July 2, 2021
Maybe it’s time to admit that the whole “green” energy push is one big farce
Six months after a historic failure in the Texas power grid which collapsed when various “renewable” sources of electricity failed concurrently and dragged down the entire network, California – that liberal utopia powered by renewable power and/or unicorn flatulence – realizes it is about to get Enroned, and has made an urgent request for additional power supplies to avoid blackouts this summer, an extraordinary step after suffering from rolling outages less than a year ago.
State energy officials asked the California Independent System Operator, which runs most of the grid, to contract for additional power capacity for July and August on concern it won’t be able to meet demand during the evening when solar production fades, according to a joint statement Thursday from grid, utility and energy agencies. They didn’t say how much more power is needed but one can guess it will be a lot.
Of course, there was a convenient scapegoat on which to blame the collective lack of competence: global warming.
“California is using all available tools to increase electricity reliability this summer,” the heads of the California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, and grid operator said citing “unprecedented climate change-driven heat events, which are occurring throughout the West in combination with drought conditions that reduce hydroelectric capacity.”
Right, it’s always someone else’s fault that you could not properly budget even a few months in advance after keeping millions of people in the dark last year when California again blamed… global warming. But if you know there is global warming, and you suffer one nightmare summer in the dark because of it, can’t you extrapolate at least a year into the future?
In California, the answer is no.
Their statement underscores California’s challenges in the coming months as it begins summer already parched by drought that’s leaving hydroelectric reservoirs at historic lows. The state narrowly avoided rolling power outages recently as extreme heat came early this year, and with few new generation sources on the immediate horizon supplies tighten when hot weather hits.
California has taken a number of steps including adding battery storage (which some may recall was a complete disaster last summer) to prevent blackouts such as those in August, when demand overwhelmed the grid. However, the state has grown concerned that that the increases aren’t enough, according to the letter.
Procuring additional capacity “is taken out of an abundance of caution to ensure electric reliability and preserve the public health and safety of all Californians,” the officials said. Their letter also cited delayed availability for some thermal power plants and said some resources expected to be running during the hottest months have now been delayed.
Supply challenges are mounting less than a year after a heat wave forced the state’s first rolling outages in two decades, and meeting demand is likely to be even harder this year because long-range forecasts call for above-average temperatures through September.
What is remarkable is that even Bloomberg, which has been on a crusade to crush non-green sources of power, admits that California’s problem is the state’s aggressive push to cut carbon emissions by shifting to renewable energy.
Many gas-burning plants have closed, which means electricity supplies tighten at sunset as the production from solar generation fades around sundown (good thing there are no vampires or zombies in Cali, yet). What’s more, big batteries being built to store solar power during the day and resupply the grid in the evening won’t be available by August and September, the state’s hottest months.
In short, it’s time to admit that California’s “green” push has been a complete disaster, and is about to leave millions of people in the dark during hot, sweaty days, leading to countless deaths.
Of course, since we are talking about the socialist paradise, this will never happen, and instead locals have even more brilliant ideas like for example paying people not to use electricity.
“The short-term strategy needs to be centered around incentivizing demand reductions instead of increasing supply,” said Abe Stanway, co-founder of Amperon Holdings Inc., which provides analysis to utilities and power traders. “The best way to reduce uncertainty around demand resources is to simply pay consumers more to use less during peak events.”
Because while electricity may not grow on trees in California but at least money still does.