Decarbonization and California’s 2020 Rolling Blackouts

Reposted from the Institute of Energy Research

APRIL 20, 2021

“… the retirement of baseload and dispatchable generation has outpaced replacement capacity with adequate characteristics needed to maintain system reliability…. California’s electric system was ultimately unable to maintain reliable operations for the first time in almost two decades.”

It should be front page news. Forced decarbonization of the power grid is causing severe operational and planning issues, adding costs each step of the way. Reliable, economical power generation capacity is getting sacked, and fickle, expensive resources are being substituted.

Government regulation and planning of the grid, under a plethora of state and federal laws, is causing worst-case events. Texas 2021 was foreshadowed by California 2020, where intermittent resources also weakened a once powerful grid.

Consider a new study by the policy arm of the Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI). “The Intersection of Decarbonization Policy Goals and Resource Adequacy Needs: A California Case Study,” by Elliott Nethercutt and Chris Devon, reaches a conclusion that future studies of Blackouts and Brownouts (rolling blackouts) are sure to repeat: too much renewable energy, not enough baseload power.

Unfortunately, the study concludes with the old central planning cry: more and better analysis is needed to fine-tune supply to demand. But read between the lines–and question authority when it comes to decarbonizing the grid.

Study highlights follow (quotations all):


  • A growing number of states have instituted renewable portfolio standards (RPS) through policies and corresponding commission orders to reduce carbon emissions in the electricity sector.
  • No state has transformed its grid with more ambitious policies than California, which introduced its RPS in 2002, initially requiring 20 percent of retail electricity sales to be served by renewable resources within 15 years.
  • This program has been adjusted multiple times, most recently by Senate Bill 100 (SB100) in 2018, which increased the requirement for carbon-free generation from electric retail sales to 60 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2045.
  • The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is charged with implementing this RPS program and … responsible for ensuring that jurisdictional load-serving entities (LSEs) procure enough capacity to meet the commission’s resource adequacy program requirements.
  • These two objectives collided on August 14 and 15, 2020, when the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) called on utilities to initiate controlled rotating electricity outages on two occasions to maintain adequate reserves in the midst of a regional heat wave.
  • These two load-shedding events affected 491,600 and 321,000 customers, respectively. California’s electric system was ultimately unable to maintain reliable operations for the first time in almost two decades….
  • Significant loss-of-load events on the bulk power system often result from a combination of factors…. including: actual loads exceeding forecasts; significant variability in wind and solar output; reduced imports from neighboring states … and significant unit derates and forced outages.
  • California’s rapid and ongoing growth of intermittent resources like wind and solar has flourished, while baseload and dispatchable resources have declined.


  • … the three primary causal factors were related to resource planning targets that “have not kept pace” with the changing resource mix, leading to insufficient resources available to meet demand during the early evening hours.
  • The August events highlight the need for continued improvement to resource adequacy constructs, along with developing and implementing enhanced metrics to accurately assess an electric system that continues to be transformed by ambitious state decarbonization policies.
  • Today, the majority of the state’s solar resources are … located behind-the-meter on customer rooftops…. output rapidly declines after the sun sets, creating a steep ramp in demand that must be served by other resources on the CAISO system.
  • Former FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFluer recognized this problem: “In the past three years, California has closed 5,000 MW of gas generation in anticipation of building 3,000 MW of battery storage that is still on the drawing board. In a heat wave, when every resource is needed, this gap in resources came home to roost.”
  • Relying primarily on battery storage additions to address near-term supply shortages poses reliability risks…. operators still have limited experience with dispatching batteries on the system…. the performance and effectiveness of battery storage systems are highly dependent on their location…. even the most advanced batteries can provide continuous, stable energy output for limited durations (approximately four hours). Extreme heat waves can last for days…. batteries located long distances from load centers may face transmission congestion when attempting to inject power where needed….

Conclusion: More, Better Planning?

  • Systems with increasing amounts of intermittent resources (e.g., wind and solar) will require additional modeling and stochastic metrics that can provide a more complete measure of resource adequacy and help identify associated reliability risks.
  • The continued development of advanced reliability metrics, including those that examine risks beyond the peak hour, can inform policy and regulatory decisions to promote the reliable transformation to a cleaner system.
  • Existing planning processes and reliability constructs need to better identify the system impacts of retiring resources, examining the status of essential reliability services on the system, including ramping capability, frequency response, and inertia.
  • Regionalization can help promote reliability by efficiently pooling resources; however, increased coordination will be needed to recognize the impacts of transmission constraints and individual state policy goals.

Check you premises, California. Consider the consumer in terms of rates and reliability. Reverse course, don’t speed up. Acknowledge and respect the value of dense mineral energies for electrical generation. Flashlights, candlelight, and portable generators are not the energy future you want.

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Joel O'Bryan
April 21, 2021 10:42 pm

Escape From LA: 2035 Edition. Power Blackouts Cometh.

The National Energy Research Laboratory, (NREL), recently released a commissioned study for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) on renewal energy to accomplish Los Angeles goal of 100% Renewable Energy Study (LA100). LADWP wants to completely decarbonize electricity generation in its LA service area by 2045.

The LADWP is shown in a the map (green shaded areas) attached as a jpeg.

note: NREL is part of the US Department of Energy. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is operated by Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the LADWP LA100 study was done under a piad Contract by the utility.

That starting point for that LA100 study is available here:

The NREL LA100 study itself, chapter by chapter, is very long and takes considerable time to digest. It even has a chapter on Environmental Justice garbage virtue signaling. I wasted an hour of my life reading through that chapter (Ch 10) only to realize it says absolutely nothing of substance about applying actual “justice” to disadvantaged communities. It is just a gibberish of virtue signaling, clearly added to satisfy the SJW moron tribe.

I recommend trying to get thu the Exectuive Summary for those so interested in Cal’s lunacy on going “carbon free” by 2045.

the Executive Summary is here:

The most interesting part is what it doesn’t say. I scanned all the Executive Summary and all the chapters for key words like “blackouts” and anything to do with loss of electrical service.

Only 1 hit in the entire study came back on black-outs and how to mitigate their occurrence with unreliable renewable eenergy. There was just a single mention in the entire study of “black-outs” and their possibility. That one hit was in the Executive Summary, where one finds this statement (page 38 of Executive Summary of LA100 NREL study)

“All LA100 scenarios appear robust to withstand extended transmission outages due to the use of in-basin dispatchable capacity (renewably fueled combustion turbines and fuel cells).

To avoid blackouts, the LA100 scenarios build renewably fueled in-basin capacity and, in some cases, additional transmission lines. We then test the robustness of the system against a set of over 215 combinations of extended transmission outages that could result from fires, maintenance, or any other reason. We evaluate these outages over an entire year for the most difficult scenario, Early & No Biofuels – High. Analysis demonstrates that the ability to increase generation from in-basin firm capacity allows load to be met under the large majority of outages explored, including a majority of the more extreme outage cases.”

Note the use of the word “majority”. They did NOT say “all”, or “almost all”. A “majority” is that simply % greater than 50% of the scenarios analyzed didn’t lead to black-outs. It means sustained black-outs due to a failure supply by 2045 will occur, just not a majority of the time. That would be my reading. So that means there still were many scenarios they ran where black-outs occurred.

Seriously, any real professional engineer would realize anything less than 98% to 99% realiability is unacceptable. The LADWP leadership is apparently accepting large scale, recurring black-outs by 2045 as part of the climate virtue signaling.

And note that to avoid Black-outs in the NREL analysis, “in basin” generation (within the LA-SoCal area) would require substantial use of hydrogen (H2) resources to generate electricity via H2 turbines and fuel cells. This H2 Technology which today does not exist at the scale envisioned. Neither in NOx free generation realm or the electrolysis (blue hydrogen, from solar PV electrolysis) can this be done on the near time horizon.

When I look at the bar charts where electrical supply is used for water electrolysis (the negative brs) for hydrogen generation, the NREL “experts” seems to be using near 100% solar PV electrical conversion for generation of of hydrogen from electrolysis, and then to use that hydrogen in a near 100% efficency generator (turbines or fuel cells) to make electricyt on demand at night when the solar power is gone. Pure nuts. That is laughable, as the total end-to-end conversion efficiency of solar PV to electricity to electrolysis to pressurized H2 storage to then electrical generation (via H2 turbine or feul cell bank) at night is probably on the order of 15% – 20%, and maybe lower that that. The bar chart is woefully under-representing (by 5x to 10x) what amount of daytime generation capacity (MWatts) that must be dedicated to just make H2 to use when the sun isn’t available for PV electricity.

Any hows, after I read through that and digest ed it all… it seems clear to me that LADWP is ensuring LA suffers regular blackouts during the summer and fall months when the demand is high and the electrical supply is low (night).

Snake Plissken advises you to leave LA now, while you still can.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 22, 2021 8:04 am

The goal is not to generate electricity. The goal is to generate billion dollar contracts for green energy. Since California just got billions from the Feds for stimulus, they have to spend the money somewhere.

April 21, 2021 11:40 pm

Sort of like some movie huh?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  gringojay
April 22, 2021 12:05 am

Fauci really doesn’t realize he has descended into a cultural joke with his anti-science stances on COVID mandates and masks.
Pretty sad actually, because he once did some great work on the HIV crisis, whiuch is why he has the stature he has in medicine, now lost.
Then he went political last year and lost his way. Now he’s just a bumbling boob who needs to be fired or retired.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 22, 2021 1:31 am

Masks Are AZT, and FAUCI Knew It

Dr. Fauci repeatedly stated that he would not fund or allow random controlled trials for masks because that would be “unethical.” This is exactly the sort of bull**** he ran during the original AIDS years in the 1980s and early 1990s when he actively worked to deny Bactrim to AIDS patients who had a high risk of PCP, which routinely killed said patients.  We knew Bactrim worked to stop PCP in immune-compromised people because we had been using it for more than five years at that point in Leukemia patients, and in fact it is one of the major factors that caused leukemia to become a much more-survivable disease.

Separately, there is a report of Democrats, notably in San Francisco, desperate to sustain a politically congruent narrative, sentenced hundreds of thousands of trans/homosexual males with a socially liberal lifestyle to contracting HIV through fecal transmission and a shorter life — shorter than common in that population — to AIDS and premature death.

These cases are remarkably similar to what happened with Covid-19. Therapeutic drugs stigmatized and denied, demonstrated in global applications to reduce hospitalization, disease progression, and death by 80 to 90%. In America, around 80% of cases in overweight “fat is beautiful” people. No judgments, No labels, indeed. Restrictive mandates, notably masks, established through controlled studies accounting for chance and other factors, demonstrated to break even at best, or increase infections at worst. Lockdowns to increase vulnerability to a virus that was already widespread and transmission in greenhouse environments (e.g. homes).

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 22, 2021 5:19 am

There seems to be growing criticism of how the HIV crisis was handled too with parallels to the CV19 pandemic. Dr. Fauci is under the microscope and the bumbling boob may be found out to be a charlatan with nefarious tendencies.

Walter Horsting
Reply to  Scissor
April 22, 2021 7:35 am

HIV, San Francisco wouldn’t allow contact tracing which has been used for over a century to track STDs…Patient Zero was a gay Flight Attendant that traveled the world on gay trips. SF, really had a insane gay scene…

Reply to  Scissor
April 22, 2021 9:36 am

Fauci is just another incompetent civil servant. Like most civil servants.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 22, 2021 9:04 am

What HIV crisis? There was no such event. Just alarmists like Fauci and others screaming from the roof tops to elicit more funding.

Similar to the AGW scam.

April 22, 2021 12:05 am

oooooo.. can I have 1000 tonnes of lithium battery in my backyard, please !!

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  fred250
April 22, 2021 12:56 am

Why would you want to turn your backyard into a toxic waste dump of Li-ion batteries and an extreme fire hazard??? Do you really hate your neighbors that much???

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 22, 2021 4:38 am

I think that’s the point Fred was making

John Bruce
April 22, 2021 12:11 am

typical mixing of battery at 3000MWh of capacity and generation at 5000MW
when will people learn the battery has only 3000MW which can be used over the period of unavailable solar say 12 hours meaning it is only 250MW for a 12 hour period – significantly different from 5000MW of continuous generation

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  John Bruce
April 22, 2021 1:03 am

battery maths completely elude non-engineers. The reality is as a rechargeable battery capacity is depleted, voltages drop. We seee this in flashlights as when the bulb’s light dims. This drop in voltage in such a grid demand situation, that current (amps) demands increases to keep the total VA constant at the DC-AC inverter supplying the AC grid. Bad stuff then happens. The battery bank quickly drops below depletion when current demand climbs under decreasing voltage out. Battery conservation circuits kick-in to disconnect the battery bank. The grid goes dark. Welcome to the 21st Century and Climate Lunacy.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 22, 2021 9:59 am

Inverters have an input voltage window, outside of which they automatically shut down. Low voltage is one reason for low PV performance ratios.

Reply to  John Bruce
April 22, 2021 3:05 am

3000MWh is probably 1% of what is really required for California.
Let’s say 300GWh (maybe a bit less).
A ready-to-use LiIon battery (installed in the grid) costs around 0.3-0.5 cents/Wh.
So you can safely assume that this capacity costs something in the range of 100-Billion US$.
Good luck!

BTW: There is a nice page on that topic, where you can simulate the switch to renewables in Germany and the impacts:
I got my base numbers and derived estimates from there …

April 22, 2021 12:25 am

Severe weather with resulting record demand and the need to shut off power to avoid starting fires are the root of California’s problems in 2020. Even a fossil fuelled grid would have struggled with demand and couldn’t have stopped the fire prevention switch offs.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  griff
April 22, 2021 6:59 am

So what’s your point? The rolling blackouts were because of failed wind and solar, not because of fires.

Reply to  griff
April 22, 2021 8:09 am

The need to shut off power was due to utilities being so broke they can no longer trim trees back from power lines. The news media liked showing the huge high voltage lines, but in reality the problem is tree limbs falling on the local 13.8 distribution lines. Lack of maintenance due to the utilities getting slammed with green mandates.

Reply to  griff
April 22, 2021 10:02 am

Not a kilowatt of sold power exists anywhere in California that does not first meet the approval of State regulations via the California Public Utilities Commission. Of course, California also has the “deep pockets” system of tort law decided by liberal judges and the greatest number of lawyers anywhere in the world. This leads to corporate decisions to not take tort risk, which now includes shutting off power distribution to millions when the wind blows. Turns out the PUC can’t force private companies to supply service. You reap what you sow.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  griff
April 22, 2021 10:25 am

No Griff, the weather was well within historical norms. Brush buildup due to green stupidity means fires become possible, previous fires convince PGE to shut off power at these times.

But this is completely separate from rolling blackouts due to inadequate supply. That part will continue to worsen.
It is inevitable that california will black out when surrounding states have to curtail exports due to their own issues to keep the power on for their own customers.

And i’ll write it here for you, “It wasn’t the fault of renewables in california, they worked exactly as designed, the issue was other states not meeting their promised exports”.
Paraphrased from your Texas excuses.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  griff
April 22, 2021 9:14 pm

Severe weather? Have you ever spent a Summer in California to understand what its weather is actually like? In the late-60s and mid-70s I experienced Summer temperatures far greater that what California experienced in 2020, and there were no great fires associated with the high temperatures at that time. As usual, you are offering opinions on things you have no personal experience with.

April 22, 2021 12:29 am

It’s one thing for states super-wealthy through exports like California (IT) and Germany (cars etc.) to indulge in decarbonisation.

But the message is finally getting through that in much of the real world, virtue signalling games with energy generation will just entrench poverty.

(Cynical people might think that this is the real goal.)

Blanket bans on fossil-fuel funds will entrench poverty (

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
April 22, 2021 1:10 am

Oil and natural gas pulled the Western Democracies out of poverty. There is no doubt of that. Eliminating high energy density oil and natural gas without a suitable hiugh-density source like nuclear, will only lead to a reversion back to a Medieval-like life of harsh, brutish, short life conditions for most people. Bill Gates, Mikey Bloomberg and Tom Steyer will still have their caviar and fine wines on their mega-yachts though.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 22, 2021 3:36 am

And no doubt the rich will take care of the missionaries like Mickey Mann and Bill McKibben.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 22, 2021 4:40 am

Only as long as they are useful

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 22, 2021 9:56 am

I think it was really coal. Heck, coal was the fuel for electricity, ships and trains until less than 100 years ago.

Oil and natural gas saved the whales and allowed for personal transportation.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 22, 2021 9:26 pm

will still have their caviar and fine wines on their mega-yachts though.

How will that happen if the masses that support the wine industry can no longer afford wine, and the wine industry goes broke, and the remaining oil refineries supplying the military can’t produce surplus diesel fuel for their yachts, and the infrastructure can’t supply diesel fuel when and where the formerly wealthy keep their yachts? Life will change even for the super-wealthy. They just haven’t thought it through to realize that money may be less useful to the masses if there aren’t things available to buy with the money, and they may not be willing to provide services for Scrooge McDuck.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
April 22, 2021 3:32 am

“virtue signalling games with energy generation will just entrench poverty”
Yet, they claim going green is a “justice” thing and good for the poor:

Peta of Newark
April 22, 2021 12:50 am

If you’re not partial to Avocado, as served up by Beelzebub, avert your gaze now

My little autistic friend, Sarah (age 8), cannot read or write.
She herself is in no rush to learn.

She has an incredibly agile mind and is an amazing artist, she can say all she needs to say in her drawings.
She makes up completely new words & names for things that are entirely logical and ‘English sounding’
Incredible memory, we pickup conversations, that we started but didn’t finish, from months ago and without missing a beat.
She recognises that sugar ‘makes her hyper’ and will tell you as much.
She is incapable of mendacity while having bucket-loads of Empathy.

She doesn’t do Sympathy.
She knows it is fake because it is what almost every adult she has ever known heaps upon her at every opportunity.
They simply cannot find any other topic of conversation.

She can and will talk about anything on any subject.
She loves to talk, yet contemporary adults think that that demonstrates how there’s something wrong with her.
And when it comes to Sarah, that really does, for me, demonstrate in the largest possible way what a complete mess this world is in right.

At various times over the last couple of years she has cared for innumerable and various pets:
ladybird bugs
butterflies (when she can catch them, hence rarely)
One Huge Collection of soft and other toys that get involved in epic long-running stories

On her 8th b’day, her Mum gave her an old mobile phone, just to play the games it had in it.
Now,6 months later, she was ‘properly connected’
Yesterday, Mum said that the £10 (dollars as Sarah calls them) that sh’d put onto the credit of a Kiddies Game Application, saw Sarah begging for a top-up hardly one hour later.

16 years ago I had a stroke, occasioned by stress. The stress of being on-call and available 24/7/365.
My escape was via nicotine. Could equally well have been booze, cannabis, cocaine, sugar, spendthriftery, gambling, computer gaming, trash TV or whatever.
My stroke left me with a thing called ‘Emotionalism’
It’s why Weepy Bill is ‘weepy’ in all probability.

When I heard Sarah’s news I was overtaken by such a tsunami of sadness that I too, became ‘weepy’. I felt soooooo sad.

Poor little Sarah,
Such a bright light and it’s going to be cynically trashed by her now being:

  • in demand
  • on call
  • always available 24/7/365

…. and the stress of that will start the positive feedback spiral into what happened to me and vast numbers of people nowadays.
The so called ‘Modern or Lifestyle Diseases’.
And Covid of course.
All the shyte that folks used to alleviate the stress of 24/7 is what killed them, Covid was simply the Coup-de-Grace

Seemingly, over 700,000 folks in the US alone die every year because of “Medical Incompetence“. Their own doctor actually delivered the Coup-de-Grace

Is that your definition of Never Been Better?
Are you really sure

The Devil in me says “No, Switch It Off
On an irregular and random basis/pattern

wake people up. get them to think again, get them to react to new & rapidly evolving situations. get the out-&-about, meeting people like Sarah.
And Lord help us, there are so many like her

So, what to do:
I first met Zombies in a London pub over 15 years ago.
They are everywhere now
We see them regularly around here, as politician and parading as scientists. No need to visit any pubs in London.
Busy shopping malls are excellent hunting grounds. Not that any hunting skills are actually required, stand there and they simply mow you down.

I assert that it is the 24/7/365, or especially the human mind/body’s way of coping with that, is what creates them.

Putting out the lights, the TVs, phones and computers might just wake a few of them back up.
Bit like a defibrillator in fact. Good job they run off batteries innit.

But wait, without 24/7 and (usually) Government induced stress, defibrillators would hardly be needed at all, instead of at every street corner.
Are you really sure about that ‘Goodness Thing

Go on, be a Devil.
Think The Unthinkable

<end avocado> – get into chowing down the toast now.
Just make sure there’s a defibrillator nearby if you do eat the toast

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 22, 2021 10:49 am

Don’t forget to take your meds.

dodgy geezer
April 22, 2021 1:33 am

There is nothing wrong with the Californian energy system. Everything is proceeding to plan.

What no green will tell you – though they know it perfectly well – is that the aim is for people to use MUCH LESS energy. According to greens, people should not have cars, air con or extensive lighting and heating. People should live ‘in tune with nature’. They should only use local, manually made produce, and go to bed when it gets dark.

Closing the energy infrastructure down is the easiest way to achieve all of this…

dodgy geezer
Reply to  dodgy geezer
April 22, 2021 1:38 am

P.S. You might think that people will complain. But the Covid experience shows that people will accept practically anything if they are assured that it is necessary by a man in a white cost, and backed up by a public campaign to shame anyone who steps out of line….

Rich Davis
Reply to  dodgy geezer
April 22, 2021 3:20 am

I think you’re right about the goal. There’s no concern about the infrastructure being inadequate because they want to force radically less use.

However, people will complain in the face of real life-threatening conditions like a week without heat in a frigid February climate. And also major discomfort like no air conditioning that they can afford to use through a brutal humid summer.

Covid restrictions equate to inconvenience for the most part. Also for some, the “work” from home lifestyle has appeal.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 22, 2021 5:28 am

Heat is the determining factor in winter, no heat is an absolute killer. My family didn’t have air conditioning here in Kansas till I was almost 18 and ready to leave for college. Yeah, it was uncomfortable some nights trying to sleep but we got by.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  dodgy geezer
April 22, 2021 3:39 am

And then we’ll all be speaking Chinese to get what crumbs are left. The Chinese tourists will visit the dying Western nations- travel through our neighborhoods and photograph the poor folks sitting on the stoops of their huts and say, “it sure was easy taking over the world from these green fools without firing a shot”.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 22, 2021 9:08 am

China has a huge demographic problem coming in the next 20 years. They will have to spend some time worrying about themselves, so their global ambitions may fall by the wayside.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
April 22, 2021 10:19 am

Yes, they did it to themselves, just as we are doing now.
Collective insanity

Reply to  dodgy geezer
April 23, 2021 7:10 am

In the meantime, the purchase of home electricity generators has surged in California. The aim is for POOR people to use MUCH LESS energy.

Joseph Zorzin
April 22, 2021 3:28 am

“No state has transformed its grid with more ambitious policies than California”
Except Massachusetts which is competing to be the greenest state.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 22, 2021 8:05 am

It is easy to reduce your CO2 emissions by buying your power from across the border and shutting down your own power plants….so far….

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  DMacKenzie
April 22, 2021 8:24 am

Massachusetts claims to be the most energy efficient state but if this is true, it’s because we don’t produce industrial products any more. We import almost everthing- but the state doesn’t count the energy required and the “carbon pollution” resulting from that out of state production- not that I think it really is pollution- just saying that the state’s claim is false. And now that the state passed a “net free by 2050” and there simply isn’t enough land for solar “farms” nor enough coast line for all the wind turbines that will be necessary for a tiny state with over 6 million people, it’s hoping that adjacent states won’t mind installing more “renewable energy” so we can import it. Meanwhile, all the people screaming about the “climate emergency” are now crying over the site of solar “farms”. The hypocrisy and stupidity is staggering.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  DMacKenzie
April 22, 2021 10:17 am

Works perfectly
Until it doesn’t.
As always

April 22, 2021 4:17 am

Meanwhile down in Texas they’re squabbling over unreliable power-
Texas wind farms sue Citigroup over charges from winter storm (

Frank from NoVA
April 22, 2021 6:40 am

“You can’t stop what’s coming”.

The above quote from the movie ‘No Country for Old Men’ seems appropriate here. Regulated utilities, which for the most part are also some of our most “woke” corporations, will be only too happy to “invest” in (and earn a return on) the green infrastructure that their “woke” public utility commissions order them to build. The only speed bump on this path in the short term may be the concern that some politicians / commissions have for “customer bills”, which will need to be offset by reduced maintenance / reliability. But this concern will only be temporary as rates rise more or less in tandem across all jurisdictions while service and reliability decline.

Sorry to be negative about this, but as long as the EPA’s “Endangerment Finding” remains intact, there will be no deviation from the political action that will drive the downward energy, and eventually economic, spiral. Rational people can talk about building nukes, or point out the impossibility of complying with decarbonization regulations in general, but the fact remains that the die is cast as long as the people and their governments are on-board with pillorying fossil fuels.

Barnes Moore
April 22, 2021 6:55 am

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The sooner a major grid collapse/catastrophe occurs where the blame cannot be shifted away from the fact that the collapse/catastrophe was caused by over-reliance on unreliables, the better. There will still be a mass of brainwashed individuals who will not be convinced, but hopefully, there will be enough others who wake up to the fact that we cannot replace reliable, affordable and abundant fossil fuel energy with intermittent, unreliable, and expensive wind and solar.

April 22, 2021 8:00 am

3 GW battery storage. Meaningless. What is the GW-hrs. of storage?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  JamesD
April 22, 2021 8:51 am

In that context, it is a battery bank that can deliver 3Mwatt of power for some undefined time period. Maybe just a few minutes so that some dispatchable power generator can come on line to avert a blackout.

April 22, 2021 9:41 am

Wait until Diablo Canyon nuclear plant closes next year, California’s only nuclear facility. It was the cheap spare nighttime power that enabled the Helms Creek pumped storage system to financially operate, as well as the California Aquaduct pumps in Tehachapi, the largest single electricity user in the state. As we all know, pumping water uphill is hard to do and expensive.

Pacific Gas &Electric, the bankrupt and convicted felon company that supplies power to more than half the state decided not to re-license the facility due to state regulatory hurdles. No one protested the decision.

It will be fun to listen to those saving California from climate change when the lights go out and the water stops arriving in the Southern California desert.

Pat from Kerbob
April 22, 2021 10:15 am

Its all about fairness.
The 3rd world has a crappy unreliable grid, so its only fair if we make ours crappy and unreliable too.

I guarantee there are many people who will read that and nod their heads in agreement.

April 22, 2021 10:36 am

The only practical short range solution is to build sufficient backup of standby generators fueled by natural gas.

If they had instead just simply switched all of their coal based generation over to efficient CCNG electrical generation they would have reduced CO2 emissions just as much* and kept the system reliable.

*(or more, especially considering all the CO2 emissions required to manufacture and transport the windmills and solar cells, build out transmission lines, energy expended to dispose/recycle depleted equipment, etc.)

April 22, 2021 2:14 pm

Has anybody charted sales of personal generators against the incidence of rolling blackouts?

In South Africa in 2008/2009 sales rocketed through the roof when the ESKOM the state energy agency instituted rolling blackouts due to lack of capacity.

Tombstone Gabby
April 22, 2021 9:25 pm

“…Brownouts (rolling blackouts)… ” Nope…..

California’s ‘brownouts‘ are a reduction of voltage, from a nominal 120 VAC to around 95 VAC. What this does to motors is criminal. Had a friend lose an air compressor that way just a couple of weeks ago.

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