Rolling Blackouts Return to California Amid Shift to 'Green' Energy

Chris Menahan
Aug. 19, 2020

California is once again experiencing rolling blackouts and the media is acting like the cause is a giant mystery.

From Politico, "California has first rolling blackouts in 19 years and everyone faces blame":
The exact root of California's rolling blackouts is still unclear as more power outages loom, and that's allowed everyone to point fingers.

Energy experts Monday cited a litany of potential causes for the rotating outages that affected hundreds of thousands of California residents Friday and Saturday nights: ballooning demand, inadequate transmission, an overreliance on renewable energy and natural gas plant challenges during hot weather.

While California braced for another round of rolling blackouts Monday night, the state's grid operator held off for a second straight night, citing cooler than expected weather and widespread conservation. It also came as Gov. Gavin Newsom questioned all of the state's electricity players about why the outages occurred and faced blowback from frustrated residents. Still, the state says more blackouts affecting millions of residents could occur this week as a historic heat wave endures.

California has endured planned blackouts in recent years as a wildfire prevention measure. But it was the Golden State's first round of rolling blackouts related to supply since 2001, when Enron and other energy traders manipulated California's market.

Earlier Monday, the California Independent System Operator blamed Friday's outages on "high heat and increased electricity demand." Yet some energy experts noted that demand wasn't particularly higher than normal, as is typical for weekends, and CAISO had predicted it would have adequate reserves on hand for the 80 percent of California's grid that it manages.
The New York Times acted similarly puzzled.

They ran an article on Sunday titled, "Rolling Blackouts in California Have Power Experts Stumped."

The "mystery" was revealed in the body of the article (surrounded by obfuscations):
The California Independent System Operator, the nonprofit entity that controls the flow of electricity for 80 percent of California, said it acted after three power plants shut down and wind power production dropped. It also cited a lack of access to electricity from out-of-state sources.
Wind shortages are a major issue few even knew existed until just a few years ago.

Regardless, California has been shutting down nuclear and other power plants relentlessly while their population has been exploding due to both legal and illegal immigration.

California Governor Gavin Newsom is reportedly planning to shut down the last remaining nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, in 2025 even though it could easily run for decades longer.

"Diablo Canyon Power Plant, which sits on approximately 1,000 acres on the Pacific coast, has operated safely since 1985 with its two Westinghouse Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) units that are licensed until 2024 and 2025 respectively," according to PG&E.

"The two units produce a total of 18,000 gigawatt-hours of clean and reliable electricity annually, which is enough energy to meet the needs of more than three million Northern and Central Californians (nearly 10% of California's energy portfolio and 20% of the power that PG&E provides throughout its service area)."

Mike Shellenberger has been banging the drums on this issue on Twitter.

According to Kamala Harris, "California represents the future."

[Header image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0]

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