Blackouts Expose Perils And Costs Of California’s ‘Electrify Everything’ Push

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

 h/t The White House; Even Forbes, whose deep green editors recently censored Michael Shellenberger for criticising the climate movement, has sharply criticised California’s headlong rush into a new dark age of unreliable electricity.

Blackouts Expose Perils And Costs Of California’s ‘Electrify Everything’ Push

Robert Bryce Contributor Energy
I write about energy, power, innovation, and politics.
Aug 18, 2020, 08:26pm EDT

The blackouts that hit California over the past few days exposed the fragility of one of the most-expensive and least-reliable electric grids in North America. They also show that California’s grid can’t handle the load it has now, much less accommodate the enormous amount of new demand that would have to be met if the state attempts to “electrify everything.”

20487672 – wind turbines and power lines against sunset

The push to electrify everything would prohibit the use of natural gas in buildings, electrify transportation, and require the grid to run solely on renewables (and maybe, a dash of nuclear). But attempting to electrify the entire California economy will further increase the cost of energy at the very same time that the state’s electricity rates are soaring. That will result in yet-higher energy costs for low- and middle-income Californians.

California may be known for Silicon Valley and the beauty of its mountains and beaches, but it also has the highest poverty rate of any state in America. When accounting for the cost of living, 18.1% of the state’s residents are living in poverty. For perspective, that means that roughly 7 million Californians — a population about the size of Arizona’s — are living in poverty.

Years of misguided policies have left Californians plugged into a tattered electric grid that can’t handle a heatwave. Californians now rely on an electricity network that looks and acts more like a grid you’d find in Beirut or Africa than ones in Europe or the United States.

In short, the blackouts that hit California a few days ago appear to be only a taste of the pain to come. And the state’s consumers are going to be paying even higher prices for that pain.

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In my opinion California has until now concealed the true scale of their electricity supply problems from voters, by quietly importing vast amounts of power from other states when their own unreliable green electricity system falters.

But this time the green energy charade failed. Spare power from other states was not available – during the recent widespread heatwave, demand in other states also surged, so other states did not have enough spare electricity to cover California’s needs.

Renewable advocates claim that the unreliability of renewables can be overcome by smart grids. But there appears to have been nothing smart about the allegedly incompetent management of California’s grid over the last week.

If the home of centers of technical excellence like JPL and Silicon Valley cannot get green energy right, then nobody can.


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