Weather has a major effect on the productivity of wind turbines. Both the Polar Vortex and El Niño have reduced the output of wind turbines in the Midwest. During the polar vortex, wind turbines automatically shut off in the extreme cold because the low temperatures take a toll on various parts of a turbine, from electrical cabinets to the gearbox, the generator, lubricants and steel components, which can become brittle if the temperature drops low enough. Coal and natural gas plants had to ramp up production to meet the shortfall and keep the lights on. Also affecting the productivity of wind turbines is El Niño that brought calm winds to the Midwest, reducing wind output by 14 percent despite having added new turbines to the region. American electricity consumers, who expect their electricity to be available at the touch of a switch, should be very cautious about policies to mandate 100-percent renewable energy sources that are dependent on natural weather events.