‘Gaps’ In Renewable Energy Led To Blackouts For Millions Of Californians, Gov Newsom Says

From The Daily Caller

Daily Caller News Foundation

Chris White Tech Reporter August 17, 2020 8:57 PM ET

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that the state’s transition away from fossil fuels is a contributing factor to the state’s rolling blackouts.

The elimination of fossil fuel products as a major form of energy production and the shift to solar power and other forms of green energy has led to what Newsom called “gaps” in the energy grid’s reliability, the Democratic governor said during a press conference Monday.

Newsom addressed the sudden loss of power many Californians experienced Saturday and Sunday during high temperatures.

“We are not backing off on that commitment,” Newsom said, referring to California’s push to transition away from oil and gas.

“In the process of the transition, in the process of shutting down, understandably, the desire and need to shut down polluting gas plants … comes the need to have more insurance, comes the need to recognize that there have been — by definition, demonstrably, in the last few days and what we expect over the next few days — gaps in terms of that reliability,” Newsom said.

The state’s energy system operator — California Independent System Operator (CAISO) — issued a Stage 3 emergency for the first time in 20 years, per a press statement CAISO posted Friday. Many citizens were required to conserve as much energy as possible while others were subject to rotating power outages due to heavy strain on the energy grid, CNN reported Monday.

“Collectively, energy regulators failed to anticipate this event and to take necessary actions to ensure reliable power to Californians,” Newsom wrote in a letter Monday to CAISO, CNN reported. “This cannot stand.” (RELATED: Here’s How State Regulators Played A Role In California’s Rolling Blackouts, Wildfires)

CAISO attributed the blackouts to the unexpected loss of a 470 megawatt power plant, as well as a loss of nearly 1,000 megawatts from wind power. The nonprofit’s emergency order allowed utilities to use backup energy to relieve pressure on a grid that relies primarily on a mixture of wind and solar power, along with hydro power.https://aff529feed2f91a49f5b59a2778570f0.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

“Near certain we’ll be forced to ask the utilities to cut off power to millions today to balance supply and demand. Today and tomorrow and perhaps beyond,” Steve Berberich, president and CEO of CAISO, said in a statement Monday before noting that the nonprofit corporation has repeatedly warned of a reliability gap and that the state will have to increase energy production.

Newsom said Monday that the transition from fossil fuels is a “moral and ethical imperative as it relates to the kind of world we’re going to leave, the kind of state and nation we’re going to leave for our kids and grandkids.”

Sierra Club and other activists met informally with Newsom’s administration in 2019 to discuss dramatically slashing the state’s oil production, The Los Angeles Times reported in April of that year.

“I’m taking a very pragmatic look at it, in scoping this,” Newsom told The LA Times in a 2019 interview. “It’s also an inclusive scoping because it includes people in the industry, that have jobs; communities that are impacted from an environmental justice prism but also from an economic justice prism.”

California has 72,000 oil wells and the oil industry supports 368,000 jobs in the Golden State, according to the Western States Petroleum Association.

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August 18, 2020 6:11 pm

Calling destroying and degrading nearly every aspect of modern existence ‘a moral and ethical imperative’ shows just how disconnected from reality these far left nut jobs have become. The moral and ethical imperative we face is to stop the abuse of science as the means of justifying a political agenda that can’t stand on its own merits.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 18, 2020 8:33 pm

Morality is an old-fashioned, inconvenient behavioral philosophy. With progress, we adopt the secular alternative, morality’s relativistic cousin “ethics”. Don’t harsh their mellow.

Pat Frank
Reply to  n.n
August 19, 2020 9:09 am

Morality isn’t a philosophy, n.n. It’s behavior that makes communitarians feel virtuous.

As it’s based in feelings, not philosophy, morality will countenance any extreme of behavior so long as it’s socially sanctioned.

An ethics based in Enlightenment Humanism is bounded, not relativistic.

Reply to  Pat Frank
August 19, 2020 12:25 pm

They’re are both philosophies, studies, and standards of human behavior. The difference is that morality is observed in a universal frame of reference, and ethics is frame-based and a relativistic standard. The Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic quasi-religion/moral/ethical code is a prototypical example of the latter.

Pat Frank
Reply to  n.n
August 19, 2020 9:43 pm

The Pro-Choice,…etc., etc.,. No it’s not an example of ethics. The pro-choice group violates Enlightenment humanism by denying the objective case for the humanity of a conceptus.

Pro-choice, etc., is a subjectivist narrative; an exegetical elaboration of opportunistic assumptions. It’s not even a philosophy. It starts with the desired conclusion and works backwards.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 19, 2020 4:46 am

I don’t spikka da ecohippie lingo. Can someone please ‘splain to this uninformed Midwesterner the meaning of “environmental justice”? Are the ecohippies including Hoomans in this, or is it only related to saving the trees for fire season fuels?

Just askin’. I like to be informed. 😉

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Sara
August 19, 2020 12:11 pm

Around here on the Mississippi, when an Asian Carp jumps in front of a water-skier and knocks him off his skis, we call that environmental justice.

Also, the biggest gap CA has to worry about is Gabbin’ Nuisance’s credibility gap.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
August 19, 2020 12:59 pm

Maybe the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) should be renamed Qalifornistan Unreliable Energy System Ogliarchy (QUESO) for their cheesy, south-of-the-border infrastructure.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Sara
August 19, 2020 4:19 pm

It means ‘we’re making up an excuse to screw you’.

Reply to  Sara
August 19, 2020 6:30 pm

Environmental justice is something Billy Joe Jom Bob Clinton came up with in an executive order in the late 90s. Basically, it is a complaint against free market economics and the fact that both poor people and heavy industries like to buy land cheap. That tends to put them close together and expose the poor people to the effects of living close to industrial facilities.

Roger Knights
Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 19, 2020 3:50 pm

“Newsom said Monday that the transition from fossil fuels is a “moral and ethical imperative as it relates to the kind of world we’re going to leave, the kind of state and nation we’re going to leave for our kids and grandkids.””

It’s not an imperative if it will have no effect on GLOBAL CO2 levels, which will keep rising relentlessly due to emissions from developing nations’ move increasing use of coal. The money spent on constructing Unreliable power sources too mitigate CO2 should instaed be spent on adating to the local effects of AGW.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 19, 2020 6:38 pm

He is not disconnected from reality. He is fulfilling the prime directive of progressiveism. The lower orders must be impoverished, humiliated, and demoralized. They must taste the lash and love it.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 19, 2020 6:38 pm

Newsom: ““…Collectively, energy regulators failed to anticipate this event and to take necessary actions to ensure reliable power to Californians,” Newsom wrote in a letter Monday”.

Yup, a good honest politician will immediately blame the agency he helped set up as soon as its impossible premise fails. Doesn’t matter that the relevant information was 9gW + .1gW = 10gW of demand. We can always by more electricity off the interconnectors when needed.

Unfortunately the BRILLIANT idea doesn’t work when the out of state supplies can stay at home taking care of business when needed. I am sure NONE of the contracts have a “must deliver” clause in them.

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  Philo
August 19, 2020 8:57 pm

It’s not the Governor’s fault, or his rubber stamp super majority Democrat legislature, that the electric power delivery system is a mess. It’s the regulator’s fault (doing what the legislature tells them to do), and the power companies fault (doing what the regulator’s tell them to do). The obvious solution is to abolish the regulator’s role and defund (bankrupt) the power and renewable generator companies. Follow the same progressive logic that says, when crime increases decrease crime prevention. State ownership and control of all generating capacity and the grid should be expected as the ultimate solution. Management will be by a newly formed organization that puts social and environmental justice ahead of corporate profits. Please note the absence of a /sarc. I’m serious.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Philo
August 19, 2020 9:08 pm

Wrong-o, Philo! There are schedules for even “economy energy” deliveries. CA utilities also contract for the output of specific generating plants. It is very complex, but supplies cannot be willy nilly cut off.

August 18, 2020 6:12 pm

It’s Green, not green. It’s Green technology, and green, renewable drivers. It’s a Green blight, and trampling green fields. It’s gaps in shine and angle, and gaps in viable wind gusts. It’s outsourced and obfuscated environmental hazards. A few missing links. #SaveTheBats

Gordon A. Dressler
August 18, 2020 6:12 pm

“In the process of the transition, in the process of shutting down, understandably, the desire and need to shut down polluting gas plants … comes the need to have more insurance, comes the need to recognize that there have been — by definition, demonstrably, in the last few days and what we expect over the next few days — gaps in terms of that reliability,” Newsom said.

“Stay away from run-on sentences,” my 7th grade English teacher said.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
August 18, 2020 7:01 pm

Gordon I have no idea what he is saying run 🏃 n sentence or not.

Juan Slayton
Reply to  Derg
August 18, 2020 7:56 pm

I’m not sure it’s really a run-on. There is a confusing array of noun phrases, verbal complements, and compound elements lacking explicit conjunctions, etc. But given the simple subjects ‘need’…’need’ and the main verbs ‘come’…’come’, I think it could be conventionally diagrammed. “Newsom said” left for the student to do as an exercise….

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Juan Slayton
August 18, 2020 9:45 pm

… left for the student:
Newsom said, what we have is a power system FUBAR.

Nick Graves
Reply to  Juan Slayton
August 19, 2020 12:45 am

It’s a word salad.

Reply to  Juan Slayton
August 19, 2020 1:31 am

Why not just settle for “inarticulate”?

Reply to  Derg
August 18, 2020 8:08 pm

That’s the point. He’s saying a lot of words, meaningless words with a virtuous tone to deflect the attention of nearly every clueless Kalifornian from the fact that he f’d up. He didn’t really say that did he. There are “gaps”, and missing “insurance”, not “Well, frankly we were told this would happen and we ignored the experts and listened to the idiots”.

What’s worse, he will STILL listen to the idiots.

Juan Slayton
Reply to  BobM
August 18, 2020 8:25 pm

Can’t disagree. : > )

George DeBusk
Reply to  Derg
August 19, 2020 5:59 am

Translation: “Yes, our green energy program is the reason you have no air conditioning in 100 degree weather.”

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
August 18, 2020 10:31 pm

He’s holding back from saying what he’s come to realize. There is a “gap” in ensuring adequate power. It’s a way of saying nothing bad about the pickle policy has created. Having gone too far in his critique, he is reassuring the green guys by saying he’s not backing off of getting rid of ‘polluting’ fuels, but an old poker player knows that’s what he is trying to stop himself from thinking.

All the Dem run states and cities are screwed up and politicians (normally) have a strong self preservation instinct, especially in a big big election year.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 19, 2020 1:15 am

Newsom’s decades politician-trained brain is tying to real-time filter and translate normal English thoughts into Liberal political-speak gibberish.
Breaking what he said down:

“In the process of the transition,” = In getting rid of fossil fueled power

” in the process of shutting down,” = and eliminating reliable baseload generation

“understandably,” = and obvious to a 3rd grader

” the desire and need to shut down polluting gas plants” = we are serving our GreenSlime masters by eliminating their investment’s competing resource

“comes the need to have more insurance” = we need also to cover our ass from public backlash

“comes the need to recognize that there have been by definition, demonstrably” = that is obvious to even a Democrat voter

“in the last few days and what we expect over the next few days” = last week and this week

” gaps in terms of that reliability” = because we failed to provide reliable electricity.

Putting it together in plain English now.
What he said:
“In getting rid of fossil fueled electricity and eliminating reliable baseload generation, and obvious to a 3rd grader, we are serving our GreenSlime masters by eliminating their investment’s competing resource… we need also to cover our ass from the public backlash that is obvious to even a Democrat voter last week and this week, because we failed to provide reliable electricity.”

More of what he said is translated as, “Yes, we eff’d up big time, but it’s not going to better ever, so suck it up California and get used it. We own your ass as long as you live in this state.”

Stacy Pearson
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 19, 2020 5:36 am

Joel that is the most excellent response ever!

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 19, 2020 6:07 am

Hillary was more efficient with slants and diversions by just blaming the deplorables and moving on.

Eric Eikenberry
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 19, 2020 9:39 am

“82 is the new 78, folks.” They will start billing extra for “peak power over a certain amount”, if you fail to reduce your usage. It’s never their fault; it’s always yours.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
August 19, 2020 8:23 am

“Based on our emotional & political desires, we have defined a need to shut down existing energy supplies. We are doing this because, again based on emotion, we have defined those energy sources as polluting. In following through with our desires, we have ignored the reasonable safety factor that should be associated with energy production & delivery. We have actually limited ourselves to such an extent that we can not even insure consistent, common, day to day service.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
August 19, 2020 12:32 pm

Having endured Newsom’s daily droning sessions for past 6 months, it’s become apparent to me – and to most news reporters too – that he deliberately spouts these pointless nonsense filled word salads to lull everyone to a drowsy daze, so that he can appear to be busily doing something while really doing nothing at all.

August 18, 2020 6:18 pm

” A gap in renewable energy”

The only gap is the gaping chasm between the governor’s eco-dreams and the realities of base load power.

Hopefully their high prices and reliability record –


will deter other states from blundering away their energy infrastructures.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  a_scientist
August 18, 2020 6:55 pm

Some swiss cheese lacunae in people’s brains as well.

Reply to  a_scientist
August 18, 2020 6:56 pm

“… there have been — by definition, demonstrably, in the last few days and what we expect over the next few days — gaps in terms of that reliability,” Newsom said.

We’ve been doing this stupid thing and that has caused gaps in terms of reliability. To ameliorate the situation we’re committed to doing way more of that stupid thing.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. link

Or, how about:

From the standpoint of the psychology of personal constructs we may define a disorder as any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation.

Newsome is insane and he isn’t the only one. The inmates are truly running the madhouse.

Reply to  commieBob
August 18, 2020 9:00 pm

The gap is between the ears of the of renewable energy Nazis.

Charles Higley
Reply to  a_scientist
August 18, 2020 7:09 pm

““Near certain we’ll be forced to ask the utilities to cut off power to millions today to balance supply and demand. Today and tomorrow and perhaps beyond,””

Cutting off the demand is not how you deal with Supply and Demand in the real world. It means you are Draconianly restructuring your supply and demand. Poof, problem solved, we just removed a huge chunk of the demand.

This is patent insanity and will cost lives, property, and livelihoods. Criminal in essence and performance.

Reply to  a_scientist
August 18, 2020 7:37 pm

+ 1k

Reply to  a_scientist
August 19, 2020 1:34 am

There is also the gaping chasm between his ears by the sound of it.

Planning Engineer
August 18, 2020 6:20 pm

The grid challenge is balancing economics, reliability and public responsibility. If California want to make a conscious choice to elevate public responsibility (as they see it -lowering CO2), that’s a legitimate goal. But it was a false promise/hope that they could achieve this without serious economic and reliability impacts. Those arguing green energy was cleaner, cheaper and better (Or only a little more costly with addressable reliability impacts) are the guilty parties in this travesty.

Reply to  Planning Engineer
August 19, 2020 4:44 am

Why is lowering CO2 a legitimate goal?

Planning Engineer
Reply to  Paul
August 19, 2020 7:34 am

It’s not a goal I endorse, but there are “legitimate” sources claiming that CO2 could have significant adverse effects.

The argument that green renewable could provide provide significant power to the grid with reliability at anything approaching an economic costs was a fantasy and those claiming it could either were dishonest, lacked expertise or were gravely deluded. Those claiming cost and reliability would not be significantly impacted by significant green additions are the most guilty by my estimation. Many of those were in fact climate scientists operating way outside their skill set.

Sober analysis should have weighed the risks of CO2 against reasonable cost estimates and an understanding of the reliability impacts.

Reply to  Planning Engineer
August 19, 2020 8:07 am

Those claiming that CO2 might have significant adverse effects have been proven wrong. They have NOTHING but erroneous computer models on which to base their claims.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Planning Engineer
August 19, 2020 9:18 am

… but there are “legitimate” sources claiming that CO2 could have significant adverse effects.

No there aren’t. Those sources are not legitimate. Climate modelers are not competent to evaluate the physical reliability of their own models.

And those models do not have the resolution to detect the effect, if any at all, of human CO2 emissions on the environment.

The IPCC literally do not know what they are talking about.

The whole AGW thing is the hotly incompetent leading the cynically opportunistic.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Planning Engineer
August 19, 2020 10:49 am

Beginning in the late 1970’s, during Governor Brown 1.0, many of us started to formally and forcefully inform CA politicians and bureaucrats that this would happen if they didn’t back off the Green power insanity. The early CA 2000 failures and their costly band aids were just a preview of the current situation. Without investment in large hydro, FFs or nuclear, CA and the surrounding states’ grids will collapse regularly.

The Pacific Northwest has run out of cheap hydro to support the Western grid. The next extended drought will break the system’s back, which will be blamed on CAGW by those creating the problem. Evidence? Newsom’s mealymouthed lies and lack of a serious, consumer-friendly response to the crisis.

Reply to  Paul
August 19, 2020 8:04 am

Yes, we all must remember that it has been disproven that CO2 is the driver of climate change. Yet the idiot lemmings keep chasing CO2 reduction.

Carlo, Monte
August 18, 2020 6:27 pm

“Woke” is just another word for “stupid.”

Charles Higley
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
August 18, 2020 7:12 pm

““I’m taking a very pragmatic look at it, in scoping this,” Newsom told The LA Times in a 2019 interview. “It’s also an inclusive scoping because it includes people in the industry, that have jobs; communities that are impacted from an environmental justice prism but also from an economic justice prism.””

Total and complete libtard B*** S**t. Typical double speak and touchy feely crap that means nothing. “Scoping” is not an intellectual activity, let alone “inclusive scoping.”

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Charles Higley
August 19, 2020 6:50 am

You could train a chat bot to generate these Green word salads, and the output would have just as much meaningful content as Newsom.

Maybe Newsom is really a chat bot.

Eric Eikenberry
Reply to  Charles Higley
August 19, 2020 9:42 am

Isn’t “scoping” what’s done in a rectal exam?

August 18, 2020 6:31 pm

The second to last paragraph of the post reads, “‘I’m taking a very pragmatic look at it, in scoping this,’ Newsom told The LA Times in a 2019 interview. ‘It’s also an inclusive scoping because it includes people in the industry, that have jobs; communities that are impacted from an environmental justice prism but also from an economic justice prism.'”

It would have been a more-realistic last sentence had he used the word PRISON instead of “prism”.

Stay safe and healthy, all.


Reply to  Bob Tisdale
August 18, 2020 8:20 pm

Can someone more woke than me explain what “environmental justice prisms” and “economic just prisms” are?

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
August 18, 2020 8:40 pm

You use a prism to divide light. You use “___________ justice” to divide a nation.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
August 18, 2020 10:37 pm


Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 19, 2020 12:20 pm

The Rainbow excludes black, brown, and feature the shredded remains of white.

Reply to  Bob Tisdale
August 18, 2020 8:29 pm

Shared responsibility: progressive prices, marginal availability. That said, social (i.e. relativistic)… environmental justice anywhere is injustice everywhere.

tsk tsk
August 18, 2020 6:33 pm

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.

I feel sorry for the poor realists stuck in that state, though. Leave if you can, folks.

Tim Gorman
August 18, 2020 6:37 pm

“Newsom said Monday that the transition from fossil fuels is a “moral and ethical imperative as it relates to the kind of world we’re going to leave, the kind of state and nation we’re going to leave for our kids and grandkids.”

I simply don’t care how much more wind and solar they add they won’t have any more energy available when the sun doesn’t shine and wind doesn’t blow. Zero = Zero.

The *only* reliable energy they will have is fossil fuels and nuclear. And they are dead set against using either.

The kind of state and nation Newsome and the Dems are going to leave for our kids and grandkids is third world status.

Keith Harrison
August 18, 2020 6:37 pm

There is no turning back for CA.

Renewables are here to stay and grow. Farewell hydrocarbons.

Blackouts in CA are the new normal with knock on effects on the whole western connector.

So unnecessary.

Reply to  Keith Harrison
August 18, 2020 8:54 pm

Shutting down NG gen plants without a plan to expand nuclear capacity to meet California’s energy demand just won’t pass any sort of competent and reasonable engineering analysis. Vast solar and wind farms and Musky batteries just don’t cut it. The only possible conclusion is that buying electric power from out of state is what “the plan” is. Californians will pay bigly but the technically deficient eco camp will feel good that their state CO2 emissions are much lower.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
August 19, 2020 7:39 am

Engineering doesn’t seem to matter to the politicians. And at some point, I suspect that even the other states will become either unable or unwilling to sell more power to CA.

Reply to  Keith Harrison
August 19, 2020 7:50 pm

The more renewables grow the worst it will be. Kind of like cancer.

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  Keith Harrison
August 19, 2020 9:06 pm

The root cause of the renewable mess is willfully uniformed (ignorant) voters, and with our failed education system the voters get dumber every year. Yes, there is no turning back for Cali. But the weather is great..well except for the 27 wildfires in our mis-managed forests it’s a little “hazy”.

August 18, 2020 6:39 pm

green think….

it’s not working…..we need more of it

Reply to  Latitude
August 18, 2020 8:24 pm

We could use some more cowbell.

George DeBusk
Reply to  n.n
August 19, 2020 6:05 am

“The beatings will continue until morale improves.”

Reply to  Latitude
August 19, 2020 8:09 am

….just like more socialism….

August 18, 2020 6:39 pm

He’s claiming that the problem isn’t green power, it’s that it’s not green enough.

Nothing that a few million more windmills can’t solve.

Reply to  MarkW
August 18, 2020 8:22 pm

He wants more cowbell.

Reply to  MarkW
August 19, 2020 4:45 am

Like Griff he doesn’t get if the wind isn’t blowing doesn’t matter how many turbines you have, same as the number of solar panels you have doesn’t matter at night.

Reply to  MarkW
August 19, 2020 9:31 am

I scanned comments to see if someone said this already. Basically, it’s not the fault of the green power, cuz you fools didn’t contribute enough of your hard-earned money (at gunpoint) to make it work!

August 18, 2020 6:49 pm

There should be criminal charges against the climate activists responsible for imposing a technology still in development onto the public with fear based activism. Fear based sales implies the item does not have a market based on merit or utility.


John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Chaamjamal
August 18, 2020 10:26 pm

“a technology still in development”

The new design stores heat generated by excess electricity from solar or wind power in large tanks of white-hot molten silicon, and then converts the light from the glowing metal back into electricity when it’s needed.

I found no numbers to describe how big the pot would need to be to provide California with electricity for, say, 6 hours per day for 3 weeks. Would something about the size of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir work?
How many wind turbines will be needed to heat that?
What happens when that liquid hardens and has to be re-heated?
Would basalt work as well as silicon? Silicon is abundant in Earth’s crust, but pure it is not.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
August 18, 2020 11:46 pm

Good point. Thank you. There are also some safety issues discussed in the literature. The technology is under development and not ready for implementation.

Reply to  Chaamjamal
August 19, 2020 7:45 am

Seems to me the storage time would be limited, too. That heat will dissipate over time, so the energy store will need to be constantly renewed. Do they know what the storage limits are, and the losses over time?

Reply to  TonyG
August 19, 2020 9:29 am

In one of my 2 solar design classes some 40 years ago, the professor, who was also a registered engineer as well as holding a full-time design job and was principal of the firm, told us of a trouble shooting for a Tennessee school that demanded so much storage (for a solar hot water system) the installed solar panels could never get it up to temperature. *tee-hee*. They saved the installation by disconnecting some 75% of the tanks, then finally they could make it work.

Sounds like they may well have the same problem with this glorious idea.

Dave Fair
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
August 19, 2020 12:45 pm

“… converts the light from the glowing metal back into electricity …” Stone whoever wrote or pre-reviewed that.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
August 20, 2020 3:05 pm

Normally, it is ordinary table salt that is used to store heat by melting it with surplus electric power, but silicon is presumably similar, but with a higher melting point (1414.C) and a wide liquid phase range. Salt is quite corrosive, so maybe silicon is more benign. Metals like lead or sodium have also been suggested, but those are more environmentally dangerous. Whatever else they do, the ‘green’ lobby can’t promote lithium ion batteries because of the dubious moral background to their components’ extraction – i.e. child labour in Congo mining cobalt metal.

In UK, we are trialing liquid air as a storage medium, which uses surplus electricity to cool atmospheric air, with water vapour, CO2 and methane frozen out, then stored under pressure. When required, the air is fed to a simple turbine/generator. Looks to be a good solution for grid-scale (MWh) storage over periods of a week or more, with indefinite cycle life.

Reply to  Chaamjamal
August 18, 2020 11:53 pm

Still in development? Modern states like Germany have been using substantial amounts of renewables for decades… the first offshore wind farm has already been dismantled at the end of its 25 year life…

Reply to  griff
August 19, 2020 1:44 am

Hey Griffiepoo,

Tell us about the Franco-German interconnector, and how French nuclear keeps the lights on in Germany.

Tell us also about how the enormous electricity prices there are pushing hundreds of thousands of Germans into fuel poverty.

Reply to  Graemethecat
August 19, 2020 4:20 am

Don’ t leave out Norway, Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria. Germany’s grid is propped up in all directions, both to cover shortfalls and soak up excess when the renewable generation fails to match demand by more than the capabilities of Germany’s remaining thermal generators.

John Endicott
Reply to  griff
August 19, 2020 2:07 am

Indeed, Wind power has been around for centuries, and it’s still not fit for the purpose of powering a modern society. No unreliable power source is. At best it’s a supplement to a reliable power source, not a replacement, never will be.

Bill Toland
Reply to  griff
August 19, 2020 2:08 am

Griff, you really need to learn how to use a full stop instead of an ellipsis to terminate a sentence. It gives the impression that you haven’t got a clue what you are talking about.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  griff
August 19, 2020 3:07 am

And we are yet to see a significant drop in their CO2 emissions. Why would that be?

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
August 19, 2020 4:08 am

In 2020 the German Grid has been exteremely fortunate. In january, february and March when demand was in excess of 80 GW at peak times it was pretty windy in Northern Europe and wind was contributing 50% of demend some days, Solar pretty much zero. Thanks to Covid 19 during June, July and August demand had dropped by 15% rarely getting above 70GW (I’m assuming demand and output pretty much balanced) So solar compensated for 9 or 10 weeks of low wind. But Germany now has invested in two unreliable and unpredictable sources of electricity capable of supplying 50% demand at peak output but not continuously thereby requiring an investment in a third source also capable of 50%.

In the UK despite an investment in wind and solar; gas, nuclear and biomass (burning wood is not green or renewable) have been suplying 75% of demand. and the French and Dutch interconnectors have been matching wind for much of the time. UK demand is about 40% of Germany’s. The UK output from wind last went over 25% of installed capacity on 5th August. An important point about the UK is that domestic heating and cooking is predominantly by gas and has been since Methusalah was a boy, first coal gas and then Natural gas. The zero carbon plan must mean a six fold increase in electricity use., something like 120-150GW (30GW currently) , at current 10% output for wind 1500GW installed wind would cover it, say 10MW turbines means 15000 onshore turbines, for an unstable grid.

Griff you’re on the wrong planet.

Reply to  griff
August 19, 2020 6:44 am

The “modern state” of the future will have sustained, high electricity prices and efficient means of not talking about its shortcomings in the context of extra grid costs and reliance on other markets to keep up appearances. It will use a common currency to limit competition from its southern neighbors and export machinery to the faster growing fossil fuel countries of the world. Don’t forget to cheat on diesel fuel economy as a means to an end in the future modern state.

Brooks Hurd
Reply to  griff
August 19, 2020 7:26 am

The only reason that Deutschland has electrical power in its grid is because it is connected to French nuclear plants and Polish coal fired plants. The Energiewende has been a disastrous failure, but it has given Germany the highest electricity costs on the planet.

Back in California, it did not cool off much last night, so the AC will be running earlier and longer. This will almost certainly mean that CAISO will need to have rolling blackouts this evening.

Reply to  griff
August 19, 2020 8:19 am

Germany: 0.33 US$/kW-hr
France: 0.17
US_ 0.13
2018 data

Reply to  griff
August 19, 2020 9:41 am

Misleading comment, griff. Averaged year round (to date in 2020, Germany gets more power from from lignite burning (dirty brown coal, the most polluting source of energy on the planet), nuclear, natural gas, and hard coal (total 135 TWhr) than wind and solar (119 TWhr). Some months when it isn’t windy or sunny lignite burning is the largest single source of Germany’s electricity production (like March, 2019) which can make Germany one of the most polluting countries per capita in the world. You call that “modern”?

August 18, 2020 7:03 pm

Seems like a perfect time to refuel Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

Dennis G Sandberg
August 18, 2020 7:04 pm

Newsome wants to fill the renewable”gaps” with battery storage. But’
Even the most optimistic (lying through their green teeth) battery storage promoters shouldn’t be taken seriously when projecting Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) at less than $200/ kw.hr. ($200,000/mw.hr, $200 Million/1000 mw.hr. Getting through the 3 PM – 9 PM peak requires $200mm X 6 hrs for every 1,000 mw of demand = $1.2 billion. (I have no idea what current real world prices are for storage, but my hunch is that it’s about $600/kw.hr = $7.2 billion for 6 hours of 1,000 mw demand….give it up).

Reply to  Dennis G Sandberg
August 18, 2020 9:40 pm

SA Horndale battery was about AUD80M/129MWh several years ago = AUD620/kWh capacity = about USD400/kWh capacity.
I would expect new projects to get closer to USD145/kWh + USD220/kW depending on location, grid connections, bulk discounts etc. The actual cost of batteries may be 40% to 45% of the total project cost for 1.25kWh per 1kW max output. YMMV

1000 MW average demand for 6hrs using <80% of full cycle, 95% eff inverters, 9% network loss, using target prices shown above = USD1659million per 1000MW demand
Using 7014MWh of a 9352MWh battery array, Inverters etc with a total of 1375MW max output before network losses (capacity for 1250MW peak).
If charging is 96% efficient, you need 7306MWh from another source to recharge them, it may be worse depending distance from energy source and additional losses.
The 8% to 16% network losses apply to all sources of power but it's sometimes hard to know when or not it's included in public figures.

10-12%/yr cost to run = USD 166 to 199M/yr cost to finance/ROI/management/maintenance (maybe more)
=USD 75.8 to 90.9/MWh output before adding cost of power when recharging. Need upto 1.22x the price of input power MWh to account for losses (pay for 7306MWh to get 6000MWh to customers).
Offpeak lows of USD40/MWh becomes a cost average of 124.6 to 139.7 USD/MWh (eg. expects daily peaks above USD150/MWh * 6hrs).
Government incentives or grants can help but it's still the taxpayers who have to ultimately pay (one way or another). Batteries are nett consumers of electricity and generate nothing by themselves. Relies on excess solar PV & wind to recharge to be green.

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  tygrus
August 19, 2020 5:41 pm

Tygus, I’m Dennis with the 7:PM posting immediately before you at 9:PM. You have many times more knowledge about this subject. Does the USD 1659 million per 1000 MW include cost to run
($180/Mw nominal) and cost of recharging ($130/Mw nominal). Note: Battery promoters will cost the recharging at $0.00 Mw.hr claiming that the power would otherwise be wasted so it has no value.

you report 1000 MW average demand for 6hrs using <80% of full cycle, 95% eff inverters, 9% network loss, using target prices shown above = USD 1659 million per 1000 mW demand.

$1.7 billion /1000 mW for 6 hrs peak demand * 4 (/cali Governor reports a 4,000 mW "Renewable gap" = $6.8 billion +$0.18 B cost to run + $0.13 B power purchase = $7.11B (comparable to my $7.2 B).

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  tygrus
August 19, 2020 5:53 pm

Tygus, Here’s another note on storage costs. Big difference between 20 mW Pamona, CA project and a 4000 mW “fix Newsome’s renewable gap project”, but still interesting:
RENO, Nev., July 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ormat Technologies, Inc.1 (NYSE: ORA), today announced that its Ormat Nevada Inc. affiliate has closed on the transaction to acquire the 20 MW / 80 MWh Pomona energy storage facility in California from AltaGas Power Holdings (U.S.) Inc. (TSE: ALA) for a total consideration of $47 million, net of working capital adjustment and other adjustments totaling approximately $3.1 million.

Reply to  Dennis G Sandberg
August 19, 2020 7:56 pm

They could always build some natural gas power plants to charge the batteries at night.

Serge Wright
August 18, 2020 7:12 pm

What has become evident as the amount of RE generation has grown in CA and in other developed countries, is that the green groups are now looking at demand management as the central focus of their RE plan. This means that even they have worked out that RE doesn’t work and the new plan is to get society conditioned to living with constant blackouts and subsistence type energy usage, under the guise of a moral cause to save the planet. Meanwhile, over the the developing world there is no issue with adding more coal plants every day and they are even encouraged to do so under the climate agreement, adding many times more CO2 than gets reduced by the smaller pool of developed countries. Green groups are fine with this overall global increase as can be observed by their lack of protest against countries such as China. In the new age of political climate science, it’s only the smaller emissions from the developed countries that are apparently bad for the planet. Huge levels of emissions from the developing world are just fine.

Reply to  Serge Wright
August 19, 2020 5:56 am

In my opinion, demand management was the plan from the start in the US.
There was some small discussion when power companies introduced “smart meters”were introduced but even that petered out.
However it is my impression Europe is far ahead in limiting demand, whether through regulations on appliances (underpowered vacuums) or the providers’ use of “smart”meters to limit usage.

Greg S.
August 18, 2020 7:14 pm

“Collectively, energy regulators failed to anticipate this event and to take necessary actions to ensure reliable power to Californians”

Passing the buck again… They’re working with what they’ve been given, which is a system woefully inadequate to supply the demands of the state. This inadequacy grows larger and larger the more they shutter reliable power plants, replacing them with wind and solar.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Greg S.
August 19, 2020 10:45 am

And they DID anticipate events of this type, however they were not allowed to take any meaningful actions to prevent them. This is like running out of gas in your car and them blaming the engineers for not making it more fuel efficient.

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  Greg S.
August 19, 2020 8:30 pm

Tygus, Here’s another note on storage costs. Big difference between 20 mW Pamona, CA project and a 4000 mW “fix Newsome’s renewable gap project”, but still interesting:
RENO, Nev., July 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ormat Technologies, Inc.1 (NYSE: ORA), today announced that its Ormat Nevada Inc. affiliate has closed on the transaction to acquire the 20 MW / 80 MWh Pomona energy storage facility in California from AltaGas Power Holdings (U.S.) Inc. (TSE: ALA) for a total consideration of $47 million, net of working capital adjustment and other adjustments totaling approximately $3.1 million.

Steve Ellis
August 18, 2020 7:23 pm

So it’s official, California is a third world country?

Reply to  Steve Ellis
August 18, 2020 7:55 pm

We will know for sure when the CA legislature forces HOA’s to permit back yard clotheslines to dry the laundry. (If anyone knows if they have already, let me know.)

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Steve Ellis
August 18, 2020 9:38 pm

No. California’s Public Employees Retirement Association (Calpers), for example, “…asks investment staff to disclose personal investments upon arriving and then annually for the previous year. Individuals take mandatory training on conflicts of interest…”

You see? “Mandatory” These people live by the Good Book.

State Panel to Investigate Complaints of Calpers Investment Conflict
California’s Fair Political Practices Commission says it will probe conflict-of-interest and disclosure complaints tied to former investment chief Ben Meng

During the effics training, Mr. Meng was probably still in China, where he was head of their three trillion dollar foreign investment program.

August 18, 2020 7:25 pm

Liberal heads will explode by the millions when President Trump wins Cali in November !

Tony Anderson
August 18, 2020 7:30 pm

It looks as though the “woke” American state of California is receiving a rude awakening with its embrace of renweable energy source over fossil fuels!

August 18, 2020 7:43 pm

Whether it is energy or money, when people demand “free stuff” they find out eventually free stuff = no stuff.

August 18, 2020 7:48 pm

“Gaps” is a pseudo excuse for not knowing what you’re doing. Nothing more, nothing less. Let’s all watch as California slowly slides into third world status.

August 18, 2020 7:55 pm

Can someone please provide the time in the video where Newsome uttered the word “blackout”.

That is not a politically correct term and I doubt he would ever use that term. The accepted term in the USA is “Temporary Service Disruption”. In Australia, the process is termed “Load Management”.

Australians have been advised that no one should expect to have power always available. Weather dependent generation is inconsistent with power being always available when needed; that requires complete duplication of the system generation because the guaranteed output from weather dependent generators is zero. The solution is to implement load management. Australian businesses are paid big sums to reduce their demand.. US has a long way to go in getting up to date with weather dependent generation.

It appears the incident is being misreported. The term “blackout” is simply unacceptable.

Reply to  RickWill
August 18, 2020 8:17 pm

When politically incongruent, yes. However, this time they are blackouts. That said, sometimes it’s a black hole, and other times it’s a black whore h/a NAACP.

Reply to  n.n
August 19, 2020 8:03 am

it’s a black hole
The correct term is holes of color.

California is not experiencing blackouts. They are having outs of color.

All of which is confusing because white is a mix of all colors, while black is the absence of color.

So technically a black hole is in fact a hole without color. And a blackout is an out without color.

Which seems correct because the eyes switch from color to black and white when the lights go out.

August 18, 2020 8:03 pm

Just think how much bigger the problem would be if all cars and trucks in CA were electric.

Shoki Kaneda
Reply to  Jpatrick
August 18, 2020 9:21 pm

Californians were urged not to charge their vehicles until late evening. It only takes a little electricity to pump thirty-one gallons into my Suburban’s tank.

Jean Parisot
August 18, 2020 8:14 pm

Generac stock up?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Jean Parisot
August 18, 2020 8:41 pm

I thought no new natgas supplies to homes

Mike Dubrasich
August 18, 2020 8:15 pm

Question for the experts: do the rolling blackouts include Silicon Valley? How are the Big Techs coping?

My understanding (please correct me if I’m wrong) is that Twits, FaceCrook, Gaggle, and others have dispersed their workforce due to the Bat Flu. All their keystrokers are working from home, but the homes are blacked out now. So the Mighty Engine of Bits and Bite Me’s is choking on its own liberal hubris.

Or not — I don’t know because I don’t live there (please inform me). We have excess hydro power where I live — buuut we’re not about to sell it CA because our libs are tearing down our dams. Whoops!

August 18, 2020 8:19 pm

What I find amazing is that virtually all power grids worldwide (not just California) have “just enough” capacity with no planning for a healthy reserve, say 20% or 30% above peak demand in case of major failures etc. and for anticipated growth of demand as the economy grows. China seems to be the only exception to this with hundreds of coal fired plants under construction as part of a long term plan.

To have “just enough” is courting disaster and shows no foresight, especially when presiding over a transformation to green energy with proven shortcomings.
Most of today’s politicians in the west will have a lot to answer for on this issue as the California experience is repeated in many, many places over the next few years.

Reply to  Ken
August 18, 2020 9:29 pm


The healthy reserve is usually OCGT they ramp up very quickly to provide additional generation upon request and usually come at a high cost. In Adelaide they have come across a cunning plan of using wind/solar plus inter connector from Victoria for supply and diesel generators for back up. During summer the gens run quite often spewing copious amounts of CO2 as they go

Reply to  Ken
August 19, 2020 4:59 am

Grids did not have “just enough” capacity prior to widespread adoption of renewables. There used to be a 20-25% overcapacity rule of thumb for grids to allow for maintenance down time and unexpected incidents.

The problem is that the subsidies enjoyed by renewables (including priority market access) which keep them economically viable also serve to undermine thermal generators especially those with inflexible operating profiles and low but largely fixed operating costs. With enough of these closing down, you end up with “just enough” capacity for normal times, excluding renewables.

Of course, the general public are sold the notion that renewable capacity is equivalent to thermal capacity (& at nameplate rating) so they don’t understand how precarious their grid is when conditions are unfavourable.

Brian Johnston
August 18, 2020 8:24 pm

Something not right here.
Firstly a grid does not operate at maximum output, ever. There is always reserve, always.
Secondly they had been shutting down plants because renewables were being connected.
This is where the ignorance or dishonesty kicks in.
Wind turbines do not produce any useable 60Hz energy, they are useless.
PV solar cannot power the grid and for that purpose are useless.
This means that when plants were being shut down they were getting closer and closer to no reserve.
Then what, a 470MW plant goes down, no reserve, nothing.
They blame lack of wind and no sunshine. Wrong. The problem is, no reserve.
The wind turbines and PV solar were never powering the grid.
The problems will only get worse. More and longer blackouts to come.
The whole industry has to be exposed for the ignorance or the corruption which exists.

Reply to  Brian Johnston
August 18, 2020 8:55 pm

It’s not the industry that’s corrupt and ignorant. It’s the government.

Reply to  Thomas
August 18, 2020 9:20 pm

Amen, Brother!!!
On the ignorant side, it’s the “sheeple”. Big time. Just ask anyone (from a distance, of course), on your daily walk around the neighborhood (you get more exercise?):). I ask. Many blame it on evil corporations (PG&E here). Sigh! Ignorance is bliss.

Reply to  Thomas
August 19, 2020 8:18 am

The politicians are not concerned with facts. They deal in belief. They believe green is the answer. If it doesn’t work, the reason cannot be a fault with green. The fault must lie with the opposition. Or the regulators. Or big business. Or the banks. Or Trump.

Christopher Chantrill
August 18, 2020 8:47 pm

Unfortunately it has to get worse before it gets better.

The only thing that will discredit the climate change cult is failure and more failure, until even nice liberal gentry women with #WeBelieve yard-signs in their front yards realize that something is wrong.

“When Prophecy Fails” by Festinger et al. is a book about a UFO cult around 1950. Even when the prophecy fails, the faithful still believe. For a while. You can look it up on Wiki.

Shoki Kaneda
August 18, 2020 9:12 pm

“Gaps” — An accountant would call those non-performing assets.

August 18, 2020 9:25 pm

Just wait until 2025 when they decommission Diablo Canyon, and by extension lose the economical baseload generation to drive the Helms pumped storage facility at night. PG&E created a very elegant system with these assets that has delivered 3.5GW of fully dispatchable, economic, and carbon free power for over 4 decades, and they are simply going to flush it down the toilet out of vanity. Dumb. Very dumb.


August 18, 2020 9:25 pm

My fear: those who escape from California (and Oregon and Washington) will come here to Arizona. They will bring (actually they are bringing) their crazy politics with them…. they will then vote for the same crazy people that made CA a third world country. Then we (in AZ ) will also have rolling blackouts because those people will then push for the crazy policies that made them LEAVE CA…. I don’t know how to educate these crazy peoples. But no one else seems to know either….. sigh.

kevin kilty
August 18, 2020 9:27 pm

Impacts from social justice prisms he says. Ouch.

August 18, 2020 9:37 pm

You can plan for 470MW loss (reserve) but you cant plan a for 1GW loss, this happened in Alice Springs not that long ago, a big cloud rolled in generation fell through the floor, the gas turbines kicked in but it only takes a few micro seconds for the frequency to drop and system black is the result.

The inquiry blamed the gas plant operators because their back up systems could not, to use a CA phrase “cover the gaps” thus allowing the fantasy of free energy to be perpetuated once again.

The same will happen in CA because free energy must work, it just must and by hell or high water it will.

August 18, 2020 9:55 pm

“Collectively, energy regulators failed to anticipate this event and to take necessary actions to ensure reliable power to Californians”

In the past this Energy Regulator would put out the call to other power generation sources that are connected to this California “GRID”. The Canadian province of British Columbia has a number of hydro installations and depending on the water levels in their reservoirs the company BC Hydro had been able to supply power to California.
During the ENRON driven power grid shortages in 2000 and 2001 BC Hydro had stepped up and purposely ran their reservoirs down to supply power to California in this crisis. The rates that BC Hydro was to get on the spot market were quite worth the using up of a lot of the reserves of water to make a tidy profit on these power sales. Everyone knows that once a Kilowatt of energy is sent down the line there is NO getting it back so all transactions are on the honor system. On thing that California did not do was to honor these power sales with a timely payment. They took the energy companies to court and accused them of manipulation and price gouging. ENRON was found guilty of purposely shutting down power generators and supply grids to cause a power “PROBLEM” in California which in turn drove the power prices on the spot market to almost 4 times the normal. As a result BC Hydro was stiffed for $450 Million dollars in export power sales and they had some issues keeping their own customers supplied because of the reduced reservoir levels. BC Hydro was not complicit in these decisions to hobble the power grid and was only responding to the power sales call on the spot market.

So when California goes looking for power on the spot market today DO NOT expect BC Hydro to answer the call as they were burned once by these Democrat charlatans even though there is excess capacity in the BC Hydro system for a few years to come.

Reply to  Boris
August 18, 2020 11:23 pm

Not only was BC Hydro (Powerex) stiffed for $450 Mil, it also repaid $750 Mil to avoid a potential $3.2 Billion California court judgement.

“BC Hydro subsidiary Powerex agreed Friday to pay $750 million to avoid a $3.2 billion court judgment.”

“The settlement, pending approval by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, will see Powerex pay US$273 million cash and $477 million in credit.”

California is a massive corrupt criminal state, using its Justice Dept to do its dirty work. Kumala Harris who was elected AG in 2010 was behind this settlement that was finally reached in 2013. Powerex, who is a subsidiary of BC Hydro just decided to pay it instead of paying massive legal bills for another 5 years fighting it and chalked it up to a trade dispute. It was a mafia style shakedown.


Phillip Bratby
August 18, 2020 10:48 pm

You can’t have “gaps in reliability”. It is either reliable or it is unreliable. In the case of wind and solar, it is unreliable – always.

Ed Zuiderwijk
August 18, 2020 11:27 pm

The guy is a certified idiot. Where are the men in white coats when you need them?

Flight Level
August 18, 2020 11:29 pm

I’m sure AOC knows how to fix that.

Reply to  Flight Level
August 19, 2020 3:05 am

Indeed. Since computers and email require electricity, she’ll suggest that we buy stamps and send letters.

August 18, 2020 11:50 pm

California should be encouraged to go greener & get rid of ALL politically incorrect energy supplies asap.

This will allow the civil unrest / civil war (when was war ever civil ? ) to start earlier rather than later & the ‘really pi$$ed off’ can beat the living daylight out of the ‘truly woke’ .

The rest of the world can sit back & observe nature at work (survival of the fittest) & decide if they want to continue down the jolly green road… or change tack.

Rod Evans
August 19, 2020 12:09 am

For those of us thousands of miles away looking on we watch California’s self imposed pain with disbelief.
How can the most populous state the most prosperous state the most blessed state for resources and thinkers who have evolved whole world leading industries be reduced to turning off the power because they have not got enough to go around?!!
We are told California only generates 50% of its own electrical power demand in state, yet it is determined to close down reliable nuclear and fossil fuel fired gas plants that give steady in state supply 24/7.
Are those in political charge of decision making, completely mad in California?
We are talking about the USA here.
It is not Venezuela, it is not North Korea, yet here is a whole state within the USA committing totalitarian economic suicide, for nothing? Nothing, beyond dogmatic Green belief that CO2 is counterproductive to civilisation and world security.
Unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rod Evans
August 19, 2020 2:51 pm

I share your sentiment, Rod.

Radical Democrats live on a different planet.

Elle Webber
August 19, 2020 12:11 am

So in the woke and socially just California, the rich will have their household diesel generators powering their air conditioners and recharging their Teslas (Teslae?). But the poor will live in the dark, without heating or cooling, and not allowed natural gas to cook with. There is something truly evil about the leftist mindset.

August 19, 2020 12:16 am

What says the population of CA ?
Are they happy with their green energy ?

Reply to  Krishna Gans
August 19, 2020 8:31 am

They got the government they elected. Tough S&*t!

August 19, 2020 12:19 am

I was recently prescribed statins, but they made me feel unwell. So with agreement from my doctor I stopped taking them, and now I feel better.
I’m glad I don’t have a doctor with Governor Newsom’s approach, as the advice would have been ‘Double the dose and take this other pill for the side effects’.
It’s scary how fixation on an idea can blind people to reality.

Phil Salmon
August 19, 2020 12:30 am

Zero mention of California power blackouts on the CNN and BBC left-media sewage farms. Silence.

Nothing but endless fawning over Biden-Harris, sniping at Trump and recycling of the Death Valley high temperature fake-record story.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 19, 2020 1:12 am

Gosh just think how much worse this could have been if we weren’t talking about the failures of a developed green technology as opposed to the the potential failure of an under-developed Green energy scam.
I thought wind was always supposed to blow somewhere; a bit like the constant hot air spouted by wind energy clown advocates.

August 19, 2020 1:30 am

If these morons actually knew anything about power technology, they would know that using 16th century ind technology is just plain stupid and doesn’t even achieve any reduction of atmospheric carbon. Apparently being moral and ethical means being ignorant of the future of power generation, whihc does NOT include environmentally obnoxious wind, or solar either. Molten salt nuclear reactors are the future, at least in the real world that lies outside of the state of Oz called California. I guess its appropriate that a govt that makes as many stupid decisions as California’s is headed by a blithering idiot.

August 19, 2020 1:43 am

If you are a conservative in CA, then I would urge you to leave, because of high taxes, poor grid, high housing costs, and your vote not counting.

I understand some people have various personal reasons for not being able to leave, but I urge them to take a second look and see if it is all possible to leave.

I spoke to family that recently moved to Texas. They vote conservative and said they were able to get much nicer house by selling house in CA and buying new hime in Texas due to CA housing prices being so high.

August 19, 2020 1:54 am

Those “gaps” are only there because he created them. What a smarmy weasel word generator.

I am guessing he sees it as just a capacity issue also and has no clue what and expensive , unstable house of cards he continues to build.

No vision, no plan just piecemeal decisions driven by virtue signalling, political cycles and extracting subsidies from the Feds where available. History repeating around the world.

Rod Evans
August 19, 2020 2:13 am

An apposite quote from a true world statesman, a friend of the USA and a defender of freedom and democracy.
“I avail myself with relief of the opportunity of speaking to the people of the United States. I do not know how long such liberties will be allowed. The stations of uncensored expression are closing down; the lights are going out; but there is still time for those to whom freedom and parliamentary government mean something, to consult together. Let me, then, speak in truth and earnestness while time remains”.
Winston Churchill
He could have made that statement this weekend
Winston Churchill, was no dreamer.

August 19, 2020 3:00 am

I don’t see what the problem is here!
They’re just ahead of the mass exodus curve a bit. Demand will eventually drop below supply of things keep going the way they have been

Joseph Zorzin
August 19, 2020 3:42 am

Aren’t there any politicians in CA pushing back against these failing energy policies?

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
August 19, 2020 6:46 am

No. CA is controlled by the Dems and Dem politicians dare not contradict the Party line on something like this they’re done for.

BTW the smart money, both private and Corporate, is getting out of Dodge. Tech isn’t so smart so they haven’t started moving yet but I would bet that sooner or later even they’ll catch on. Toyota pulled up stakes and Elon Musk is in the process of doing so. More, many more, to follow.

Hollywood is now a slum. The parks and beaches of LA are unsafe.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Rah
August 19, 2020 4:15 pm

“Tech isn’t so smart so they haven’t started moving yet but I would bet that sooner or later even they’ll catch on.”

Facebook and Google put their server farms in Oregon, not California.

Reply to  Roger Knights
August 19, 2020 6:43 pm

Silicon Valley, Alphabet, Google HA, etc, etc, etc..

Reply to  Roger Knights
August 20, 2020 2:59 am

Google, Alphabet, Apple, Hewlett Packard, etc, have their global HQs in California and then of course there is Silicon Valley. I didn’t say anything about servers.

Carl Friis-Hansen
August 19, 2020 3:43 am

Gov. Newsom is a fairly good speaker, using political correct and woke words, as most successful politicians do. During Q&A session in the video, he mastered very well to answer the soft short questions, in a distractible way, with a repeat of his speech moments ago. This is what most politicians do. They arrange meetings with their like-minded and, as a solution they run the blame-game on those not at the round-table and those who has to do the actual footwork (the technicians and engineers). The result is a solution that will not resolve the issues at hand.
The equation they want to solve is:

1GW(nuclear+fossil) + 0.1GW(wind+solar) + 0.1GW(import) = 2GW(consumption)

The above could be solved by increasing import to 0.9GW, as Newsom pointed out in his speech.
This may work as long as your neighbors can and will export the needed quantities at the correct time. But, for how long can you rely on that?

I hope not, but fear the possibility of an electricity resource war, when the politicians run out of excuses and the general population looses economically due to Titanic prices, extra cost to private diesel generators and UPSes, etc.

It is worse than we thought. The Californian Green way is also the way of many other states, countries and continents.

The solution:
Publicly show your love for the American Way, your love for diversity in weather, landscape and the people around you. Learn the basics in physics, math, English, culture and history. Then you recognize empty political talk as you encounter it.

John Garrett
August 19, 2020 3:51 am

NPR has been reduced to bald-faced, flat-out lying.

They’re trying to persuade the dimbulbs who believe NPR that the whole fiasco is the result of “climate change.”

Reply to  John Garrett
August 19, 2020 5:12 am

True to their Orwellian roots they just left out the real term “political/social climate change”. It’s related to climate change in an oblique way.

mark leigh
August 19, 2020 4:25 am

Sooner or later green woke energy theory smacks against the laws of physics….

That popping noise you can hear is the sound of liberal heads exploding!

August 19, 2020 5:24 am

a grid that relies primarily on a mixture of wind and solar power, along with hydro power

What a total load of garbage. California’s typical demand peaks at around 30GW with about 6GW of wind farms and 13GW of utility solar (rounding up in both cases) but that’s nameplate capacity so in reality, renewable contribution is around 6GW


August 19, 2020 5:36 am

So nice of California to provide a real life demonstration that Renewables Do Not Work. Since the early 2000’s I and many readers of WUWT have been explaining why and now CAis showing us that it isTRUE.

George DeBusk
August 19, 2020 5:56 am

“Sierra Club and other activists met informally with Newsom’s administration in 2019 to discuss dramatically slashing the state’s oil production, The Los Angeles Times reported in April of that year.”

Oooh! The SCOTUS’s next big Takings case!

August 19, 2020 6:38 am

It’s amazing as each global warming prediction is made and never eventuates , as every theory gets disproved, as cheap Free renewable energy gets more and more expensive as even environmentalists from their own side start to realise there’s something not right here ( like Michael Moore and Shellingberger) they don’t stop think and reflect and suppose maybe they could be wrong.
No they double down!
These guys are nuts and it’s up to the silent majority to vote them out.

August 19, 2020 7:47 am

The cheapest storage is “Pumped Storage” at about $200/MWh to $260/MWh. Battery costs range from $350/MWh to nearly $1000/MWh. Left out of those numbers is the fact that delivery time for PS power is measured in hours and Batteries is measured in minutes. Facility life time is also decades for PS and years for Batteries. Better plan of attack is for ALL Large electrical energy users to be saddled with the cost of storage of their energy. The corporate HQ for the utility had an Ice Storage “vault’ in one of the sub basements. At night low cost, unneeded electricity was used to make ice, then during the day the heat-pumps reversed and cooled the building. On a smaller scale, the area below your garage/home could have a foam insulated tank filled with water for a closed cycle heat sink for your heat pump. In the winter, water solar collectors would transfer heat from the sun during the day to warm the tank and increase the efficiency of the HP. Solar collectors would not be needed in the summer, but the HW heater could continue using it to heat your hot water.

Reply to  Uzurbrain
August 19, 2020 8:48 am

Pumped storage is the ultimate low cost ‘battery’ and should be implemented where geography warrants. California should have built more pumped storage if it was going to install all this troublesome wind and solar. The basic infrastructure that is built for such can be designed to last centuries with the right equipment, maybe having to re-wind your motor/generator every 40-50 years. Some of the old turbines from early 20th century are still in operation, maybe just changing the thrust bearings every 10-15 years. But the pipe, various reservoirs and dams can be designed to last centuries making this a permanent solution. Sure there are some losses, but using excess surplus cheaper electricity in the middle of the night makes sense to do so and sell it back at twice the rate at peak demand. Saves building new capacity and fuelling it and allows for load levelling at peak demands for 3-4 hours twice a day. Or for peak A/C season it can assist with last second on demand electrons to avoid grid collapse.

There is some interesting things going on with efficiencies. There has been some commercial installation of installing frozen water storage from the winter cold freezing the water, and harvesting all that cold water melting in summer for A/C (and fresh water use), and similar for storing heat from summer heat for winter use. If it is economic to do so, it should be done where it is feasible to do so. I am all for better efficient technologies and figuring out how to do things better. Sometimes we just have to think outside the box.

Reply to  Earthling2
August 19, 2020 1:16 pm

As a kid back in the 40’s I asked my grandpa where they got the ice for the ice box in the summer. He explained to me how it was stored in a large warehouse. Of course the next question was how do they keep it cold. He said “With bales of straw.” So of course I talked him into showing me the warehouse. He was right, a massive barn-size building completely lined with bales of straw.

I would think that with the advancements in foam insulation that not much heat is lost with a few feet of foam.

August 19, 2020 7:49 am

The problem with all of this “renewable” power is that it needs new lines from the “boondocks” to a substation, where it can be delivered. That costs money. As a result the lines that were designed to deliver power out the spiderwebs for existing plants with massive substations are NOT at the center where they are erecting the wind turbines. Also, the lines that run from the substation in an approximate direction of the wind turbine location are not capable of handling the MAX power they generate. So now you have a system designed like a star or a spider web designed to take the power from the center and send it out to the peripheries of the service area turned upside down and backwards.
Power now comes from where the wind blows, goes to the center and then out on another leg of the star to where it is being used. During average loads all works “acceptably” (not great, not good, but works.) When a weather front moves across a service area then the source point and usage point can reverse over a period of minutes, hours or days. When you cover the area inside that star with homes that have solar panels on their roof you complicate the grid protection problem even more. You also have the problem of power lines getting overloaded, lightning in the path from the source, Higher voltage near the Wind turbines and Lower voltage on the opposite side of the star. The grid is not designed to handle this.
The present grid was designed more or less as a cluster of stars with interconnections from star to star, typically with large power sources at the center of the star. To design it for distributed wind farms and distributes solar panels requires NEW distributions systems designed for this problem and a computer to control it. Presently it is now as difficult as flying a Jet Fighter. You can bet your life that none of these colleges making computer program predictions telling you that the present system will work has gone out in the field and determined all of the power limitations on each and every line these renewables are delivered on and factoring these limitations in their program. Then considering the effects of a weather front moving across the service grid.

August 19, 2020 8:00 am

I’d call Elon to stick in one of his unicorn Big Batteries while you rollout the plethora of transitioning diesel generators if I were you Guvna. LOL.

It was always their lunar prescriptions that would bring the climate changers undone.

Chris Hoff
August 19, 2020 8:27 am

What happens when an energy company providing emergency backup power from fossil fuel powered plants causes the company to lose more money in carbon offsets and cap and trade markets? It’s an entirely plausible scenario, they might stand to benefit more leaving customers with no power.

James Allen
August 19, 2020 8:45 am

Seems like switching off the air conditioning at all the offices in the California Legislature buildings would be a good start for them to demonstrate their commitment to green policy. Turn off the power to their PC’s, lights, etc. At the very least it would limit their ability to damage their state’s economy for a bit. I give them a week, then they’d be crying like babies.

August 19, 2020 9:23 am

Just a smattering of the GND for the folks to chew on. I wonder how much of this the people will take before saying “enough of this nonsense”? And just think….. you pay extra for this type of service!

Kevin R.
August 19, 2020 9:40 am

Statism is what led to blackouts for millions of Californians.

August 19, 2020 10:07 am

He is philosophical in explaining a power disaster. Justice and economic prism, a way of showing concern for those impacted by the green agenda he supports.

Fill in the gaps with more of the same, the wind will be blowing somewhere and somewhere the sun will shine, it always has. And when all the money and misery has been squeezed out of green energy declare an emergency for conventional energy and a resurgence of life.

Loren C. Wilson
August 19, 2020 10:10 am

“Collectively, energy regulators failed to anticipate this event and to take necessary actions to ensure reliable power to Californians,” Newsom wrote in a letter Monday to CAISO, CNN reported. “This cannot stand.” It wasn’t the energy regulators, it was the governor and legislature that thought they could violate the laws of nature and still keep the lights on and the AC running. As seen above, California has to have at least 1.5 gigawatts of reserves spinning to keep up with this latest little blip. What will happen when the wind is even lower or the day is cloudy. Meanwhile the governor continues to shut down clean gas-powered turbines. This is insanity, but typical of totalitarian socialist and communists world-over.

August 19, 2020 10:29 am

It can be very ugly when reality eventually does catch up to dogmatic policy crusades.

I recall the torture and death of a CIA agent after being identified by Senator Frank Church in his committee fiefdom. There are many near misses in history by the miscreants that are not talked about and those that do blow up are often described as random “who could have known” events while the advocates slink away.

Clay Sanborn
August 19, 2020 11:35 am

One of the biggest problems with CA is that they are mandating conversion of all things Natural Gas to All-Electric; home ovens, home heating, etc., even cars are on that agenda. When mandating replaces Market Forces – letting people choose what is best for themselves, you are almost certainly running off the road into the ditch, a deep muck filled ditch. And while demand for electricity is going up, per mandate, supply is going down, per mandate. HELLO DITCH…

August 19, 2020 12:33 pm

If everyone with outage sensitive anything has to buy, maintain and run a backup generator, it seems as if the outages have even more cost than just a lack of air conditioning.

Best power outage story (Quebec of course). I had a nurse doing a masters degree in my lab a few years ago. Her day job was in the NICU. She came in one morning looking real rough to carry out a time sensitive experiment. When I asked if she was coming down with something, she said the power had gone off last night in the hospital. The backup had not started, despite starting fine on the weekly test. They had 5 babies on respirators and 6 nurses. Five of them pumped these babies and the other nurse handled the rest of the ward for 4 hours. They did not lose a baby! I was lucky with outages, because my lab was on a hospital substation, the last to be dropped when the grrid went down.

Phil Salmon
August 19, 2020 2:14 pm

Silence from BBC and CNN on California blackouts.

iain C
August 19, 2020 3:32 pm

The BBC says
“Because so much of the region’s power relies on solar and wind energy, and because people use their electricity for air conditioning, during heatwaves the power grid becomes strained and is at risk of completely malfunctioning.,”


Though that paragraph is near the end of a story about alleged record high temp in Death Valley.

Any neutral observer would give more weight to wealthy high tec CA having a broken power grid.

Jim Whelan
August 19, 2020 3:47 pm

“Gaps” in solar power, AKA “nighttime”.

“Gaps” in wind power, AKA “calm” days or “very windy” days.

August 19, 2020 4:11 pm

meanwhile, Conservative-run South Australia is doubling down:

20 Aug: Renew Economy: Neoen files plans for $3bn wind and solar farm with battery 10 times bigger than Hornsdale
by Giles Parkinson
French renewable energy developer Neoen has filed its development application for the huge $3 billion Goyder South wind, solar and storage project in South Australia which includes a proposed big battery than it nearly 10 times bigger than the expanded “Tesla big battery” at Hornsdale.
The plan proposes a total of 1,200MW of wind energy, 600MW of solar PV, and 900MW/1800MWh of battery storage, an “extremely large” battery as Neoen describes it that will dwarf the 150MW/194MWh “Tesla” battery known officially as the Hornsdale Power Reserve…

Neoen insists that the first stage is likely to go ahead regardless of any significant grid upgrades, but admits that the second and third stages would be contingent on the new transmission line between South Australia and NSW, known as Project EnergyConnect, going ahead…

August 19, 2020 4:14 pm

“The state’s transition away from reliable energy is a contributing factor to the unreliable energy we are currently experiencing”.

Smoking Frog
August 19, 2020 5:37 pm

In the 8th paragraph there’s a link to GoogleSyndication, which is used by advertisers to make their ads work better (by not cluttering the screen or something). It has nothing to do with the article, and it doesn’t even show anything when you navigate to it. Authors and their website managers should try not to have bad links because they are very annoying.

August 20, 2020 3:07 am

Gotta love it when the lights go on in dems and they start agreeing with what skeptics have been saying for years.

August 20, 2020 9:47 pm

Those “gaps” are only there because he created them.   What a smarmy weasel word generator he is.

I am guessing he sees it as just a capacity issue also and has no clue what and expensive , unstable house of cards he continues to build. Unless he accelerates his other plans to drive out business and deindustrialize Ca he will never realiable meet total energy demand.

No vision, no plan just piecemeal decisions driven by virtue signalling, political cycles and extracting subsidies from the Feds where available.   History repeating around the world. 

August 22, 2020 6:11 pm

For those of you that are not familiar with what is going on in Colorado, we have become CA East and are now a solid Blue State. If Newsom thinks he can solve his problem by buying our electric, he is wrong. CO Dems have mandated the exact same green policies that CA has, it’s just that we are about 3 or 4 years behind their stupidity. Our grid is becoming unstable already, as we are having all sorts of spikes and drop offs. Everybody’s smokers are going off at 2 am, a sign of what is to come. Our power companies are switching over from coal to NG, even though we have 200 to 300 years of some of the cleanest coal just a few miles away in the mountain.

And yes, we do have a “do not have to sell to CA clause” in our contracts.

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