Unreliable Renewable Energy Forces California to Scramble for Electricity

Unreliable Renewable Energy Forces California to Scramble for Electricity

July 12, 2021

President Biden’s climate model of California is showing the major limitations, risks, and unreliability of renewable power sources. On Friday and Saturday, California’s Independent System Operator (Caiso) issued emergency alerts urging residents to conserve power during the evening to avoid rolling blackouts. A wildfire in Oregon threatened transmission lines that import thousands of megawatts of hydropower needed when the sun starts to go down.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Progressives blamed Texas’s power outage in February on its limited ability to import power from other states after its wind turbines froze and not enough natural gas plants could ramp up to compensate. But grids in neighboring states had little power to spare, which was the problem this weekend in California and will continue to be all summer.

The California Public Utilities Commission ordered Caiso last month to procure more power for evening hours this summer due to reduced energy sources. Caiso manages interconnections between utilities and power providers across the Western U.S. For example, Arizona utilities contract with hydropower plants in Northwest for power that is transmitted through California.

Late last month the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a request by Caiso to prioritize electricity moving through California to meet the states own demands during emergencies, allowing Caiso to override utility contracts and take power destined for other states. 

“Our electric utilities did the right thing and planned ahead, securing pre-negotiated contracts with utilities in the Pacific Northwest to ensure that critical hydropower would be available to Arizonans when it would be needed the most,” Arizona Corporation Commission Chairwoman Lea Márquez Peterson recently noted. California didn’t.

FERC is saving California’s politicians from their green energy profligacy, and its ruling may cause power shortages across other Western states. Residents in other states may also have to pay more for power on the spot market. Utilities and their regulators in Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and New Mexico have protested California’s power grab.

These states have also become more dependent on solar to meet their climate goals. Renewable energy poses a systemic risk to the grid that can’t be mitigated by merely building more transmission lines.

As Power The Future reported Friday, states dependent on renewable energy are likely to lean on coal this summer as they try to keep the power on. This weekend California Governor Gavin Newsom waived air quality regulations to allow gas-fired and diesel generators to run all out.

The hypocrisy of the eco-left never fails to amaze. California and their eco-extremist poster child Governor Newsom turn to coal when the renewable energy sources they’ve pushed fail, yet again. Further proving how unreliable renewable energy sources are and underlining the need for fossil fuels in our energy mix.