.
Robert Bryce 12:04
And this is key you and it point that you’ve made over and over we’ve discussed this about this the energy security well what is it as a Bill Fisher he used to be the head of the Bureau of Economic Geology here in Austin at UT Austin. And he said, well what that energy security he’s he he has a I think he was from Illinois, he has this sweet accent. He said, Well, you know, the coal plants they like because they get that big old pile of coal out there in the yard. And you know that they knew where their energy was. And so your energy security, the resilience of your home was made better because you had onsite fuel, propane and oil although the oil wasn’t useful to you because your furnace couldn’t your furnace was electrically controlled. But you had a no you had an alternative that made you energy secure, because that was on site fuel.
Meredith Angwin 12:50
Yes. And you know, it’s funny, we I went out to lunch, Georgia, and I went to lunch yesterday with a friend of ours. And we were all having lunch and we were all saying pilot lights are the best. And the reason is, you know that you can turn on your get your gas fireplace or your gas wood stove, like this set set up to be like a wood burning stove, but it burns gas with a propane tank outside. And upon that light, you don’t have to you don’t have to do a whole lot of stuff.
Robert Bryce 13:29
You know, no need for electric ignition is what you’re doing
Meredith Angwin 13:31
right now for electric ignition. Now, of course, in many cases, you can bypass electric ignition if you’ve got fuel stored on site with some kind of clicker mechanism or or spark mechanism that you used by hand. But basically, most of us are, well, I shouldn’t say most of us, I get uncomfortable with that because I have to turn on the gas and then I’m trying to get the spark going. And so I prefer a pilot light is a safety thing. And that’s another thing I want to talk about and that is this push toward let’s electrify everything people seem to have forgotten about safety and personal safety and and and, and so forth. Let me give you a kind of odd example. There’s Catherine Porter in England writes a blog, a wat logic she knows a lot about. I mean, she’s a professional and in grid issues. And one of the things she says is that you know when she talks to firemen, they really don’t want you to go to bed and turn on your dryer. Even though in the middle of the night, the electricity is more available from their point of view. Dryer fires are a thing. I mean, dryers can collect lint in places you don’t expect them to collect it. They can, you know they can have a fire and so even Something as simple as that, like, oh yeah, I’ll just I’ll just run all my heavy duty electrical appliances while I’m sleeping. The firemen aren’t always that crazy about this.
Robert Bryce 15:11
Well then also it goes to the issue of working women and when it’s convenient for them or working men, I mean, I’m there’s no no sexual bias here. But doing that laundry, it’s much easier to do it when you’re ready to fold it and you’ve got it and then you can get it all tidied up go to bed. But to run it overnight, well, that’s not as convenient. Same with the dishes.
Meredith Angwin 15:30
And you’re gonna have kind of wrinkled laundry and, you know, the laundry nowadays have and buyers have a split a cycle where they keep spinning a little bit so the they things don’t clump up in the bottom and get totally wrinkled. But that cycle only lasts for about like 45 minutes an hour every 10 minutes. And then it’s done. You know?
Robert Bryce 15:55
So then what happened with your your who provide your electricity there and wilder and by the way, I’ve been in your home? It’s a history and historic home on the Connecticut River. Who’s your electricity provider? Their Green Mountain Power? And what was the reason for the blackout? What did they Oh, it
Meredith Angwin 16:09
was very clear, what was the reason they there was an amazing wind and and and heavy snow. Actually, it was mostly heavy snow, heavy, wet snow. I mean, I really hate heavy wet snow, because it brings down all kinds of tree limbs and power lines. And, and you really I think that Green Mountain Power does an admirable job of of keeping their power lines clear. They’re not the equivalent of Piccini in California, they are not and they couldn’t be because if they were every winter, it would be a disaster around here. But you know that they had a page of of where there are outages right after that storm and man that there was like hundreds of outages, you know, they had, and they had asked, prepared earlier, they had expected the storm to be particularly bad in Vermont. And they had asked for reinforcements from Connecticut and other places and they had the reinforcements. And you could see bucket trucks that were not green, or bucket trucks all over the place of fixing the lines and pulling things down from lines and so forth.
Robert Bryce 17:41
I’m glad you mentioned that because there’s one thing about the electric industry that I think is really remarkable, this mutual aid concept of the utilities and the linemen. I got mad respect for linemen. I think that people as I’ve well I’ve told a lot of my who are my people, my people are there people who turn wrenches I love those people. Those are the people I advocate for I don’t you know, those are the people who make things, fix things turn wrenches, those are my people i But the linemen in particular, their ability to get out there and bring and keep the electricity flowing. They’re just amazing. Without let’s let’s back up from you’re out of power for 36 hours it comes back on but ISO New England then goes through, I mean in near crisis and turns to heavy use of oil fired generation because of the lack of net gas. Right? What talking about really
Meredith Angwin 18:31
complicated issue, because it turned out this there was a period there when oil was less expensive than natural gas. And so every plant that could burn oil was going for it, because the expensive natural gas was a was setting the price on the grid. But if you could burn oil and get the grid clearing price you were doing really well. I mean at one point there, but it was a it was a mixture of what they call a merit order that is the the oil should be dispatched first because it’s cheaper. And the fact that natural gas was in a relatively short supply
Robert Bryce 19:19
and therefore the price and the for therefore the price of natural gas per million Btus was higher. So the utilities were burning oil because that was the cheaper option.
Meredith Angwin 19:28
Yes, yes. And I early in the fall or maybe it was even earlier than that. Gordon, very wily of the the CEO of of ISO New England gave a talk. And one of the things he said was that they didn’t think they needed a winter reliability program where they would pay power plants to keep oil on side because they had the prediction that oil would be less expensive than natural gas. And so the power plants would do it anyway. And that turns out that prediction was correct.
Robert Bryce 20:08
Well, and that’s because of the lack of, of gas capacity, gas availability, pipelines, etc. In the northeast, which I want to come back to, well, I don’t want to go away from north, the Northeast right now. But that was one of the other things that happened prior to Christmas was the widespread high prices in the West, that led to then hot, very high power prices in California, Arizona and Nevada for weeks, about two weeks over $300 A megawatt hour. But back to New England. So you had roughly what 30% Of the power at one point was being generated with oil fired power plants,
Meredith Angwin 20:43
more than 30%. But yeah, 30% For sure. And more than that, sometimes. And that was a real, it was a real surprise to me, because the last time this Oh, it wasn’t a surprise, I’d written a blog post about her and stuff. But the last time that this happened, when we were burning a lot of oil on the grid, was in a very, very bad cold snap, where we had the ritual reliability program, where ISO New England was paying power plants to keep oil on site, because they they will be needed, it will be needed in case there was a very bad cold snap and natural gas wasn’t just available. In this case. It was cold, but it wasn’t it wasn’t. I mean, around here a bad cold snap is when it gets up to zero during the day. Okay, when it gets down to zero. Right. And, and we didn’t have a bad cold snap, we just had, you know, cold weather. And, and yet there was so much oil on the grid, but that’s because the price of natural gas was so high.
Robert Bryce 21:50
I see. And that was meaning then that that was the the supplies were constrained on the pipelines. But then you also had the issue of, I’m assuming LNG from the was the majestic majestic import terminal in Boston, right that that was the
Meredith Angwin 22:05
it was the AI, that terminal keeps changing names. Over there by mystic, generally, I think that’s generated every time it’s gets sold or changes names, right. But it’s an LNG terminal in Boston, and it gets a lot of the LNG that is used. But you understand I make this joke about LNG tankers. I said they’re big, but they can turn on a dime, they can’t turn on a dime, they turn on a couple of dollars. You know, they I mean, at one point, there was a as the prices of of natural gas were fluctuating. There was a tanker that went through the Suez Canal one way and then turned around and went back the other way, because it discovered that the prices for natural gas were higher back in the original direction. So you know, we, the thing about New England, is that we are competing with everybody. We’re competing with Europe, for LNG, and one of the big reasons for that, and not the only reason but one of the big reasons is that we are really, you know, they’re they’re the stop the pipeline, people are always alert and aware and out there with trying to stop a pipeline. And the net result is that we don’t have pipelines to the Marcellus. Right. So actually, one of the things that’s going on is that New York State won’t allow a pipeline. And so the pipeline can’t go through New York State to New England. And right now, there’s a lawsuit, which I’m not a lawyer, so I have no idea how it will be settled. But a couple of the New England governors are suing New York state saying you’re interfering with interstate commerce by refusing to build a pipeline to connect the Marcellus to permit rather a pipeline from from Pennsylvania to New England.
Robert Bryce 24:14
Right. Right. That was what under the Andrew Cuomo administration in particular, there was the use of the Clean Water Act, I believe that they were the state was using claiming that this you know, these pipelines weren’t weren’t going to they were going to harm water quality in New York, and therefore they could stop them. So we’ve talked about gas, we’ve talked about oil and New England, how did renewables do during this very cold snap?
Meredith Angwin 24:39
Well, I don’t, I’m not really sure on that. I know that renewables were not as high as they should have been in the very high wind period because the wind turbines shut themselves down in high winds. So You know, renewables, really, they never did great. I mean, renewables around here are basically between eight and maybe 14% of the grid. And that’s what they were doing during the cold snap.
Robert Bryce 25:17
Right. Is it is it fair to say that New England as I think this is across the US that the New England grid has become overly dependent on natural gas is
Meredith Angwin 25:29
totally overly dependent on natural gas? I consider myself you know, in my book, and in my, my idea of the fatal trifecta, I consider myself an equal opportunity in Psalter. I install renewables and I insult natural gas and so forth. In other words, nobody can say, oh, man, she just bashes renewables. So she loves fossil. No, I don’t love natural gas being delivered just in time. I mean, I’m not insulting either, though, by just pointing out that they have certain properties, natural gases delivered just in time, a compressor going out, is a really big deal. Okay.
Robert Bryce 26:13
And that, and that was one of the issues on the Duke system, right that there was a compressor went out on an Enbridge pipeline and
Meredith Angwin 26:20
Enbridge compressor went out somewhere in Tennessee, and almost immediately, TVA and Duke had to begin rolling blackouts. And that isn’t being reported very much. The only place I found it reported, of course, Emmett Penny’s grid brief reported it, but he had picked it up from Bloomberg. And I haven’t seen it other places. I mean, I’m like, what is the outcry about this? Where are the people yelling and screaming? And they’re they don’t seem to be around?
Robert Bryce 26:55
Yeah, well, there’s there’s not very much of a constituency for pointing out these, these weaknesses, right, that this is not a popular thing to be talking about. But the other thing that I thought was, that is key here, I think, is that these blackouts that the TVA situation with the one with the Eastern interconnection more generally and Duke and the issue of gas availability. This came at this occurred less than 10 days after the North American Electric Reliability Corporation issued their report I wanted to, I just pulled it the report this morning, because I wanted to read it. The utility dive quoted John Mora, NERC, Director of reliability assessment and performance. And this is roughly I think, December 19. I said, there are extraordinary reliability challenges and opportunities in front of us. And then the writer, I think it was Robert Walton said nurkic, has been warning about the speed of the energy transition in recent years. And they quotes more again, and I think this is a great line. He said, Just to say it for the fourth or fifth time managing the pace of our generation retirements and our resource changes to ensure we have enough energy and essential services is an absolute necessity. So NERC has been warning now for years about this early phase out of coal, early phase out of nuclear and AI and this addition of renewables. And yet it seems like this is all falling on deaf ears that there’s no, there’s no sense of urgency in among the policymakers at the state or federal levels to really address this. Am I reading this reading this?
Meredith Angwin 28:28
You’re reading it right. But the reason there’s not a sense of urgency is that they’re not really accountable to NERC. And what I’m saying is that I when I was writing, shorting the grid, I wanted to say more about NERC giving warnings. I wanted to say more about independent market monitors giving warnings. And the trouble is that the warnings are usually ignored. But if you write that in your book, you better you later. document that, you know, these warnings were ignored. That’s like trying to prove a negative. And of course, somebody could pick up the book and said, Hmm, leave it in, in 19 something or 2007 in this area, they they did something about the warnings and you’re wrong. And that basically, yes, they don’t have accountability. They have a lot of groups that are doing an excellent job of actually pointing out what the problems are NERC and the independent market monitors are often Excellent. But when you get right down to it, it’s sort of like one word from you. And now to justice I want like it’s a toddler, right? You know, you say no, the toddler says no back.
Robert Bryce 29:42
Well, so when when you say that, so that the lack of accountability is within the RTOS of the ISOs and the public utility Commission’s at the state level. So this is where the you have all this interconnecting. overlapping lines of responsibility, but no overall accountability. I’m just riffing here. But is that
Meredith Angwin 30:03
true? That’s absolutely true. I mean, it’s it’s sort of, you know, an example that I give some time is one of the problems with rolling blackouts, why we have rolling blackouts, which is different for when trains bring power lines down, is that we don’t have enough power plants that can go online. Well, whose fault is that? Well, you might say, the RTO. Why doesn’t the RTO encourage more power plants? Well, that’s that’s not the RTOS business. The number of power plants is resource adequacy, and that is the business of the state. So if you ask the RTO, you don’t have enough power plants. They say, Oh, we know. But the thing is, we’re not in charge of resource adequacy. So you go to the state. And the state may say, well, we don’t want any dirty power plants. Or it may say, Well, you know, we could organize a power plant, but we’re gonna get right down to it with that power plant even make money on the RTO auctions. You know, back in the day, when we authorized the power plant, we also made sure that it had a rate of return, it was paid for its power. But now we don’t do that anymore. You know, that’s not our job anymore. It’s not our job to we may authorize a power plant, but we can’t ensure that it’ll be paid. While the RTO can say we run the auctions, but we can’t authorize the power plants. So and then you’re can say, well, we pointed out the problems, why don’t you guys doing something about it? I mean, it’s it’s just endless. It’s just endless. And it’s a it is, it is it is extremely dangerous for for end users, because nobody’s guaranteeing that the lights will go on. And it is extremely it is going to be if you pardon me saying so extremely lucrative for lawyers, each of whom can interpret the levels of responsibility in a way as to make sure that it’s not their client who has it.
Robert Bryce 32:00
Well, so as you’re saying that I’m thinking so the RTO functions like a traffic cop, I mean, to I’m just inventing an analogy here, but traffic cop can’t force local the local municipality to build more stoplights or add more lanes to the highway, the traffic cop is just there to make sure that the cars don’t collide at a given intersection. I’m I mean, is that it’s not the perfect analogy here. But there’s something in the right church anyway.
Meredith Angwin 32:30
You’re correct. I mean, it is basically a it is basically a director now, the thing is that they have several, if you go to our CIO site, they’ll talk about their their different obligations. And one of the obligations is the traffic cop on litigation, which is usually called being the balancing authority that is keeping the the, the demand and the and the supply imbalance in real time. So that, okay, so there’s a balancing authority, they also do, at least our CIO does a lot of planning and writes a lot of reports on what should be done and so forth. And so the thing is, it can’t do those things. It can just hope the states read the reports and say, great idea, but maybe not. And again, even if the state says great idea and says yes, we absolutely have to have another nuclear plant here. Would there be would there be a guarantee that the nuclear plant could be a payback? It’s it’s cost of being built through the RTO auctions? Probably not. Because the RTO auctions favor plants with low capital costs and high fuel costs. I mean, that’s what they favor that there’s I have a reference in my book I keep referring to there’s a there’s a an article called asymmetric risk. And it’s about how artios Auctions favor some kinds of plants and not other plants. So anyway,
Robert Bryce 34:09
so I wanted to just read a little bit more from this utility dive I think it was Robert Waltons article, where he was covering the NERC report and he writes miso midcontinent, Independent System Operator faces a 1300 megawatt shortfall beginning next summer, which quote continues to grow throughout the 10 year assessment period as coal, nuclear and natural gas generation, retire faster than replacement resources or connecting. And then he goes on quoting Brandon Morris with my so saying, who says my soul was facing and reliability imperative is the region undergoes transformational change with sizable segments of generation aging, the resource portfolio shifting to increasing amounts of wind and solar and load shapes potentially changing with electrification? So again, I mean, I keep seeing these reports. I’d say there’s a NERC report last summer and there was one now from the winter and now And then my so warned, remember my so warned of of shortages of power. In the summer just as Holtec was closing or rather Entergy was closing the Palisades plant in Michigan. And this is just crazy town what you know, why is no one paying attention here and in there, I’ll just add one other thing because I think this is it’s directly germane here, the Walton quotes. And Michelle Bloodworth, who’s the CEO of America’s power, which is the coal fired generation lobby, that she said that they’re at analysis, that is America’s power, about 93,000 megawatts of coal fired generation have announced plans to retire by 2030. And she says, and we expect more coal retirements, especially during 2628, because of EPA regulations, therefore, coal retirements are almost certain to be even greater than nurkic assumptions. Well, so if these coal plants go, and I thought about writing this article, I haven’t done it yet. But the headline would be, we should immediately quit closing coal plants. If we want to have a secure, reliable, affordable grid, we need to keep all the coal plants online. That’s not a popular thing to say. But is that does that ring true to you? I mean, if we’re 100,000 megawatts of generation capacity,
Meredith Angwin 36:18
well, I personally would like to see every coal plant replaced by nuclear plant, but it’s not
Robert Bryce 36:22
even me to me too. But that’s, that’s a tall order. But well,
Meredith Angwin 36:27
and the thing is, I really have come to the conclusion that reliability is absolutely the most important thing that is the most reliability. And affordability is what makes ordinary people’s lives decent. You know, it’s what means that ordinary people can, you know, live in a house that’s reasonably worn, that can expect that that if they have an elderly member of the household who needs a warm room with a little space heater in it, that the room will stay warm, because the the, the space heater will continue to have power. I mean, there’s so many things. Oh, let’s let’s look at the fact that when I was on our town Energy Committee, water treatment plants take a lot of power and turning, turning the power off to water treatment plants is not a good thing. And I guess what I’m trying to say is that reliability is key. And those coal plants are not going to influence global warming so much that keeping them going. It’s a clear and present danger to the future humans, and we’re all going to die if we keep them going. That’s not what is happening. I mean, to some extent, humans, like any, any reasonable animal wants to live now. Okay. In other words, the idea that possibly the coal plants will increase global warming. Okay. But meanwhile, if you turn them off, you’ll kill people now. Well,
Robert Bryce 38:11
I mean, I’m in complete agreement with the Americans. And this is the part that I just think there’s this collective blindness around the dangers that we’re facing. And that the, there is no appreciation for what this potential damages here. And instead, we have now nearly a quarter trillion dollars to win and $40 billion in new subsidies for wind and solar, that when you count the inflation reduction actor, as long as along with the incentives for wind and solar that existed before the match, and Schumer bill passed all of the money, all of the money is going toward these weather dependent renewables, which to me is just I don’t know if we’re facing if we’re facing more extreme weather, colder, hotter, colder, or both or more extreme weather, longer periods. The last thing we should be doing is making our grid dependent on the weather. And yet that seems like it would just the hell bent on that very thing happening. But I want to switch to this. There’s, I know I’m talking a lot here, but that’s fine. But I want to point out, too, that it was in addition to the NERC report, there was a report from the Western electricity coordinating council that I think came out in November, it was the 2022 Western assessment of resource adequacy. And it said over the last decade, approximately 23 gigawatts of resources were retired in the US portion of the Western interconnection. Approximately 18 gigawatts were coal or natural gas. And over the next decade, for the entire interconnection, these numbers will increase with a planned retirement of nearly 26 gigawatts, mostly coal and natural gas by 2032. And these were the parts that I wanted to discuss with you. So it says that resource adequacy risks increase over the next decade after 2025. Each sub region shows an increase in demand at Risk Indicator due to retirements throughout the decade. And then in addition to planning reserve margin An indicator continues to increase. And this is the key part here. This is primarily due to increasing variability from the addition of large amounts of variable energy resources, weather dependent renewables and increasing demand variability with record levels of peak demand. So can you explain that demand at risk indicator in the planning reserve margin indicator? Why these matter? I mean, can you do that off the top of your head?
Meredith Angwin 40:20
Well, I they matter, because basically, you always need a reserve. I mean, you can’t you know, if you in the old days when there were thermal generators are not very much variable, you know, when dependent generators, you had a 10% reserve that is, you predicted how how high, the demand on the grid was likely to go, and you made sure you had 10% More than that plants? I mean, it’s sort of like, anything you would do you want to have a little, a little extra, I mean, you don’t, I have a friend of mine was telling me of the time that he, he wasn’t paying attention. And he ended up drifting downhill to the gas station to fill up, he was on fumes. And he said, Oh, my gosh, I can’t imagine that I did that. But that was me younger, of course, but for Pete’s sake, well, how many of us pull into the gas station on fumes, we don’t we watch that little thing that says you’re almost out of gas, and we fill up, because everybody wants to reserve margin. Nobody assumes that they’ll make it into the gas station when they’re out of gas. And the problem is that people don’t know this. And one of the things that I get particularly concerned with is how the whole thing is usually reported on and it’s not the reporters fault. It’s just sort of the Zeitgeist. But that’s what you say. The idea is, people want to hear about the great new things that are happening, the could grid, the great new batteries, the great new this the great new that. And so you know, I remember, I was on a TV program one time, and I will show I pulled up ISO New England, and I and, and I and and I pulled up the where our power is coming from, and then the other one that shows where our renewables are coming from. And she said, Oh, but renewables are only less than 10%. I said, Well, yeah. And she’s like, I didn’t know that. Well, of course, you wouldn’t know that if you read the paper. Right? You wouldn’t know that, you know, it’s all the grand new world renewable. Then I showed her renewables when it was 50% 50% biomass and refuse. And she was like, why was that can’t be right. I said, No, it’s right. I mean, the thing is that people don’t know what’s really happened. They don’t know about the grid we have, the only thing they know about is the grid that supposedly we could have if we’re just willing to invest all this money in it. And
Robert Bryce 43:05
and is that well, let me follow up on that. Because, look, I’m 62. I’ve been in journalism trade for more than 30 years now. And I read some of the coverage. And I’ve been reading it, you know, particularly in the New Yorker lately. Also, in the New York Times, and the bias, we’ll all ask it this way. Do you see bias in media coverage of the grid? And what is happening in the grid? And if so, what is it like?
Meredith Angwin 43:32
Well, the bias is that they don’t talk about how choices we are making are hurting the grid and how it’s becoming less reliable. Every time it becomes less than viable. That’s a very big, exciting news event that they can report on. And, and then they get into, if you pardon me saying so he said, she said, Well, he said, we need more of the reliable power plants. But she said that what we need is to build more renewables. And then another, she said is that we actually need more more micro grids and homes that will take care of themselves. And, and we don’t even need these big old companies in their transmission lines in the sense that then someone else’s will hit, you know, what I’m trying to say is, it’s not trying to find out the reality. It’s kind of responding to the the crisis, and then having a lot of commentators on the crisis. And instead
Robert Bryce 44:34
of instead of the kind of analysis that would would cut through the crap, right, but the kind of knowledge base that would come from that in the case, in your case, 40 years or so of knowing what this is about that. Instead, it’s a reporter that doesn’t really know that what the grid is or how it functions and so, oh, well, they’re biased toward and frankly, biased toward renewables because well, the renewable therefore they must be good but no, understand Is it fair to say that with very little understanding of what this means for the overall resilience, reliability and affordability of the grid?
Meredith Angwin 45:07
Well, let’s put it this way. It isn’t reported as if there’s no if there’s an understanding of it. But I don’t know whether the reporters themselves have no understanding. I think the reporters have more understanding. But they for some reason, the the way that reporting goes nowadays, a lot of the time is not a search for truth, but a search for balance. If Joe says this, then we have to get Jim who says that. And I just I just I don’t know if it’s always been this way. I mean, in all honesty, when I was in the utilities, I was a corrosion chemist, I didn’t really spend a lot of time with how the reporters were describing utilities. So I, you know, you’d have to talk to someone else about that. But my feeling is that there used to be more. And our analysis shows. And now there’s more. Joe says this in Jim says,
Robert Bryce 46:14
right? Well, and I’m thinking of this report of this article that was published in the New York Times by reporter David Gillis, I think was his name. And the headline is the US will lead 1000s of wind farms will small towns go along, and in one county scheduled 19 nights of meetings to debate one wind farm. And I thought, I mean, the article is written like, oh, well, this is new, you know, these small towns are opposing wind and solar projects. Well, no, I mean, this is not a new story. This is story’s been going on for years. But this is kind of like, you know, oh, like just happened to find out? Well, there’s a resistance in rural America. And it was a lot of He Said, She Said, and it was oh, well, this guy said, you know, in the end, that article is I remember is saying, when Minister when policymaker in the county was saying, Well, no matter what I do, we’re gonna have some people are gonna be mad at me, you know, or both sides are gonna be mad at me or something to this effect, without any kind of longer term understanding of what the what the overall impact of these things are. But, again, that’s not popular because of this image that renewable energy has. And that’s a question I want to put to you. There is still I think, that dominates a lot of this media reporting on it, that it’s renewable. It’s inherently good. Do it do what is that right into? What do you attribute that?
Meredith Angwin 47:28
Oh, there’s a lot of different things, some of it, some of it is lack of carbon, but on the other hand, a carbon dioxide emissions, but when you get right down to it, if you’re talking about rescues and biomass are our carbon dioxide emission. So I think that is renewable tends to be a marketing term, you know, from sample Vermont, considers considers Hydro Quebec to be renewable, but other states don’t consider Hydro Quebec to be renewable. I mean, it’s just kind of weird. I mean, you know, there’s a dam, the waterfalls upstream of the dam, it will continue to fall upstream of the dam by the natural forces of the of the of our globe. And, but people will say, Well, what’s not renewable, and it’s an idea of being somehow in in harmony with nature. And I really, I really don’t know about I do know that I, I am aware of some of the good things about renewables. And that is that, for example, with the geothermal or wind or whatever, you don’t have any big trains carrying fuel around the country. I mean, it all the whole power cycle is right there, wherever it is, it’s there. And that there is something very nice about that. Something that I think is is excellent. But the problem is that the people say this excellence and they say Well, that’s all we need, but no it isn’t. We also need reliability. I mean, I’m sorry, but we need reliability. And people say, well, we don’t need reliability. As you said, if they don’t have that people will get it one way or another. They’ll buy a generator,
Robert Bryce 49:38
right. So let’s back up here then for a minute because I’m you know, I’m in Texas and ERCOT did okay during this recent cold snap. But I’ve been thinking about new nuclear and where new nuclear would fit into the grid in the US and I’ll ask the question this way can can these new nuclear plants can SMRs can they compete in these Artio Mark? Kitces it, can they even make it make it economically viable to build these plants? If they would, of course, they’re get approved by the NRC and you know, they find enough fuel and capital and the rest of it can can do nuclear work in the way in these RTOS systems the way they are now.
Meredith Angwin 50:16
You know, I don’t think they can. I don’t think any plant with a high capital costs can work in an RTO system. That’s basically it. I mean, now, somebody can argue with me and say, Well, you just don’t understand how the markets work or something. I’ve been studying these markets forever. And all I can say is that they don’t, they don’t allow for a high capital cost investments. So basically, I don’t think that noon, I think even nuclear will be built in. In in areas that aren’t in RTOS, know if I rarely name actual people, but one of the people person, I don’t like to the former, he just stepped down Chairman Glick of FERC, he was very, very pushing for every part of the United States to be in an RTO. And one of the things he said is that in the non RTO states, the renewables aren’t adopted as quickly now, you know, he used to work as a lobbyist for the big wind company, or Bertola. That’s where he came from. So I mean, he’s definitely pro renewables. And and so he’s pushing for everybody to be an RTO. Because the RTO system really is set up for renewables and natural gas. They’re the ones that do great. And that’s what we’ve got nest.
Robert Bryce 51:50
Is that why we’ve discussed this before, but is that is the lack of the southeastern US is notable because there aren’t many RTOS there and the renewable penetration in the southeastern US is low. Is that because of their the wind, the wind speeds are not as good in the southeastern US or is it because the utilities there don’t want to? They don’t see the value of renewables?
Meredith Angwin 52:13
Well, let’s I don’t know, I’m not an expert on the wind speeds, the wind speeds are undoubtedly less there than they are, for example, in Nebraska. Okay. Okay. I mean, there’s no question about that. But I think that the other thing is that in those areas, the Public Utilities Commission are still very aware that high priced or intermittent power will hurt the South’s attempt to get itself away from being the poor area of the United States, the poverty stricken area of the United States. And so they have been, they’ve been pushing for, for factories, to move south forever. I mean, you know, in New England, we used to have this big textile industry, it almost sounds because it was cheaper there. And and the people in the South were like, Hey, come in, we’ve got we’ve got a lot of workers and we got cheap electricity, you’re gonna love it here. And, and if right now there are if you following what was going on in, in Germany, there are big companies that are saying we have to close down because are in Germany, because the electricity was so expensive, and so unreal, and somewhat unreliable. And we had to close down, we couldn’t make a living. And we’re not going to reopen that plant, we’re going to build a new plant somewhere else, right? Well, a lot of people in America are thinking maybe here, and that’s true, maybe here, but I’m going to tell you, it won’t be in New England, it’s going to be in the South. If they decide they’re building a plant somewhere else, they’re going to build it in South.
Robert Bryce 54:08
Right? Well, which goes to the that essential reality of affordable, reliable electricity. And just to add on what you said about the reliability part of it is a friend of mine who’s a lobbyist here in Austin, longtime lobbyist at the Capitol, he said, if you don’t if your power isn’t reliable, it’s not affordable. So that rely that affordability and reliability go hand in hand, right. But if you don’t have if you don’t have the reliability, the affordability goes out the window. And that’s one of the things that I’ve seen, you know, and I make my iron law of electricity, right, people do whatever they have to do to get the electricity they need and that includes buying that standby generator to make sure they have juice when the grid fails. So these are the issues around affordability and reliability or they should be paramount. So well. Let me ask you that if I if I could dub you live where i King and I say okay, Meredith, you are the Tsar or Tsar s of like the electric it I don’t think I’ve ever asked you this before. But it Do we need a federal intervention here. Do we need someone at the federal level to step in and take charge on these kinds of things? If I mean, it’s a very complex system, as you and I both know, very well, 3000 different electricity providers, all these different public utility Commission’s, you know, that it’s incredibly complex system. Can it be fixed? I mean, how do we how do we solve this problem, which is goes to the heart of the most fundamental important network in our society? How do we move forward to make policymakers understand the necessity of these issues we’ve been talking about?
Meredith Angwin 55:39
Well, I think that we could do it simple, fairly simply, if we had the will to do it. We could, for example, say the the the Congress could direct FERC to make sure that when when areas had unreliable power, any any utility, which had unreliable power due to due to resource adequacy problems, it was going to be fined by the federal government, if they’re PUC didn’t bother that they were that there was a law that said, if you haven’t built enough for resource adequacy, you’re getting fined. All of a sudden, there would be a lot of interest in building it. Similarly, the federal government has made all kinds of subsidies and special formats for payments and for tax write offs and stuff. For the renewable industry, it could do that for the nuclear industry, it could, it could do a whole lot of different things. That wouldn’t be like we have to have Azhar, it would just be like, we’re expecting the RTOS and the PUC to have some pretty heavy fines for lack of reliability, because it can kill people. So as the US government, we don’t want to have people getting killed. So that’s what’s happening. Get,
Robert Bryce 57:14
you’re saying we need we need the the the solution may be I’m using that word may be for the for the federal government to provide carrots and sticks here to say that to make afford to make reliability, a more a bigger imperative for all of the utilities across the country.
Meredith Angwin 57:34
Yeah, we don’t have to say one of the three Samsung utilities, we don’t have to force all those utilities to be nationalized. We don’t have to force them all to be public power providers. We don’t have to do. We don’t have to dissolve the PUC. We don’t have to dissolve the RTO. So I’d like to. But basically, all you have to do is make their real incentive for reliability.
Robert Bryce 58:00
Well, you said dissolve the RTOS. That’s interesting. So in I think we talked about this the other day, just offline that Australia dissolved its market mechanisms or its auction system. So you’re saying, we’ll go
Meredith Angwin 58:14
back to it, put it back up it only for a while. It just, it just said this is not working. We’re taking time out everybody just provide power.
Robert Bryce 58:24
So if you dissolve the RTOS, then does that necessarily mean we go back to monopoly type of of set of of market structures, then?
Meredith Angwin 58:34
It probably would. But it would also be an accountable type structure. There’s somebody that really annoyed me the other day and said, The trouble with you, Meredith, is you just want to go back to monopolies. That’s what you grew up with. And that’s what you like, and I never know. I don’t want to go back to its accountability. That’s all I won’t.
Robert Bryce 58:55
You know, it reminds me and maybe I use this example before, but when I was writing my book on Enron now 20, well, 21 years ago, and I interviewed a former Houston natural gas executive, his name was Jim Walsh, Zil. And he he left Enron guess when Ken Lay came on board, he kind of saw the writing on the wall. He told me this long time ago when, in fact, before I published a pipe dreams, he said, Bryce, I don’t think that this deregulation of electricity is going to be good for the consumer. And that he you know, he wasn’t necessarily advocating for a monopoly, but he just, I think he was seeing this pretty well about what was going to be this lack of accountability. And that’s what I see in the ERCOT market. Now, the legislature is coming back into session here in Austin in a few days. And, you know, there’s a lot of talk about the Public Utility Commission, or we’re going to do this fix and that fix and I’m wondering whether the system has just become so complex with so many different carve outs and so many different interest groups, that it’s it’s so unwieldy, it’s unlikely that they’re really going to be able to execute significant reform, am I right to be pessimistic,
Meredith Angwin 59:54
you should be pessimistic about it. It would only be formed if if if you can set Have a carrot stick thing, incentive that says the utilities have to be reliable, and they have to do whatever it takes to get reliable. And
Robert Bryce 1:00:10
I’m sorry to interrupt, but is it the utilities or the generators themselves? Because this is one of the key things, what’s being discussed in ERCOT, that the any of these new renewable, the providers that come on, and there’s a ton of solar and wind coming on to the Texas grid, or the ERCOT grid, that they will have to be that if they’re going to bid in that they have to have a reliability requirement, which isn’t popular, of course, that these, you know, these entities would rather of course, freeride and not be forced to provide reliable power. But is that one possible solution?
Meredith Angwin 1:00:40
Well, yes, it is, indeed, and an intercom could could could do that SNR to, you know, you’ve been in it. They, they’re always setting up some rules for how you can get in and you know, they’re always watching carefully to make sure that you’re not, you’re not exercising too much market power, and you’re not doing this and you’re not doing that. And oh, with all this watching, it seems like the prices continue to go up. But they could require reliability. I mean, I think that’s the simplest thing. If the problem is you don’t have reliability, require reliability,
Robert Bryce 1:01:19
and find them if they don’t, if they don’t find them if they don’t, or
Meredith Angwin 1:01:23
promise them that any capital expenditure that leads to reliability will be reimbursed over time. It’d be cheaper than once you’re reimbursing for the early blackout. I mean, how many billions of dollars are in the queue to be paid back by ratepayers and taxpayers in Texas over the next 20 years because of one blackout.
Robert Bryce 1:01:47
It’s about it’s about $10 billion is
Meredith Angwin 1:01:51
a lot of upgrading for reliability. So $10 billion,
Robert Bryce 1:01:56
willing, the 10 billion only represents a part of the possible cost, because we also have are facing in Texas, this massive batch of litigation, right for personal injury losses. That and the insurers right, they’re also suing the generator. So they’re the there’s another shoe yet to drop here in terms of some of these costs, and whether the courts will find that in that ERCOT has, as has immunity, right that they sovereign immunity. But there’s already been a court ruling here in Texas that says that or does not have sovereign immunity. So there are there are a lot of costs that have yet to be worked out worked out yet that I think are still very worrisome when it comes to ERCOT. So absolutely, I
Meredith Angwin 1:02:41
just wanted to say one thing about about New England, and that is ISO New England, recently asked for an extra $10 million, no 20 million next year, but they’re going to save 10 million, some other way, for redesigning their markets. I don’t know what they’re going to do with that. But what I’m trying to say is people say, a market, it’s a market, but you could be spending millions and millions on designing the rules for these markets. And and so, you know, just my feeling is instead of all this fussing around about we’ll do it this way, we’ll do it that way, require reliability, and let the less the people try and figure out how to provide it.
Robert Bryce 1:03:29
And yeah, I like that require reliability and let the generators figure out how to make that happen. Yeah. Yeah, I think that that’s, it’s a good way to, I think a short and easily understandable way to to make that make that case. But I just want to come back to the nuclear part of it, as well, because I’ve talked to a bunch of people here in Austin that I respect about the possibility of future nuclear in Texas. And you may recall, X energy has signed a deal with Dow to potentially build an SMR at one of Dallas facilities on the Gulf Coast. Well, that could be an entry of nuclear into Texas, but it may be that that power plant never sells any electrons onto the grid. Right? It may be said that Dow would just use all that juice itself, or, but so that’s kind of a one off but it doesn’t help in the overall decarbonisation of the Texas grid and provide the kind of buffer that against higher there are fluctuations in natural gas prices, which I think longer term is the the key thing for Texas and for consumers is they need a hedge against this, these these rapid fluctuations in that gas prices because they’re going to translate into higher power prices. Does that does that ring true to you?
Meredith Angwin 1:04:38
It’s true, and I’m just gonna say that. Everywhere I look, people forget things that their mothers or fathers told them things like don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You know, everywhere I look people are just forgetting that exists. And and and he We’re going to electrify everything. And we’re going to run all that electricity on renewables and natural gas. No, that’s a really bad idea. was putting too many eggs in those baskets?
Robert Bryce 1:05:13
Yeah. Well, so we’ve been talking for a long time. We’re about an hour now. Meredith. So you know, I have the last two, two questions. What are you reading? What what the books on your bookshelf are other things that you’re looking at? I know, we, we talked that you might be working on another book, if you can make that
Meredith Angwin 1:05:30
I am thinking about another book. Because, you know, I wrote, I wrote a shortening the grid before Texas, right. And then, of course, a lot of for the Texas blackout. And then a lot of people said, oh, man, this is a great book, it showed me how the Texas blackout was happening. I didn’t understand it at all. But your book helped. And I agree that he did. But I’ve been thinking that since then, we’ve had the Texas blackouts in, in Germany, with, with with manufacturing, leaving Germany, we’ve had all of this stuff happening. And and, and, you know, the book is not out of date, the book describes things, but I thought it’s a whole evolved in ways that I’d like to talk about more. So I’m, I’m doing that. And, and then I’ve been reading of echo smell and so forth, you know, I finished the way the world really works and the the energy and civilization, that is a major thing. I feel like I want people all to know that I actually read every word.
Robert Bryce 1:06:47
He does not write well, generally, that’s a long book.
Meredith Angwin 1:06:52
I have a bunch of Yeah, but that’s what I’m looking at. And then I’m, I’m looking at all these things like trying to find out the way other people aren’t saying things like, for example, these near misses on the on the grid. It wasn’t that cold. It wasn’t 30 below. It was it was zero, you know, I mean, so it’s the electrification and, and, you know, I’m looking at things like that more. I also I will say, I totally enjoyed reading. California, Bernie, really interesting book on how lack of lack of attention to maintenance can really mess a place up.
Robert Bryce 1:07:46
That’s Catherine blunt. Is that right? That’s right, right. Yeah. So getting the last question then Meredith. Thank you.
Meredith Angwin 1:07:54
I want to say thank you for starting to substack I’m reading that too, of course,
Robert Bryce 1:07:59
oh, well, good. Well, the substack move where I was kind of forced off MailChimp. And I’ve found that the substack has been mean just remarkable. I, you know, I have opportunities to write at Forbes and real clear, and I plan to keep doing so. But I don’t know, I just love this idea of having my own thing and my own platform and having that it’s just been refreshing and frankly, heartening and just a little bit of relief that I Okay, well, here I can say whatever I want, I don’t have to send it through an editor. I don’t have to go through somebody else’s, you know, system. I’ve got my I can build my own brand. And it feeds on what Oprah Winfrey said, when it was in an article about Tyler Perry some time ago. She said own yourself, she didn’t own yourself, it will take you like whoosh with me she does with it. But I just thought was a great idea. You know, and it’s so that this thank you for that. So I’ll stop with that. That last question. You know this when you’ve had it now four times before because you’ve this is your fifth appearance. You’ve been through the black blackout. Now we’ve seen these other major events on the on the grid in the US what gives you hope?
Meredith Angwin 1:09:04
What what gives me hope is is a people who are really making changes in a positive direction and and there’s so many of them. There’s, of course, there’s those you and there’s but but I’m thinking about the people who are organizing groups, I’m thinking of generation you’re Tomic, I’m thinking of Chris Keefer. Up in, in in, in toronto, toronto. I’m thinking of assigning lights in Europe. All of these people are our influence Jesus Becker’s in Holland. All these people are definitely you know, making changes that are a pleasure to see just a pleasure to see A
Robert Bryce 1:10:01
Yeah, I agree. There’s a different there’s a different vibe, a different different, different sensibility and a new this younger generation. And I can say that now that I’m an old guy, but it’s it’s it’s gratifying and very hopeful. So, but that’s a good place to stop. I think, Meredith, unless you have something else you want to add. I
Meredith Angwin 1:10:19
think that my book I always read, right. So I haven’t even mentioned I’ve
Robert Bryce 1:10:23
failed badly at that station identification here. Merit if you can find more about her. at Meredith Angwin on Twitter, she has a web page Meredith angwin.com by her book, shorting the grid, the hidden fragility of our own of our electric grid, she’s self published. It’s a remarkable book that has been seen now far and wide people in all across the around the world have been reading your book and it’s been quite an amazing journey to see you succeed in a whole new career. In the one of the older and older period of your life, I’ll put it that way. How about okay, well, good. Well, we’ll stop there. Meredith, thanks a million for your coming back on the power hungry podcast for a record fifth time. Always a pleasure to talk to you.
Meredith Angwin 1:11:12
Thank you. It’s a pleasure to talk to you. And all you out there
Robert Bryce 1:11:15
in podcast land. Thanks for tuning into this episode of the power hungry podcast. Until next time, see you.