UPDATE BELOW: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday morning he will discuss the heat wave expected to hit California and the entire West Coast starting today and lasting through Labor Day weekend until next Wednesday.
Is this because a heat wave is unusual or because our state electricity grid is precarious?
As a California native, summer heat waves are normal. Our weak electricity grid is not normal.
Expect to hear the governor talk about “climate change,” “extreme weather,” “extreme heat,” bad “fossil fuels,” bad “gas-powered cars,” and how Californians need to conserve electricity.
He will offer tips on how we can conserve: turn your air conditioner up to 80 degrees or turn it off and use a fan, don’t use your heavy home appliances, stay hydrated, close the curtains and sit in the darkness until told otherwise.
Newsom’s press statement says, “The Governor will discuss ways Californians can stay safe from extreme heat, the strain the extreme weather will place on the grid, and state actions to respond to the immediate emergency and accelerate the state’s transition away from fossil fuels that worsen extreme heat.”
We’ve been down this road before with power shortages and rolling blackouts – almost entirely since the California Legislature and the last three governors started imposing absurd “climate change” laws on the state, weakening the electricity grid and putting all Californians in jeopardy.
I’ve been covering climate change legislation in the California Legislature for many years. I wrote this 10 years ago in February 2012 warning of impending energy crashes:
“With California’s renewable energy mandates, cap and trade requirements, and implementation of AB 32, it is becoming increasingly clear that California is at a precarious energy crossroads, and one that lawmakers don’t yet appear willing to address.
They are still busy patting themselves on the back for passage of the Renewable Portfolio Standard. But lawmakers will soon be forced to address the upcoming lawmaker-made energy crisis because their renewable energy mandates won’t be able to power the state.
An new study released by the California Independent System Operator, CalISO, warns that as California tries to meet the stringent requirements of the Renewable Portfolio Standard of 33 percent renewable energy production, ‘so does the need for flexible capacity resources.’”
Ironically, the Renewable Portfolio Standard and climate change pushers steadfastly have refused to acknowledge that hydroelectric power substantially contributes to the 33 percent renewable goal, as it does in Québec – California’s favorite clean energy partner. Unlike solar and wind power, hydroelectric power is affordable, renewable and abundant. And Québec is Canada’s leading producer of hydroelectricity, with one of the world’s largest hydroelectric facilities. Hydroelectricity accounts for almost 97% of all the electricity used in Québec.
I noted in 2012 that the Legislature killed part of a bill that would have added all hydroelectric power to the California Renewables Portfolio Standard. Former Sen. Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga), authored SB 1247, a bill that would have added large hydroelectric power to the list of California’s eligible renewable energy resources, and broaden the definition of “eligible renewable energy resources.”
This proved that the RPS was just another mandate supporting the unreliable solar and wind agenda.
Even in 2012 there were grave concerns about the removal of the Klamath Dam, which provides hydroelectric power and serves 70,000 mostly rural households, annually.
“Contrast the Klamath Dam with the revered Hetch Hetchy dam, which provides water for San Francisco. In 1906, after the big San Francisco earthquake, San Francisco applied to the United States Department of the Interior to gain water rights to Hetch Hetchy. It’s been the darling dam of the state ever since, and the only one environmentalists will tolerate,” I wrote.
The Klamath Dam provides hydroelectric power to an entire region of the state, as well as 70,000 households. The High-Speed Rail, which Gov. Newsom just authorized to continue with two legs of the proposed system, will drain enough electricity from an already tapped electricity grid, equal to 430,000 households. “Where will the additional power come from? Solar rooftops? Wind farms? Where will the electric cars plug in?” I asked in 2012.
Solar, wind, algae, ethanol, biofuels and other renewable energy sources are intermittent, unreliable, and not always environmentally-friendly.
“It is becoming increasingly apparent that California cannot keep up with the renewable energy mandates,” I observed in 2012.
And here California is 10 years later still flailing about with an unreliable, intermittent, precarious electricity grid, with a governor blaming climate change, cars and fossil fuels.
UPDATE, 4:40PM: Following the press conference, Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) issued a statement as poignant as any:
The Governor’s proclamation says our power supply is 3,000 megawatts short this weekend. This means up to 2.25 million homes could face power outages over the Labor Day holiday.
WHEREAS on August 31, 2022, the CAISO advised that it is forecasting supply deficiencies of over 3,000 megawatts during evening hours from September 4, 2022, through September 6, 2022; advised that further emergency alerts may follow; and advised that emergency interventions would allow energy customers to make contingency plans ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend;
DO THE MATH:
According to CAISO, “one megawatt equals one million watts or 1,000 kilowatts, roughly enough electricity for the instantaneous demand of 750 homes at once.”
Megawatt Explanation: http://www.caiso.com/about/Pages/OurBusiness/Understanding-electricity.aspx
PATTERSON UPDATED STATEMENT:
“What Governor Newsom told the people of California today and the actual realities that will play out this weekend are so far apart that we have to ask why he is failing to share the truth with us all?”