Claim: US West's power grid must be prepared for impacts of climate change – but environmentalism might be a bigger threat

From: Arizona State University

TEMPE, Arizona — Electricity generation and distribution infrastructure in the Western United States must be “climate-proofed” to diminish the risk of future power shortages, according to research by two Arizona State University engineers.

Expected increases in extreme heat and drought events will bring changes in precipitation, air and water temperatures, air density and humidity, write Matthew Bartos and Mikhail Chester in the current issue of the research journal Nature Climate Change.

The authors say the changing conditions could significantly constrain the energy generation capacity of power plants – unless steps are taken to upgrade systems and technologies to withstand the impacts of a generally hotter and drier climate.

Bartos is a research scientist and Chester is an assistant professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Chester also has an appointment in the School of Sustainability in ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.

In their article “Impacts of climate change on electric power supply in the Western United States,” they report that power stations are particularly vulnerable to adverse climatic conditions predicted to occur within the next half-century.

“In their development plans, power providers are not taking into account climate change impacts,” Bartos said. “They are likely overestimating their ability to meet future electricity needs.”

The West is expected to see greater energy demand due to population growth and higher temperatures. Bartos and Chester say power plants must strengthen transmission capacity and enact conservation strategies if they are to remain capable of reliably supplying power to the region as conditions change.

Power providers also should invest in more resilient renewable energy sources and consider local climatic constraints when selecting sites for new generation facilities, the authors said.

“Diverse arrays of energy-generation technologies are used by the West’s power grid. We are looking at five technologies, hydroelectric, steam, wind and combustion turbines, and photovoltiacs,” Chester said.

“We’re finding that some power generation technologies can be more climate-resilient than others. Renewable energy sources are generally less susceptible to climate change impacts. So more use of renewable sources may contribute to a better climate-proofed power infrastructure,” he said.

###

The research conducted by Bartos and Chester in this area has been supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Water, Sustainability and Climate program.

Nature Climate Change is a monthly journal dedicated to publishing the most significant and cutting-edge research in the science of climate change, its impacts and wider implications for the economy, society and public policy.

Link to journal article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2648


Now consider these threats from environmentalism to the power grid in California:

1. No new nuclear, and environmentalism has lobbied to close existing nuclear plants, such as Rancho Seco

2. No new coal plants, and no purchase of coal-based electricty from out of state.

3. No new hydroelectric plants-  period. Plus there is lobbying to destroy existing dams because of fish habitat concerns.

4. No fracking allowed – a smart move would be to increase natural gas production so that “peaker plants” could balance electric grid loads. But, California environmentalists aren’t smart.

5. Environmentalism lobbies for wind and solar, but these fragile and miniscule impact technologies can’t help the grid maintain stability, since by definition, these technologies are at the whims of nature. A cloudy day with no wind in California can’t provide much load balancing.

6. The fixation on carbon-free energy has led to much higher electricity prices, 43.5 percent above the national average in December 2014 according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.

You can read more about California’s environmental folly here in this excellent piece in the Orange County Register:

At the mercy of the climate jihadists

Advertisements

113 thoughts on “Claim: US West's power grid must be prepared for impacts of climate change – but environmentalism might be a bigger threat

    • The biggest threat to the grid is government meddling with the supply of coal, oil and gas which provide most of the power to go on that grid.

      • Actually, if you just take your first nine words and leave out words four, five and six, you have a summary of the situation in all areas.

    • The biggest risk to the California grid is the California Dimocrat Government as evidenced by Gov. Gray (out) Davis. He learned that rugular blackout result in a successful recall election… but the lesson seems to wear off after a few years…
      Still have the generator I bought then and ready for independent non grid ops when needed. Recall petition ready too…

  1. The Energy Policy Act of 2004 has a section called Energy Corridors. It will allow buried, hybrid ROW’s for that purpose.

    • 1. Rancho Seco was closed because SMUD is a municipality and the city of Sacramento held a referendum and the VOTERS closed it down. They had just gone operational and it was speculated that SMUD would go bankrupt, they did not and Sacramento enjoys some of the lowest electricity costs in the nation.
      2. Coal is purchased from out of state all the time, No new coal plants seems to be a California trend, a national trend, and, yes, even a global trend. Fracking is really hitting coal in the teeth.
      3. California’s hydroelectric energy generation potential was pretty much tapped out in the 1960s.
      4. Fracking continues in the state every day.
      5. California is a very big state the Cal ISO provides the daily renewable generation resource (only showing utility tied renewables, rooftop solar is not included. See: http://www.caiso.com/outlook/SystemStatus.html Rooftop solar generates as much as utility scale solar in the state and daily peak generation is about 11 GW, or about the amount of 4 nuclear power plants operating at peak. 80% of this solar capacity has been added since 2012.
      6. The national average is 12.12, California is 16.19 that is 33% more, however because of California’s higher attention to residential energy efficiency, the average household electric bill in California is $90.19 while the national average is $110.20 or a 22% increase per month and equaling an extra $120.00 a year saved compared to the national average. http://www.eia.gov/electricity/sales_revenue_price/pdf/table5_a.pd
      in addition, we have over 1 million paying jobs in the state working on renewable energy projects and conservation efforts. people are saving money and spending it in their own hometowns. California had 8 billion dollars in unexpected revenue last quarter and is looking at a budget surplus of up to 40 billion dollars. http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_28056793/californias-budget-surplus-soars-new-heights-schools-benefit He is funding tax breaks for low-income families
      And how is Kansas doing, you may ask???
      oh, well, not so good, http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article21335124.html
      The legislature is passing a law that will cap the income level that goes untaxed for business owners, Yes, in Kansas. Life is tough when a small state like Kansas with a 6.5 billion dollar budget and a 765 million dollar budget deficit. (that’s 11.8% of the total budget in case you wanted the maths) http://www.kansasbudget.com/

      • jai mitchell cut ‘n’ pasted his talking points from somewhere, but it’s so easy to see they were carefully cherry-picked, and tell only part of the story:
        1. Yes, Rancho Seco was closed down. But only after multiple referendums. Just like when the EU didn’t get the Irish vote to join, they try, try again until finally a referendumb sqeaked by. If multiple attempts isn’t a dishonest flouting of the rteferendum process, what is?
        2. Fracking is really hitting coal in the teeth. That is a complete non sequitur. If fracking can compete with coal power, what’s the problem? mitchell throws in ‘fracking’ because to him, it’s evil.
        3. hydroelectric energy generation potential was pretty much tapped out Again, that makes zero sense. Hydro power provides cheap electricity, so how can it be “tapped out”? Furthermore, the enviro mob stopped the big Auburn dam project, after $1 billion had been spent on it. Maybe that saved some minnows, but the dam would have substantially increased the state’s water storage capacity. Now there is a drought. If jai mitchell thinks he’s going to get support for his lunatic enviro-caused problems, he’s in the wrong place. Environmentalism is a major cause of the state’s current water problems.
        4. Fracking continues in the state every day. Good. There is no downside to fracking. It provides cheaper energy, and it bothers the enviro-whacko nutcases. What’s not to like?
        5. Rooftop solar generates as much as utility scale solar in the state and daily peak generation is about 11 GW, or about the amount of 4 nuclear power plants operating at peak. That sounds like solar generates the same power as 4 nulear plants. If jai mitchell was selling a product he would get sued for false advertising. But in reality, solar provides less than 1% of the state’s electricity. It wouldn’t even be around except for massive taxpayer-funded subsidies.
        6. The same misinformation from jai mitchell. This site compares California with other states. California has VERY expensive electricity.
        As usual, jai mitchell is a fountain of misinformation and half-truths. Any California utility payer knows what he’s shoveling sounds like pink unicorns and fairy tales. But it sure isn’t the truth. His kind are the problem, not the solution.

      • 1. Rancho was shutdown due to operations and maintenance failures for 75% of its first 18 months of operations and electricity rates were going up in Sacramento because of it, that is why they shut it down.
        2. fracking on a global scale is causing an oversupply of natural gas the price of natural gas is going down it is close to or below coal’s costs in many regions and is projected to stay that way for many years, that is why fracking is kicking coal in the teeth.
        3. there is less total hydro generation potential left undeveloped in California than solar is generating, on an annual basis in 2014. The reason hydro is tapped out is because the hundreds of little and medium streams that are left would cost too much to build generation for the amount of electricity that they would generate, making them not cost effective.
        4. At daily peak power generations, solar in the state produces the same amount of electricity as 4 nuclear powers would for those same hours of operations, in addition, since solar is distributed, there is direct at-site usage and the wasted line loss of 7-10% is also saved. This is only for those peak hours which I stated previously.
        5. I referenced the U.S. Energy Information Agency with their authoritative data, claiming that the EIA is not publishing the correct data falls right in line with your assertions that I was not generating my own material and hints of a bent toward conspiracy theories by DBStealey.

      • jai mitchell again, by the numbers:
        1. Jai mitchell evades the fact that Rancho Seco was finally shut down after multiple referendumb votes. When the first vote kept it open, as usual the ethics-challenged enviro squad kept trying. They got more money and plenty of air time on the media. Eventually one of their referendumb votes passed, and the state lost an important power source. Funny how there’s never another referendum vote after they get their way, isn’t it?
        2. jai mitchell is complaining here because people have an alternate source of cheap energy that competes with cheap coal. Only in the crazed mind of an enviro is that something bad…
        3. …there is less total hydro generation potential left undeveloped in California than solar is generating…
        What does that even mean? Is mitchell claiming that if enough solar panels cover the deserts and parking lots, it will equal hydro power? As if that will ever happen. mitchell also ignores the inconvenient question of the Auburn dam’s lost power generation. As usual.
        4. At daily peak power generations, solar in the state produces the same amount of electricity as 4 nuclear powers would…
        mitchell is nuts.
        5. It does not surprise me that since jai mitchell can’t refute the counter points to his enviro-nonsense, his argument devolves into labeling me a conspiracy theorist.
        Here’s a proposal: Since jai mitchell is so big on referendum voting, I would love to have a vote of the state’s citizens for building more hydroelectric power plants. The enviro crowd can use the same arguments they used to finally shut down the Auburn dam, and see how that works.
        We need more water storage, and we need cheap electricity. How about we leave it up to the voters? Or does the unelected enviro contingent think they know better?

      • 3. It means that if you developed ALL of the potential hydro generation sources,, you know the ones that are not cost effective, then that additional power generation would STILL be less than what California generates by solar power between the hours of 11:00 AM and 3:00PM on most days.
        5. During these hours the average total solar power generation in California is 44GWh of electrical power generation, in addition, about 1/2 of this is distributed generation and does not experience significant line losses so the equivalent grid-scale generation is 45.8 GWh over 4 hours every day, This averages to 11.5 GW of generation capacity
        The average nuclear power plant produces about 1 GW of generation capacity so, during those peak hours the u.s. solar power generation is actually about 11.5 operating nuclear power plant equivalents.
        California solar generation current 5,600 MW Utility + ~5,400MW rooftop solar
        http://www.caiso.com/outlook/SystemStatus.html
        Average U.S. Nuclear power plant size
        https://gigaom.com/2010/02/19/nuclear-power-by-the-numbers/

      • jai mitchell, you keep trying. That’s gotta leave a mark.
        OK, then:
        3. … if you developed ALL of the potential hydro generation sources,, you know the ones that are not cost effective, then that additional power generation would STILL be less than what California generates by solar power…
        As I explained, that’s nuts.
        4. …the u.s. solar power generation is actually about 11.5 operating nuclear power plant equivalents.
        Nutso.
        Look, I’m sorry about answering the numbers-challenged like that. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you are claiming that current solar power generation in California is greater than “ALL” existing and potential hydroelectric power sources and nuclear plants??
        That’s just crazy talk.

    • What exactly is a hybrid ROW? A hybrid rest of the world? Rotten old wind? Real old women? Replacement other world? Regulated ownership wonder? Regular old winds? Rind on water?

    • SC24 will be on down-slope soon, nothing much can be done for next couple of years, in case there is a ‘brutal ‘ CMEs (since they are more frequent in the second half), but this cycle isn’t meant to be the violent one anyway (see graph below).
      ODD coincidences of EVEN cycles
      1859 Carrington Event was at the top of SC10 (SSN=106), the even cycle, of course.
      Notable (but strongly disputed) statement from the NASA’s press release:
      Raeder explains: “We’re entering Solar Cycle 24. For reasons not fully understood, CMEs in even-numbered solar cycles (like 24) tend to hit Earth with a leading edge that is magnetized north. Such a CME should open a breach and load the magnetosphere with plasma just before the storm gets underway. It’s the perfect sequence for a really big event.”
      Raeder jumped the gun there, since it appears that only the every third even cycle forces strong shudders, or that is just another odd coincidence.
      According to this, such ‘odd coincidence’ is due around peak time of SC26 (perhaps somewhere towards late 2030s) if SC26 happens at all.
      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AMOa1.gif
      so advice to US West’s Power grid could be: just carry on as usual, for now that is, and leave it to next generation of the management to worry about it.

      • Raeder explains: “We’re entering Solar Cycle 24. For reasons not fully understood, CMEs in even-numbered solar cycles (like 24) tend to hit Earth with a leading edge that is magnetized north.
        I keep repeating that nonsense. I have shown you that the claim does not hold., but , as usual, you don’t learn.

      • Hi doc
        You might like to make a small correction to your first sentence (….. that’s ….)
        The end of the next one ‘you don’t learn’ is spot on. Learning is for youngsters, understanding comes from DIY. I find something of interest, get the data, put it through the Vuk’s ‘mangle’ and see what ELSE might be concealed in there.

      • Vuk,
        My birth month is early March. Can you put that through Vuk’s ‘mangle’ and see what might be concealed from me? Does the alignment of various planets affect that as well?
        What is that branch of “study” called again?

      • The problem for science is it makes no a priori predictions. Everything is post hoc.

      • About the data:
        Anyone can do it, just needs lot of time and effort, nothing clever about that.
        I tend to think it is something to do with postglacial isostatic rebound.
        Fairbridge (?) came to similar conclusion but I couldn’t find his article, anyone has a link?
        Graph shows amplitude (output of a high pass filter) of number of pulses at relatively regular occurrence, separated by 48, 66, 67, 53 and 63, giving an average period of 59.4 years. Although the well-known 60 year period evidently is not present, the average value of nearly 60 years is noteworthy. To exclude filter’s end effect, end is truncated by 20 years.
        As I said in the original post you could consider it to be:
        a) – coincidence or
        b) – cause and consequence serious of events
        c) – I made up whole thing
        to find out which one is true following is required
        a) – statistical assessment of probability (I am not good with statistics)
        b) – solid scientifically validated proof ( I can not do that)
        c) – well it could be possible but I don’t think I am that clever either.
        If any of the experts think I could assemble such numbers, I am sure there are methods to find some pattern which would indicate data maladjustment, not so rare these days, here is link to the numbers
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/FOAD.txt
        @ joelobryan
        Hi Mr Bryan
        I am absolutely certain that your date of birth, was the greatest event of your life, and I wish you many happy returns!
        Many cranks of the past and present age have turned to insulting the name of science of astronomers (astro-nomy relates just to naming stars), it is just not fair, don’t you marvel at Hubble telescope images, the pinnacle of the astrology or you wish the astro-science.

      • I came across this reference:
        Claude Hillaire-Marcel and Rhodes W. Fairbridge
        “Ages were obtained from corrected radiocarbon analyses of shells and from application of a newly discovered 45-yr cycle in beach building that is presumed to be related to the “double Hale” solar cycle. Thus, we deduced a record of climatic storminess.”

  2. Obviously there are some that really believe that the impact of very significant long term investment decisions can be reversed with the blink of an eye. One would suspect that without equivalent on-line conventional capacity being available Ca is about to enter the black-out zone aka experiencing the no-water zone thanks to ill-informed choices made a few decades ago. Unfortunately, if Ca is the bread basket of the US as some would suggest, then we will all suffer thanks to their “moon beam politics”.

    • ‘ … if Ca is the bread basket of the US as some would suggest …’
      Maybe not …
      http://www.beachcalifornia.com/california-food-facts.html
      ‘Nationally, products exclusively grown (99% or more) in California include almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, raisins, clovers, and walnuts.
      From 70 to 80% of all ripe olives are grown in California.
      California is the nation’s leading producer of strawberries’
      it is the #1 dairy state. So, if push come to shove, one or more almighty cattle drives Eastward and all that’s left is some minor fruits and nuts.
      I will miss pistachios and I’ll have to get used to olive less Martinis but that’s it.
      There’s a large number of States that could look forward to expanded Agribusiness I’d say.’

    • Last I heard, they’re still dumping thousands of acre feet of fresh water to protect the Delta Smelt. And claiming a water shortage. I “smelt” a rat.

      • The only place any water dumping is going on is into the canal that pumps it down an evaporating canal path to the desert golf courses in southern California.
        The Delta smelt actually lives where there IS water; not in some place where water is being pumped to.
        It is the people who live in the desert communities of soCal, who have made a free choice to live in a place that historically has not had water to support the lives of those who chose to live there.
        Yes maybe they were sold a bill of goods; but why blame their problem on a fish, which has no part in their problem.
        You might want to ask the people who live in northern California if it is ok with them to have their water taken away to fight a losing battle with those who have no common sense.
        And no I have never laid eyes on a delta smelt; but I suspect that they might provide food for other fishes that are part of another important California industry; its fisheries, which are far more valuable than so. Cal desert golf courses.
        As for California being America’s food basket (maybe it is); the agricultural industry in California as far as crop growing is only 2% of the State’s gross National product; yet The governor has allotted 80% of all the water in the state to that 2% industry.
        But it is illegal for a restaurant to give a customer a glass of water to drink, unless (s)he specifically asks for it. And he enforces his tyrannical dictates by threatening $10,000 per day fines, for those who don’t kowtow to his wishes.
        Blaming California drought on a delta smelt is on a par with blaming CO2 for climate change.
        Just my opinion of course.
        And no; my front lawn has still not received any water this year other than what falls directly on it from the sky, where it went to positively feedback CO2 initiated global warming.

  3. The far-left extremists are all about deindustrialization and the destruction of as much technical industrial knowledge as possible. This is not a new phenomena. During the 60s the far-left talked about, among other things, “killing all the engineers” to force deindustrialization and the destruction of modern society. The far-left nuts today are the same as then. The only rational response is to resist them at all hazard, because their ultimate success would result in a new dark age of poverty, starvation and mass depopulation.

    • > The far-left extremists are all about deindustrialization and the destruction of as much technical industrial knowledge as possible.
      Well – sure – and if there’s an app for tracking that deindustrialization all the better… that way Geology and History deniers can keep track of how much CO2 is being dumped into the atmosphere… instantly… on their exotic material electronics powered by highly corrosive chemistry all encased in a petroleum based package that emits high frequency EMF at less than 2 feet from their cerebral cortex… I wonder if any of them understand the irony? Bet not.

  4. like 99.9% of these studies they never address the actual likelihood of serious global warming. Only the effects that COULD happen if it occurs. So conveniently, when the whole AGW scam falls apart they can’t be blamed for anything.
    This is what led me to the conclusions that AGW was nothing but a scam. Lots of cool pics and videos about the possible consequences of AGW but almost nothing about the lack of data proving it.

  5. In California, the fruit and nut state, the environmentalist and preparing a ballot initiative to drain the Hetch Hetchy reservoir — the source of most of the drinking water for the SF bay area. They state that there are many sustainable alternatives and that we don’t need the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. But if you dig deeper, their “sustainable” alternatives are things like rain water barrels on people’s houses. At some point, we will need to put Homo Sapiens on the endanger species list, otherwise, we will all surely perish at the hands of environmentalist extremists.

    • I hope they do drain Hetch Hetchy. Don’t remove the dam though. Let the Bay area extremists pretend to try to be sustainable. It wouldn’t be long before they beg to fill the reservoir again.

    • It is probably illegal in California to capture the water that lands on the roof of your house or other places in your yard, for your own use. The water thieves claim that it has to fall on the ground, just like it always has done, and only the government can supply water to humans and other animals, or plants.

  6. So, we waste our time fretting about the weather’s impact on the infrastructure and ignore the need to protect it against geomagnetic (Carrington) storms. I guess that’s typical.

  7. We are looking at five technologies, hydroelectric, steam, wind and combustion turbines, and photovoltiacs,” Chester said. We’re finding that some power generation technologies can be more climate-resilient than others. Renewable energy sources are generally less susceptible to climate change impacts. So more use of renewable sources may contribute to a better climate-proofed power infrastructure.

    So how are renewable energy sources like hydroelectric, wind, and solar more climate-resilient and “less susceptible to climate change impacts”? How are they more “climate-proofed” than coal or other fossil fuels? Wouldn’t a drought have a big impact on hydroelectric power? Wouldn’t excessive rain and cloudiness impact solar? You would have to have quite an imagination to believe that the impacts of a little extra CO2 outweigh the unreliable properties of renewable energy sources available today.

    • Nuclear reactors are very sensative to 0.01C temp variations. Coal fires can barely breath with all the CO2 in the air. Hydro will be useless as we must let reserves out to save the guppies.

      • Winnipeg Boy – spot on. Those coal and natural gas burners are at the whim of the least bit of weather. But solar PV, those things work day and night!

    • I had the same thoughts as I read the above posted article by AW. I thought, “They have got everything backwards.”
      Think about it, it’s how they Progressive-enviros need to invert everything to justify their lies.
      There is much talk lately about Lake Mead water levels hitting dead-pool level where Hoover dam power generation is longer possible, due to the on-going Western Rockie’s lack of snowfall. That’s just up the road from ASU. So they have to realize that from that perspective, their proposal is idiotic.
      But then I realized what they are really trying to say, but in a cryptic way.

      Renewable energy sources are generally less susceptible to climate change impacts.

      I think what they are saying is that when human-decided (arbitrary) Climate Change-related CO2 emission caps are enforced (if they are enforced), then lower carbon renewables will be less impacted..

  8. Orange County is discussing the issue of using reverse osmosis of ocean water and making their own drinking water.

  9. The south-western US is a fierce desert and large-scale human habitation has only been possible because of air-conditioning which is run primary with electricity. Government meddling in the provision of this resource at market rates is precipitating a self-imposed crisis.

    • The absence of water in that south western desert would warn most sane people to not try to live there.
      Antarctica has oodles of water; but it has its own reasons why sane people should not try to live there.
      There’s an old cowboy song about a scrawny dog that is just sitting and howling up a storm.
      The reason it is howlin’ is because it is sitting on a thorn; and it’s too darn lazy to move.

  10. “Expected increases in extreme heat and drought events will bring changes in precipitation, air and water temperatures, air density and humidity, write Matthew Bartos and Mikhail Chester in the current issue of the research journal Nature Climate Change.”
    So they ae “expecting” this based upon what? AGW Models who have yet to make a single skillful pediction?

    • Yeah, the AGW models that show warming will consist primarily of warmer nights, not hotter days. The daily high is resistant to moving towards higher figures, since it’s already strongly opposed by T⁴ heat losses. The daily low, not as much. This whole paper is based on woo-woo science.

  11. Lot’s of silliness all round if you ask me.
    1. There is not one single reason to believe that climate change will result in significantly drier or warmer weather in the Southwest. On the other hand, it quite possible that the last century or two hasn’t shown us the driest and hottest weather that could afflict the Southwest. So perhaps the authors are correct even if for the wrong reasons.
    2. There won’t be any significant new hydro in California for the simple reason that there is pretty much nothing left to dam. And btw, the environmentalists are right that large hydro dams are environmental nightmares. Curious that they have only recently noticed it. (The same is probably true of tidal power BTW).
    3. After Fukushima, no one is going to build a nuclear power plant of current design in California. The place is a maze of active and possibly active earthquake faults. At the moment we can’t even map them all. Some folks here may think that’s silly. It is nonetheless reality. Go off and design a nuclear plant that Tepco or Entergy couldn’t turn into a disaster and maybe you’re at the start of a two decade licensing procedure. I’m pretty much pro-nuclear btw, but The US “leadership” in both political parties has failed to design and proof a reactor that is suitable for tectonically active regions much less for management by fools. I personally think that such a design is a must for nuclear power anywhere along the Pacific Rim of Fire.
    4. Likewise, given evidence that fracking can trigger earthquakes it’s quite unlikely that anyone will attempt hydraulic fracturing anywhere in California. They’d eventually be sued for every broken wineglass and cracked doorstep within 1000km of the well. (Some of the lawsuits might actually have merit).
    5. There’s essentially no coal in California, and it’s probably cheaper to import natural gas than coal. In any case, the state’s topography and the prevailing Westerly winds pretty much rule out coal burning in most of the state. No new coal powered plants won;t likely be an issue there. They can’t buy coal generated electricity?. If/when the choice comes down to coal generated juice or no juice, I’ll bet on coal
    6. And finally, for some reason, the California energy plan reminds me of nothing so much as the Bush administration “Plan” for the reconstruction of Iraq. (“pasting feathers together hoping for a duck”). The product of impractical ideologues batting ideas around. I suppose that there is some small chance that it might work and an equally small chance that it may be rescued by some cheap, effective method of matching intermittent power sources (wind/solar) to mismatched loads. Other than that, it looks to me like a recipe for expensive and probably unreliable electric power.

    • Last time we had blackouts and brownouts part of the “fix” was gas turbines close to demand and some giant fuel cell in Santa Clara IIRC. That, and buying loads of out of State power from Arizona and Texas… and Enron… So just build the nukes there…

    • If having an earthquake within 100 miles of a fracking site is “evidence”, then there is evidence that fracking causes earthquakes.

  12. The bigger threat is from Russian teams ordered to test the grid choke points in the U.S. with high powered rifles. See sniper attack on Metcalf transmission substation serving Silicon Valley. That was related to the internet hacking assaults in DC. Putin sends subtle notes that get ignored in the all the AGW noise.

  13. Author of the linked story “At the mercy of the climate jihadist” got one glaring fact wrong. Oregon’s governor is no longer embroiled in a green scandal, he had to step down because of that scandal.

  14. ASU has a School of Sustainability. You’ve got to be kidding me. More nonsense from the progressive academic Tower of Babel.

  15. Hopefully the original is better and the excerpt added some dubious misunderstandings. One can only speculate that if the humidity and precipitation in Arizona increase to levels that match say the southeastern US, perhaps Arizona will see similar effects. What do they think that is?????? Facilities last a long time in the southeast US. There is some extra corrosion in high humidity salty coastal areas, but that would not seem to translate to a high humidity rainy Southwest. I can’t imagine why on the whole it would not impact solar arrays and wind facilities more than traditional lines, transformers and plants. I await any evidence for the concerns expressed above.

  16. Bartos is a research scientist and Chester is an assistant professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering
    Maybe they need to get on their bikes and start pedaling.

  17. I recall articles here on WUWT, where climate models have predicted global warming will lead to a wetter and less windy climate. How exactly does that make renewables more resilient than hydrocarbons?

    • Stop thinking logically. To understand their rationale, one must start thinking like an irrational climate change believer if you want to understand their wacky proposals, and how they make sense to other CAGW believers.
      What they said:
      “Renewable energy sources are generally less susceptible to climate change impacts.”
      What they really mean to say:
      “Renewable energy sources are generally less susceptible to proposed wacky, arbitrary climate change-related CO2-reduction impacts.”

      • Or perhaps they’re really saying: “Renewable energy sources are such crap, they can’t get much crappier.”

  18. This looks like a back door effort to make the dramatic upgrades to the grid to accommodate the unreliable solar and wind energy and blame climate change.
    I would say it is a very weak,feeble attempt.

  19. @ Don K……
    Why are you still living in that scewed up state?
    Up to me I would turn off all the power plants that do not use solar or hydro or wind and see how the local Starbucks does.
    Gums sends…

    • Left decades ago. Too damn many people and taxation policies that make housing prices unaffordable while causing taxes/fees other than property tax to rise to absurd levels.
      Besides, I kind of like snow.

  20. Faux scientists with their faux science showing faux concern for the future of the electric grid. How refreshing.

  21. They want to strengthen the grid and do a modest build-out ot accomodate future growth. OK, I will go along with that, with one additional requirement. At the same time, the grid gets hardened against EMP attack. Note that EMP hardening also works against CMEs and Carrington events.
    We could do the right thing by doing what the Greenies say they want, and at the same time throw the hidden Greenie agenda overboard. What FUN.
    Yikes: the ENSO meter just bumped up again.

  22. “Renewable energy sources are generally less susceptible to climate change impacts.”
    At first I thought that was the most brain dead, nonsensical thing I’ve ever read. But, a tingling bell has sounded off in my head, and I now recognize the wisdom in that statement. It’s entirely true. Let’s think about this. Let’s say a massive earthquake occurs and 50% of California’s nuclear, natural gas, and hydro plants are utterly destroyed. Voila, a crippling, blackout inducing calamity due to a 50% reduction in electrical generation. Now, let’s throw the solar and wind generators into the mix when this massive earthquake occurs, and let’s assume that 50% of them are wiped out too. But, now the calamitous reduction in electrical generating capacity has only fallen from 50% to 50.0001%: a virtually undetectable difference. You see, since the renewables don’t produce diddly squat in the way of power generation anyway, a disaster visited upon them will have almost no effect. It’s like teaching a rock to think. Since the rock is highly unlikely to tell you what it’s learned you can never fault the rock for forgetting it’s lessons. Since renewables can never cut the grade they can also never fail. True brilliance is at work here.

    • The only adjustment the grid needs is the adaption to support a higher electricity demand.
      Same goes for the water reserves.
      If your population grows three fold maybe it would be a good idea to increase the storage and retention capacity to serve a growing population.
      Talking about man made crises….
      Stupidity and plain traitors among the central planners is a political problem.
      Just kick the morons out.

    • I completely agree with Big Joe Bastardi. The next two summers with this nice ElNino are going to make for Garden of Eden summers (15 &16). But 2017 and on, watch out for the cold dry bitch that is coming!!

  23. Don K says:
    2. There won’t be any significant new hydro in California for the simple reason that there is pretty much nothing left to dam. And btw, the environmentalists are right that large hydro dams are environmental nightmares.
    The enviro contingent managed to stop the Auburn dam as it neared completion. It would have almost doubled the state’s water storage capacity, and it would have provided cheap electricity. More than $1 billion had been spent on building it. Now it’s just an abandoned structure.
    As for dams being ‘nightmares’, that is an opinion. The state needs the water. What do you propose?
    California has almost doubled its population, with no new water supplies. Many millions of illegal aliens are in the state, and they all need water. But try to find any enviro group with reasonable suggestions. They are all naysayers, every one of them. And they call us contrarians!
    There is enough water in California. If water pricing were used properly, everyone could get a very inexpensive allotment to meet basic needs. Then the price would go up as more water is used, until supply and demand balanced. But as usual, there’s politics. Farmers are pitted against city dwellers, people against minnows. There’s enough water. But they have to use economics. And common sense. The minnows have to take a back seat to peoples’ needs.

    • db,
      I love your work, but your facts are suspect here. At 2.3 million acre feet Auburn Dam would have held only about half of the 4.5 million acre feet capacity of Shasta Dam, the largest in the state. We are dumping way too many acre feet of water down the rivers for the fish, though. Crazy. Every species of anadromous fish currently in the rivers has survived far worse historic droughts. I’m sure that using the water wisely and saving some even for next year is survivable as well.
      pbh

    • The enviro contingent managed to stop the Auburn dam as it neared completion. It would have almost doubled the state’s water storage capacity, and it would have provided cheap electricity. More than $1 billion had been spent on building it. Now it’s just an abandoned structure.

      You’re suggesting that the water it would have held somehow made its way to the sea. For the most part, I don’t think that’s the case. If it were, the Delta Smelt wouldn’t need salvation, right?

      As for dams being ‘nightmares’, that is an opinion. The state needs the water.

      Yes it’s an opinion. Do you think it is incorrect?

      What do you propose?

      Well, you could straighten out California’s water rights laws, but I really think that may not be humanly possible at this point. Too many people “entitled” to more water than there is or can be some years. The lawsuits probably wouldn’t be settled in this century.
      I don’t have an answer other than the obvious — if people want to live in a desert — which much of the state is, they probably ought to make proper accommodations — which means stretching water as far as it will go, cisterns, reusing “waste” water for ilandscaping, etc, etc,etc.
      But I think the underlying problem — too many people in a region with limited carrying capacity — is solving itself. I was born and raised in SoCal, have lived in many other parts of the country. Frankly, the quality of life is higher in many other regions. Once folks figure that out, I think many of California’s problems will solve themselves. But that doesn’t address the very real problem of getting reliable, reasonably affordable electricity to those who choose to remain there.

      • Don K,
        I personally don’t think another dam is an “environmental nightmare”. Where do we draw the line? Who draws the line? The fact is that we need more water. Dams provide water.
        As for the line-drawing, I reject the idea of rearranging civilization for a snail darter minnow. Your mileage may vary.
        ++++++++++++++++++++++++
        McComberBoy, you’re right. “Almost” was the wrong word. “Substantially” would have been better. Thanks for pointing it out.

    • “Many millions of illegal aliens are in the state, and they all need water”
      and their pet chihuahuas, don’t forget.
      no need to be thrifty with racism, yo.

      • @gnomish: don’t you think you’ve overused the bogus “racism” pejorative until it is meaningless name-calling? You sound like Al Sharpton …yo.
        What is it about illegal that you can’t understand?

      • Oo-oo-oo … I can answer that!
        He does understand ‘illegal’. But he thinks that national sovereignty is an anachronism, as is the Constitution and rule-of-law. So, to him, illegal immigration is a plus because it helps to speed up the dissolution of the evil United States.
        “Racism” is just verbal mayonnaise slathered on everything to help force down your throat his otherwise unpalatable logic.
        (How did I do?)

      • max, your master can bark for himself so why don’t you go fetch his slippers? that’s what I think.
        i’m interest in db’s logic in attributing california drought to millions of aliens.
        does illegality make an alien even thirstier than usual?

      • Aren’t you being a little ruff?
        I fail to see where dbstealey attributed the drought to illegals. You are erecting a strawman. All he did was point out that millions of illegals increase the demand for a resource — water.
        Speaking as someone who became a US citizen THE LEGAL WAY, I can’t find racism in his comment with a microscope. There are rules and regulations about who can enter the US. There are millions of people waiting in line, all doing it the proper way. Millions of others ‘cut in line.’ Is that fair? Is that legal? Does a nation not have the right to control its borders without being deemed as racist? What are you seeing that I don’t see?
        And gnomish, you are more than welcome to say whether my characterization of your position is correct or incorrect. I even asked you if I got it right.

      • Pointing out that somebody is in the country illegally is racist?
        One thing I’ve learned about leftists, whatever they accuse others of doing or being, they are guilty of themselves.
        As someone else said, if you want to know what the Democrats are doing, just check what they are accusing Republicans of.

  24. Big News from the GWPF
    UK Energy Minister Announces Law Against Wind Farms, Kick-Start To Shale Revolution
    The Sunday Times, 17 May 2015 (excerpt)
    Tim Shipman
    Local residents will be able to block all future onshore wind farms under new measures to be fast-tracked into law, the new energy secretary has announced. “It will mean no more onshore wind farm subsidies and no more onshore wind farms without local community support.”
    Amber Rudd revealed she had “put a rocket” under her officials to “put the local community back in charge” of their own neighbourhoods.
    In an interview with The Sunday Times she also said the Tory government would kick-start a shale gas revolution and loosen rules so it could be extracted from under national parks.
    No subsidies will be paid to operators of new onshore wind turbines under legislation to be included in the Queen’s speech. The legislation, which Rudd is “hopeful” will be law by the middle of next year, will ensure that consent for new wind farms will have to be given by a local council planning authority, which will be duty-bound to consult residents. Under current planning rules, big onshore wind farms are handled by a central government national infrastructure body that can ignore the wishes of local people.
    Rudd said: “It will mean no more onshore wind farm subsidies and no more onshore wind farms without local community support.
    “This is really important. I’ve already got my team working on it. That’s going to be one of the first things we’re going to do. I’ve put a rocket under the team to get it done, putting the local community back in charge. We’re looking to do the primary legislation as soon as we can. Local planning authorities combined with no new subsidies will put local people in charge . . . there will be a much more accountable democratic process.”
    The 4,000 existing onshore wind turbines produce power for 4m homes. They will remain and 3,000 more with planning permission will be completed, providing power to an extra 3m homes by 2020.
    Rudd said she did not personally “think they’re an eyesore at all. I personally quite enjoy seeing them.” But she added: “We can’t have them on a scale in areas where people don’t want them.”
    She added: “We can’t aim for having the perfect green community while irritating and upsetting local communities.”
    Rudd was a beneficiary of the departure from the government of the Liberal Democrats, who used to run her department. She said the main difference now that there was a Conservative majority would be to press ahead with shale gas extraction.
    Rudd said that while her predecessor, Ed Davey, “was committed to shale”, he “struggled to bring some members of his party with him. Quite a number of them appeared to be completely anti-shale. With a Conservative majority I believe we’ll be able to deliver shale, as we’ve always wanted to do, in a safe but beneficial way.”
    Full story (subscription required)

  25. The 43.5 % above the national average is a lot, but its actually far more.
    If one removes California and a few other states (or even just Ca) then its more like double the average of the rest of the country. And rising fast.
    It is very close right now to the diesel limit – the point at which its cheaper to just run a genset in the yard. If yu have natural gas and a need for heat (say a pool, etc) – its already past. Its cheaper to burn fossil fuel than to plugin in to the California grid.

  26. After reading this:

    “We’re finding that some power generation technologies can be more climate-resilient than others. Renewable energy sources are generally less susceptible to climate change impacts. So more use of renewable sources may contribute to a better climate-proofed power infrastructure,”

    I said to myself these guys can’t be electrical engineers. I was right Bartos and Chester are civil engineers.

  27. KCET News, May 1, 2013
    “Uh Oh: Valley Fever Outbreak Linked to Solar Development”
    Workers at a solar development became infected with Valley fever which is a lung infection caused by soil fungus spores. A causal link has been established. The CDC keeps track of this disease.
    This disease affects five southwestern states that have arid or semi-arid climates. When the desert flora is removed to install wind and solar facilities these fungus spores can then be picked by the wind.
    Visitors and residents have been warned about this increasing danger. Cats and dogs can also become infected.
    What will be the ultimate human cost for installing renewable energy in the southwestern desert areas? Just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be done.
    There is more information on this situation online.
    http://www.kcet.org/news/redefine/rewire/solar/solar-development-linked-to-valley-fever-outbreak.html

  28. the average household electric bill in California is $90.19
    The cost of energy to the householder arises by 2 actions. Raising of prices and reduction of use. It is therefore not a good indicator of an efficient system.

  29. Renewable energy sources are generally less susceptible to climate change impacts. So more use of renewable sources may contribute to a better climate-proofed power infrastructure,” he said.

    What a daydreamer. No solar radiation during half of the day. Wind is unpredictable. Wind turbines work under special conditions only. They KILL birds. They are heavily subsidized. No reasonable storage for harvested energy when available in abundance. Fossile fuelled back-up systems necessary in any case.
    Oh dear oh dear oh dear, did that man have a clown for breakfast?

    • I forgot to mention that it is much more important to
      harden the power grid against the fatal influence of magnetic storms
      resulting from solar winds. Such an incident might cause blackouts on all continents and it will take, worst case, years to recover from that. So, gentlemen, go and get the solution for the real problems. You are currently delivering non-solutions to a non-problem!

  30. The massive Green lobby wants to put the same constrains on South Asia, Africa and South America as on California; no nuclear, no hydro, no coal, no fracking just wind and solar. They basically want to keep us in the dark ages with unreliable energy supply. Their promised huge Western- Japanese funds are not showing up but that obviously doesn´t bother them as it doesn´t affect them. Even a fail as Socialists.

  31. They never take NO for an answer! Too much money to be made from installing renewable projects all down through the “food chain” that has been created.

  32. Isn’t it funny how the very things Warmunists loudly claim to be concerned with – the environment, poor people, jobs, etc., and now, the electric grid, are the very same things that their policies actually threaten.

  33. Excellent article Mr. Kotrin in the Orange County Register.
    California’s CO2 emissions reduction program is a fiasco which is costing the states citizens billions of dollars in cap and trade taxes, renewable energy subsidizes, higher electricity costs and massive and costly regulations placed upon all businesses.
    California’s CO2 emissions are trivial on a global scale and the costly and badly misguided initiatives here to reduce the states already insignificant CO2 emissions are simply ignored by the rest of the world.
    This reality is clearly demonstrated by the links to articles listed below which address the global picture of huge future energy growth demand, the undeniable role coal fuel plays and will continue to play in energy supply and the clearly articulated position of China and India that they will not agree to any binding future CO2 emissions reductions and in fact will significantly increase future CO2 emissions.
    http://www.thegwpf.com/reality-check-global-energy-demand-to-increase-by-40/
    http://www.thegwpf.com/global-coal-demand-to-rise-for-years-to-come/
    http://rbth.com/business/2014/09/29/russia_china_agree_to_develop_siberian_c
    oal_40187.html
    http://www.thegwpf.com/as-u-s-shutters-coal-plants-china-and-japan-are-build
    ing-them/
    http://www.thegwpf.com/india-to-open-40-50-new-coal-mines-in-next-18-months/
    http://www.thegwpf.com/india-wont-sign-any-legally-binding-climate-agreement
    /
    http://www.thegwpf.com/india-china-agree-that-un-climate-agreement-will-mean
    -business-as-usual/
    Governor Brown’s preoccupation with his ideological make believe world of CO2 emissions reductions is wasting vast state resources on efforts that will produce nothing of value here or globally. These critical and limited resources should instead be used to address genuine and significant problems in the state including water supply issues, out of control educational costs, statewide infrastructure decay, limited medical services, etc.
    We are paying a very high price in California to indulge the ridiculous and selfish beliefs of Governor Brown which are in fact completely disconnected from real world reality.

    • But wait a minute! I just read in Jai Mitchell’s post that there is a $40 billion surplus, so there is PLENTY of money for those problems! There is a $40 billion surplus right? Sort of Like Bill Clinton’s surplus where you move 400 billion off budget and out into contracting, thus there is a surplus in the budget, though a deficit in spending.

  34. “Renewable energy sources are generally less susceptible to climate change impacts. So more use of renewable sources may contribute to a better climate-proofed power infrastructure,” he said.”
    Does he live in Colorado and has smoked too much?
    Most renewables if not all, are dependent on weather, except geothermal, and even that is dependent of cooling water. For every kWh of elektricity, you need to evaporate a gallon of water.
    That is one of the constraints for solar plants in desserts, even with enough sunshine.
    Gasturbines might be the only ones not dependent on climate/weather.

  35. This is called an advanced defense mechanism. Since warmist policies are bound to kill the electrical grid, they need to set the groundwork for their alibi – read ‘someone to blame’ – in advance. Ergo: Climate Change did it.
    It’s the sort of thing criminals do.

  36. California is well on it’s way to becoming an elite Environmental Disneyland… a nice place to visit but who in their right mind wants to live or work there?

  37. George E Smith (I think) said –
    “As for California being America’s food basket (maybe it is); the agricultural industry in California as far as crop growing is only 2% of the State’s gross National product; yet The governor has allotted 80% of all the water in the state to that 2% industry.”
    The chances are if you look into who paid for the canals and sluiceways that bring the Colorado River water to California, you will find that the bulk of the money not put up the federal government was put up by the agricultural industry, just like it was here in Arizona. Then people move to the cities that didn’t help fund the project and complain when any water is given to agriculture, figuring it should be theirs to grow grass and ornamental fruit trees with instead. Pretty standard procedure really – see yourself as the one that should have the resource, not necessarily the ones that paid for it.

  38. They sell “sustainable power” without saying who has to pay the bill or what it will cost in real life ….but it sounds good.
    Why does this bring to mind “The Pied Piper”? Maybe the rats in the story? Maybe people didn’t realize what the risk really was? “Sustainable Energy” is a pipe dream that only looks good depending on what you (or your parents) have put in the pipe?
    Time to clear the air and get rid of the smoke and mirrors!
    (Maybe those who live in a desert area and complain about not having enough water should move to New Orleans. The next time it floods they can still blame it on “Climate Change”…or Bush.)

  39. The biggest threat to the electricity grid comes from government policy to shut down fossil fuel energy power stations that produce cheap, efficient, effective, regular and reliable electricity in favour of having renewable energy technology responsible for costly, inefficient, ineffective, irregular and unreliable electricity

Comments are closed.