Just a short time ago the thought of running anything other than a highly rated EPA certified generator in the Golden State would have sounded crazy. CA has long been the spear head of the states tackling the hazards of Fossil Fuel. Yet, last week the Governor put in place a declaration offering to pay large energy consumers to utilize their backup power generators. California to paycompanies to use fossil fuels!?! So what changed?
Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency to avert blackouts over the next few months. A confluence of factors has exposed the vulnerabilities of the state’s grid, mostly centered on this summer’s unusually widespread hot and dry conditions. Hydropower reservoirs are low. Neighboring states may send less electricity California’s way. Customers with air-conditioning are cranking it up. Newsom warns there may be shortfalls of 3,500 megawatts during “extreme weather events” — on a roughly 50,000 megawatt-system — and maybe more next summer. (Bloomberg.com/opinion)
On top all that, the once staunch enforcer of EPA regulations has put those worries aside for the time being. Basic goal, GET OFF THE GRID during peak times. So we find California in a bit of a pickle. How do you “lead the way” in green innovations when the needed planning and infrastructure is still so far from being effective and reliable. Will this change the path for the Golden State?
With so many other power sources available, the state does have the ability to maximize renewable sources. Where they fall short is in the demonization of the fossil fuel industry, which ironically, is necessary to have to physically build a better, green power grid. As we say here often, don’t focus on the one cure all and toss all others aside. Find the strengths in the many options and utilize them to our full potential. These next few months will tell us a lot about the future of California.