Home Environment & Climate News Thanks to Green Energy Mandates, California’s Electric Grid Is Near Collapse

Thanks to Green Energy Mandates, California’s Electric Grid Is Near Collapse

This time, “rolling blackouts” in California are due to green energy failures, not Enron market manipulation.

Remember when California imposed rolling blackouts in 2000 and 2001? This occurred when California had a shortage of electricity supply caused by electricity market manipulations. A demand-supply gap was created, mainly by Enron, to create an artificial shortage so speculators could benefit from an 800 percent increase in wholesale electricity prices. As a result, California suffered from multiple large-scale blackouts.

Now another electricity shortage coupled with rolling blackouts is happening, but for a different reason.

This time it is due to “unreliables,” aka green energy. Note that in 2000 and 2001, the forced rolling blackouts happened during peak load times (and peak pricing), which typically was in mid-afternoons. Now, the rolling blackouts hitting the state are happening in the evening. Why the difference?

The California Independent System Operator says the cause is a daily supply shortage that was thoroughly predictable:

“A persistent, record-breaking heat wave in California and the western states is causing a strain on supplies, and consumers should be prepared for likely rolling outages during the late afternoons and early evenings through Wednesday. … There is not a sufficient amount of energy to meet the high amounts of demand during the heatwave.”

The reason? Solar power, or more accurately, the lack of it. Solar power has a thorny problem: It disappears after sunset. And California’s electric grid is highly dependent on it now, thanks to the political mandate known as the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32).

AB32 required that 50 percent of California’s electricity be powered by “green energy,” aka wind and solar, by 2025 and 60 percent by 2030, ending in 100 percent “carbon free” energy by 2045.

California is now paying the price for abandoning reliable energy sources in favor of green energy such as wind and solar power, which don’t work when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. During heat waves like the one California is experiencing now, there’s typically plenty of sunshine, but winds are often stagnant.

An analysis of data from the California Independent System Operator (CASIO) on August 14 shows clearly that solar power died at sunset. Stagnant wind power didn’t help at all, and a huge demand-supply gap arose right around sunset, necessitating the forced rolling blackouts to keep the electric grid from collapsing.

It gets worse. On August 17, during the CAISO Board of Governors Meeting, CAISO President Steve Berber let loose with this bit of reality, quoted from the transcript:

“You are trading the loss of 3,000 megawatts for the collapse of the entire system of California and perhaps the entire West. … When you’re at the very edge and you have a contingency and you have no operating reserves, you risk entire system collapse.”

What a sobering thought.

California has traded energy security to kneel before the false prophet of green energy. Instead of using reliable and affordable nuclear and coal plants, they are using intermittent and unreliable wind and solar power. And the people of California, and perhaps the West in general, may pay the price for that homage if the power grid collapses during the ongoing heat wave.

If that happens, the event will dwarf what happened at the hand of market manipulators like Enron in 2000/2001, and will be the most expensive and devastating green energy lesson ever in history.

[Originally posted at RedState.]

Anthony Wattshttps://wattsupwiththat.com/
Anthony Watts is a senior fellow for environment and climate at The Heartland Institute. Watts has been in the weather business both in front of, and behind the camera as an on-air television meteorologist since 1978, and currently does daily radio forecasts.

7 COMMENTS

  1. While unfortunate & unnecessary, a collapse of the grid at this stage may be a blessing. It may (finally) force a rational & informed national discussion about energy imperatives and the misguided policies affiliated with renewable mandates. Folks need to educate themselves about real energy alternatives as we ultimately move forward with the our energy transition. Perhaps we can interject some physical science and dispense with all the political science that seems to “cloud” any kind of sensible debate and formulation of a coherent national energy and attendant policy. One can only hope…

  2. California’s Dysfunctional Electricity Policies may lead to more Blackouts – Shuttering of in-state power plants, “leaks” the generation and emissions to other states. As a result of California’s intermittent electricity from wind and solar being unable to provide continuous uninterruptable electricity in-state, California imports more electricity than any other state as a result of “leakage” to other states from them to generate emissions for the generated electricity needs of California. At the same time, the states “green” religion remains adamantly against in-state coal, natural gas, nuclear, and hydro power plants. Can you see the conundrum the state is in? https://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2020/08/californias-dysfunctional-electricity-policies-may-lead-to-more-blackouts/

  3. I lived through this as a resident of California. We were only told that there was not enough energy via text from Pacific Gas and Electric.
    My thought was that the Democrats who run the state have brought us to brown-outs, the same thing I experienced in my one year in Cameroon, Africa.
    We were told to shut off our power demands to get us through. Keep in mind that on August 18th we hit 109F. My house is concrete so it didn’t turn into a oven, but I can only imagine the many thousands of people living in stick-frame house that turned into ovens during the heat. They were being told to not use power.
    What’s the point of having power, a power grid, electricity if in peace time we aren’t supposed to use it especially when we need it most?
    But the fools keep voting for the fools that take us to the brink.

  4. It is ultimate scientific stupidity to believe that man has any measurable impact on climate. Climate experts, such as MIT’s Richard Lindzen and Princeton’s Will Happer, have data showing that anthropogenic CO2 has no impact on climate. It is also illogical to think that it would compared to solar flares, cosmic rays, the angle of the Earth to the sun, decadal oscillations of the ocean and so on. And to believe that carbon dioxide, which is essential for life on Earth, is going to cause our final demise is to believe that nature is into positive feedback systems where things keep getting worse and worse. Nature is replete with negative feedback systems and weather is a prime example. As bad as things might get eventually things come back to the mean. I don’t believe that there is any evidence for positive feedback systems in nature so please prove me wrong. Those of us with scientific background are also taught that we must rely upon Enlightenment Principles where data and evidence are what we count on. The only things we need to check are that the people collecting the data and evidence are using the right instruments, understand what they are doing and use correct statistics. Emotion and gut feeling, as well as doctored data on temperature gauges , can never be part of the equation. And in using these principles Lindzen & Happer show virtually zero impact of anthropogenic CO2. Furthermore, their analyses are backed up by ice core samples going back millennia.

  5. The environmental extremist climate alarmists that are demanding ‘green energy’ have been wrong on so many issues – their claims are ludicrous. There is no hard scientific evidence demonstrating that the CO2 produced by use of fossil fuels causes significant climate change. The CO2 Anthropogenic Global warming (CAGW) hypothesis is based on the flawed predictions of imprecise 1980’s vintage global circulation models that have failed to match observational data both since and prior to their fabrication. During the past several decades scientific data has been amassed that refutes the CAGW hypothesis without question.

    Human CO2 generation is responsible for ~ 4% of atmospheric CO2 at any given time since the ocean dominates its continuous exchange between ocean, atmosphere and landmass biota. Partial control of the 4% by suppressing human fossil fuel use would have trivial consequences for climate but massive negative impacts on our energy dependent civilization.

    Although there is a direct correlation between increased global temperature and increased atmospheric CO2, it doesn’t support the CAGW hypothesis. Analysis of the cosmogenic isotope content of more than 500,000 years of Antarctic ice cores has shown that major climate changes precede changes in the CO2 content of the atmosphere. The CO2 content of the atmosphere is primarily a response to climate change, not a cause of it.

    ‘Green’ energy sources currently available are unreliable and very costly compared to fossil fuel and make energy use much more expensive and far less available to everyone, especially to billions of impoverished people around the world. Let’s get our priorities straight and use the fossil fuels nature has provided while research on renewable energy technology develops new and cost effective alternatives.

  6. Rosa Koire. UN Agenda 2030 exposed
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PrY7nFbwAY&lc=Ugx4BWaikrsxX2KJ6mx4AaABAg

    The Hidden Agenda Behind The Planned Destruction of America with Rosa Koire
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=141&v=EGA18p_XerE&feature=emb_logo

    WHY IS EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT UN AGENDA 21?
    https://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/uploads/4/4/6/6/4466371/why_is_everyone_talking_about_un_agenda_21.pdf

    George Bush Sr. New World Order Live Speech Sept 11 1991
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byxeOG_pZ1o

  7. When we lived in Chihuahua Mexico the city was often out of water at certain times of the day. As a result most people had their own water tank which was filled when there was actually water. Now, California has the same problem. People who live without power are installing diesel power plants for times with no power. In Mexico it would have been far cheaper for the government to meet the water need. In California it would be far cheaper for the government/utilities to meet the power need. Government creates a problem and then has to solve it.

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