California is rich in natural resources which once powered the state: natural gas deposits in the Monterey Shale formation; geothermal energy, abundant rivers and waterways such as the San Joaquin River Delta and hydroelectric dams; the Pacific coastline; 85 million acres of wildlands with 17 million of those used as commercial timberland; mines and mineral resources, vast farming and agricultural lands, and hunting and fishing.
But California politicians and appointed agency officials, under pressure from radical environmental organizations and lobbyists, decided to ignore the energy producing natural resources, and instead move to an all-electric grid, and the only approved “renewable energy:” solar and wind energy.
A meteorologist friend, Anthony Watts, said Tuesday, “we are on the cusp of a massive failure of the electricity grid in California.” Anthony Watts is a senior fellow for environment and climate at The Heartland Institute, and 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. Watts is also proprietor of the award-winning website, Watts Up With That?
Apparently the California Independent System Operator agrees with Watts’ assessment:
We can do this together. Please #conserve #energy now. Demand is higher than expected. Help relieve stress on the grid by lowering A/C, deferring use of major appliances, and turning out unneeded lights. Every MW counts.
— California ISO (@California_ISO) August 18, 2020
Watts explained the difference between California’s imposed rolling blackouts in 2000 and 2001, and the rolling blackouts and power outages today:
The 2000-01 blackouts “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 an electricity shortage coupled with rolling blackouts is happening again, but for a different reason.”
“This is going to make Enron rolling blackouts in 2000/2001 look puny. The reason? Solar power – actually the lack of it. Solar power has this 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 (AB32). AB32 specifically required that 50 percent of California’s electricity to be powered by “green energy,” aka wind and solar, by 2025 and 60 percent by 2030, ending in 100% “carbon free” energy by 2045. Now, California is paying the price for abandoning reliable energy sources in favor of green energy sources 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 California is experiencing now, there’s typically plenty of sunshine, but winds are often stagnant.”
Yesterday former California Governor Jerry Brown came out of his Colusa County bunker to condescend to sweltering California ratepayers suffering under 110 degree temperatures:
Hey California! We can avoid a blackout, but you have to turn up your damn thermostat! https://t.co/UuH8Yr6VFH
— Jerry Brown (@JerryBrownGov) August 19, 2020
Remember when in 2015 Jerry went off on California citizens for using water?
“At a press conference last week announcing the need for a 25 percent cut in water consumption, Brown said, ‘People should realize we are in a new era. The idea of your nice little green lawn getting watered every day, those days are past.’”
Gov. Gavin Newsom is also calling for residents to conserve energy:
We must do our part conserve energy through 10 PM:
👉🏾 Turn off unnecessary lights
👉🏾 Avoid using major appliances
👉🏾 Set thermostat to 78 or higher
Get more info on energy conservation. 🔽 https://t.co/a0ZCzblJ6R
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) August 18, 2020
Michael Shellenberger, best-selling author of “Apocalypse Never,” Tweeted: “California’s bet on renewables, & its shunning of natural gas & nuclear, is directly responsible for the state’s blackouts and high electricity prices,” and warned about the Biden-Harris plan.
California’s bet on renewables, & its shunning of natural gas & nuclear, is directly responsible for the state’s blackouts and high electricity prices.
The Biden-Harris plan is even more aggressive. “There is no [US] state right now [as] ambitious”https://t.co/skblJYHcyU
— Mike Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) August 18, 2020
Watts provided a chart showing California’s growing power outages between 2008 and 2017:
Watts explained the power shortages:
It gets worse. On August 17, during the CAISO Board of Governors Meeting CAISO President Steve Berber let loose with this bit of reality. From transcript:
“You are trading the loss of 3000 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, such an 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.
It gets even worse.
As California Globe reported last year, and has been covering since 2011:
- In 2011, California passed the Renewables Portfolio Standard setting the mandate at 33 percent renewable energy by 2020.
- When it became clear that California was nearly there, in 2015, the Legislature moved the bar again and passed SB 350 the “Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015.” SB 350 by Sen. President pro Tem Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), requires the state to procure 50 percent of electricity from renewable energy and double energy efficiency savings by 2030.
- In 2018, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 100, setting a 100 percent clean electricity goal for the state, and issued an executive order establishing a new target to achieve carbon neutrality – both by 2045.
Power outages and rolling blackouts are coming more frequently as California has taken nuclear power plants offline, and hydroelectric dams offline, while increasing renewables mandates for wind and solar. Nuclear power, as is hydroelectric, is clean and reliable; wind and solar power, while clean, are unreliable and significantly more expensive.
Even the President weighed in on California’s rolling blackouts:
In California, Democrats have intentionally implemented rolling blackouts — forcing Americans in the dark. Democrats are unable to keep up with energy demand…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2020
…and touted his energy independence policies:
…Meanwhile, I gave America energy independence in fact, so much energy we could never use it all. The Bernie/Biden/AOC Green New Deal plan would take California’s failed policies to every American!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2020
Meanwhile at his noon press conference Wednesday, Gov. Newsom, who blames California’s wildfires and triple digit heat on climate change, said “the way to deal with the ravages of climate change is to not let the climate change.”
Our thanks to Anthony Watts who provided California Globe his essay, “Thanks to Green Energy Mandates, California’s Electric Grid Is Near Collapse,” and it was also published at RedState.