In CAISO Emergency Break Glass

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Here in the United California Socialist Republic, we have an insane bunch of laws about electricity. Number one among them is a “Renewables Mandate” that requires the local utility, Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE) to purchase a huge amount of expensive, unreliable solar, wind, and other renewable energy. So of course, our electricity price increases have far outstripped those of our more sane neighboring states.

(As a side note, under California law large hydroelectric dams are NOT counted as “renewable” under the Mandate … why not? Because if they counted hydro we’d already have met the Mandate … but I digress …)

And what to we get for this investment in expensive generation schemes?

Unreliable energy. Yesterday at about 6:30 PM, they shut off the power to our entire neighborhood for three hours. Of course the public claim was that the hot weather just made it so the poor system couldn’t keep up, darn it, so we’re sorry but rolling blackouts are the new normal starting now … just kidding, they started before the announcement.

I assure you I was as surprised as our neighbors … started my little 2KVA Honda generator, strung out the extension cords, and got back to my life. Although I must confess, I did say some bad words, and I fear that I stated both clearly and loudly that the people in charge of this goatrope could go engage in anatomically improbable sexual congress with themselves and the horse they rode in on …

But this morning, I had a more sober thought, one I should have had the night before, one you might have already had, which was …

… if this pinche rolling blackout is because of the heat, why didn’t it start until after six PM, well past the heat of the day?

My next thought was, “It’s those cabrones with their abysmal renewable energy.” So I set out to see if it’s true.

In California, all of this is handled by something called “CAISO”, the California Independent Systems Operator. Here’s their graph of yesterday’s renewables generation, from the CAISO site:

Figure 1. Total generation by each type of renewables in California, August 14, 2020.

As you can see, the total of geothermal, biomass, biogas, small hydro, and wind is sweet Fanny Adams … and now, notice when the solar started to run out in the evening. Just about the time that our power went out.

But as we know, correlation is not causation. So here’s the other relevant CAISO chart, showing the net demand with and without renewables …

Figure 2. Net demand for electricity in California, split out by the type of generation of the electricity

Gotta laugh about the fine print where they brag about how they “maintain reliability while maximizing clean energy sources” …

Anyhow, there you have it. Here’s the bottom line.

If you add ten gigawatts of solar energy to your grid as shown in Figure 2 above, you perforce, must, need to, have to, add ten gigawatts of conventional fossil energy to cover times like yesterday when renewables simply don’t cut it …

And it is the ignoring of that fact above all that allows people to claim that renewables are ready for the market. They are absolutely not ready without huge ongoing subsidies and full fossil backup, and in the end, they are simply not up to the job.

ALL of this is the total and complete fault of the Democrats who have run this state since forever … too bad. When I was a kid it was a great place to live.

VOTE! The only solution to this nonsense is to throw them out on their ear. It’s not going to fix itself. Here’s today’s story.

Hot again today … not looking forward to the evening …


PS—Again I ask, when you comment please quote the exact words you are discussing. This avoids all kinds of misunderstandings.


2 thoughts on “In CAISO Emergency Break Glass

  1. This seems to be a solution to the madness.

    You run your stand alone Photo Voltaic system and a Natural Gas Generator at night.

    Natural gas generators can generate electricity for your home by using your existing natural gas lines. These natural gas standby generators eliminate the need to fill a fuel tank with gasoline or install a large fuel tank near your home. Simply have the existing lines supply the fuel to your generator and never worry about fueling it up again. Seamlessly integrating into your home’s existing fuel sources, an NG generator will keep the lights on in an emergency.’


    • The main difficulty is the cost. Centralized, modern, nat gas power stations cost a couple pennies per KwH to produce electricity. On the other hand, even the most efficient back up generator, whether nat gas or other fuel would cost many multiples of that to give you the needed electricity at home.

      There are better solutions to be available within the next few years, such as that being pioneered by NET Power, which burns nat gas in pure oxygen to give a pure, easy to capture stream of CO2 as the exhaust. So, it’s a zero emmissions nat gas power plant. They just need to get up to investment grade money coming in to build the next level (400 Mw) demonstration power plant. After that, they’d make a full size, grid scale 1 Gw plant, costing a couple of cents per KwH.

      Once they do that, the whole renewables foolishness will start to fall apart.

      Liked by 1 person

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