Got Generator?: California’s Self-Inflicted Energy Shortage

Institute for Energy Research looks at CA Energy outlook. California is again having issues with adequate electricity and its customers are being told that summer blackouts may occur. Full report HERE.


California’s utility system is so tight and complex that it is vulnerable to rolling blackouts if part of the system is down—in this case, its largest natural gas storage facility. (This is despite the fact that California’s outward migration has exceeded its inward migration for 22 of the past 25 years.[viii]) The pipeline system is not adequate to supply enough natural gas to meet daily demand that can be almost twice what can be brought in daily. Thus, the state must institute emergency measures to avoid blackouts, and called on consumers to conserve electricity last week. Over the next decade, it will exacerbate the problem by retiring its two remaining nuclear units, which generate over 9 percent of the state’s electricity.

California has mandated that 50 percent of its electricity come from renewable energy by 2030, despite the fact that the state is getting much less than the intended energy from its Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System[ix] and replacing the electricity from Diablo Canyon will be very expensive. Its emergency measures include using diesel fuel; they do not seem to include ramping up the state’s renewable generation because much of that is dependent on the sun shining and the wind blowing. California has been designing through regulation and mandates an electricity system largely dependent on the weather. Time will tell how this experiment works out.[Emphasis added]

And, we all know how reliable California weather is. Could it be that Governor Brown has made a deal with Mother Nature, she will make the sun shine when CA needs the energy, she will make the wind blow when the energy is needed.  What happens if Mother Nature drops the ball, and cannot hold up her end of the deal?

Exit Questions: Would you start a business in a state with unreliable power?  Would you keep a manufacturing business in a state with unreliable power?

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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2 Responses to Got Generator?: California’s Self-Inflicted Energy Shortage

  1. Hifast says:

    Answer to the exit question. No!


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