‘Calif. Dilemma: Fight Climate Change and Keep on the Lights’ (energy reality at E&E)

From MasterResource

By Robert Bradley Jr. — June 8, 2022

“Government does not solve problems. It subsidizes them.” (Ronald Reagan)

“The purpose of the social sciences is to impart reliable information to both understand reality and avoid problems before they occur. But here we are with a faulty shared narrative. And the public is catching on with electricity, as they already have with transportation.” (RLB, below)

E&E News is the media center for the cause of (government-driven) energy transformation. Its many reporters assume but do not debate climate alarmism, the necessary but not sufficient premise behind the wind/solar/battery cause. Still, E&E reporters are looking for interesting stories and report on some of the problems of the “transition.” That gets to energy reality.

This Monday’s article, “California Dilemma,” mainstreams the fact that politically correct renewables are expensive, unreliable, and problematic at scale. And unreliability means price spikes and supply/demand turmoil. The subject is California, but Texas deserves the same analysis. But by summer-end, other states might be in the power emergency room.

The E&E article follows with my subtitles.

‘Shared Narrative’ Dilemma

California sees itself as a global leader in the fight against climate change. But keeping on the lights over the next five summers is likely to increase the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, energy experts said.

The nation’s most populous state faces an electricity supply crunch, with projections showing that peak demand could exceed available supplies by as much as 3,500 megawatts. That would leave as many as 3.5 million homes without power.

Comment: And who was warning about this years and even decades ago? The “magical thinking” has turned into a crisis that cannot be blamed on Russia.

The purpose of the social sciences is to impart reliable information to both understand reality and to avoid problems before they occur. But here we are with a faulty shared narrative. And the public is catching on with electricity, as they already have with transportation.

To address the problem, [California] Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to spend $5.2 billion to boost reliability. Initial plans include keeping open natural gas plants that were due to retire.

Comment: More government intervention in the attempt to rescue the problems created by prior. In the political economy literature, this is called the Mises Intervention Thesis (see yesterday’s post). And its corollary is gapism, where new regulation tries to increase supply or decrease demand in the attempt to alleviate the (government-created) shortage.

For now, state leaders should prioritize preventing blackouts over concerns about greenhouse gas emissions, said several experts. Doing so would help maintain support for long-term climate goals.

“If the public sees this year after year — shortages and blackouts and curtailment — I think there will be a lot of setback for the long-term green energy plan that everyone hopes will come to pass,” said Ahmad Faruqui, energy economist formerly with the Brattle Group consulting firm. “We live in the short run. Unless we make it through the short run, we are not going to get the long run.”

Comment: Political reality is the voter’s expectation (demand) for affordable, reliable energy. America has had such for many decades. This is why many climate alarmists and forced energy transformationists find themselves at odds with humankind and even democracy. The nuts (I profiled one last week) are out in a final desperate attempt at drawing attention to a futile, misplaced cause.

California aims to make its grid carbon-free by 2045. Additionally, state law mandates California must generate 60 percent of its electricity from renewable sources in less than eight years. But supply chain disruptions have stalled generation projects.

Comment: Blame Game One. If the state had not tried to reengineer–really duplicate the grid–supply chain issues would not have been such a problem.

Meanwhile, extreme heat, wildfires and drought threaten to cut supplies and drive up electricity demand. Rolling blackouts hit the state for two evenings in August 2020 during a West-wide heat wave.

Comment: Blame Game Two. Climate change is the problem, not our energy policy. Yet the state’s planners allegedly knew about the problem from the same shared narrative. And renewables failed coming and going.

As a result, energy planners want a 22.5 percent buffer of available electricity supplies over projected peak demand. Right now, they lack that buffer for the next five summers (Climatewire, May 23).

Comment: The extraordinarily high reserve factor at the peak (15 percent used to be the benchmark with reliables) indicates the inability of wind and solar and batteries to compete on a reliable basis. Basically, planners are double making the grid, one politically correct and the other of life-or-death necessity.

This summer, the potential gap between energy demand and supply [in the state] could hit 3,500 megawatts. In California, 1 MW powers between 750 and 1,000 homes.

Comment: Crisis time in the not-so-Golden State?

Starting next summer, the state should have sufficient electricity supply under normal circumstances. But extreme events could create a demand surge and electricity supply shortage, planners said. In 2023, the power supply gap in those cases is 600 MW. In 2024, it rises to 2,700 MW. A year later, in 2025, the potential shortfall is 3,300 MW.

Comment: Yes, and …. Will they blame it on climate change?

Compounding the issue is that power plant retirements are expected to take away about 6,300 MW of supply by 2025. Those includes the planned retirement of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant’s two generators in 2024 and 2025. The Newsom administration has asked the Department of Energy for help in getting federal funding that could delay the plant’s closure (Energywire, May 25).

Comment: What planned power plant retirements are premature? Are they not making money and if so, why? They are built with sunk costs, and every kilowatt hour of their capacity is needed.

Why federal (national taxpayer) funding to keep a needed supply source on line? Tell us about how wind and solar have ruined margins to make a sunk-cost asset such as Diablo Canyon uneconomic.

Blame Game

California Energy Commission spokesperson Lindsay Buckley said in an email that the agency recognizes “reliability challenges may lead to a short-term increase in greenhouse emissions in the electricity sector.”

“This is also occurring as a record-breaking amount of clean energy is planned to come online, lowering the net increase in emissions,” she said in an email.

Comment: That “clean energy” is causing shortages that requires dense, reliable mineral energies to get back into the picture in a big way.

Since the August 2020 rolling blackouts, the state has ordered utilities to procure 11,500 MW of power and accelerate generation projects, Buckley said. Battery storage capacity grew twentyfold in 2.5 years. State officials also installed emergency generators and delayed planned retirement dates for existing power plants.

Comment: And it was not enough. Can’t blame the Russians….

Even with those actions, she said, “climate impacts are outpacing our efforts and continuing to cause unprecedented stress on California’s energy system, threatening reliability and [putting] Californians at risk of additional outages.”

Comment: So California thinks it can affect the global parts per million of CO2 with its climate plan? Do the climate math. Are there laws against public policy fraud?

State Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D), chair of the senate budget subcommittee on environmental issues, said he fears what an electricity supply crunch would mean for a California mandate to shrink its greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

To meet that requirement, the state needs to cut emissions about 4.3 percent annually — about 2.5 times its 2019 reduction level (Climatewire, Dec. 15, 2021).

Comment: No kidding. The aspirational goal will not happen. But just trying to meet the goals will cause waste and distortion that every citizen and business will shoulder.

Continuing to operate natural gas plants that were due to close compounds the climate challenge, he said in an interview. “We calculated that we would meet part of these [greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals] based on those things coming offline,” Wieckowski said.

He added that he’s asked the Newsom administration for more specifics on what electricity generation sources it would include in the reliability project, as well as options to offset emissions increases.

Lost Summer Ahead

Siva Gunda, vice chair at the California Energy Commission, said that the bulk of Newsom’s proposed funding would go toward securing electricity supply sources. That includes extending the lives of plants that were scheduled to retire, as well as ramping up new generation and storage projects, new clean energy backup generation projects, and diesel and natural gas backup generation units with emission controls.

In terms of this summer, however, there’s not much that can be done, said Jan Smutny-Jones, CEO of the Independent Energy Producers Association, a trade group. “If we’re talking about next year,” he said, “there may be some opportunity” to add resources.

The $5.2 billion, if it’s approved, is needed in part to pay natural gas-fired plants to stay online, because many lose money during the day, he said. Their power is more expensive than solar electricity that’s abundant in the Golden State.

Comment: Please explain. If explained, the root distortion of California’s power problem becomes clear.

“If you need the gas fleet, and you’re only operating, say, 10 percent of the time, how do you keep them around economically?” Smutny-Jones said.

More Demand Regulation Ahead

Several energy experts suggested that California needs to change how it prices electricity and the incentives it offers to businesses and residents to cut their power consumption.

Comment: It is central planning time with the ‘experts’ and ‘models’ trying to plan for millions who just want their power and not be bothered with much more than a monthly power bill.

California needs more “dynamic pricing,” where electricity consumers get a price that varies based on supply and demand conditions, said energy economist Faruqui.

Only about 2 percent of California electricity ratepayers have dynamic pricing, Faruqui said. Some customers have “time of use” rates, but those rates don’t vary based on supply and demand.

Comment: Demand-side intervention to address the problems created by supply-side intervention. The Mises Intervention Thesis and gapism are at work.

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June 9, 2022 6:20 am

The evil of this whole false narrative is off the charts. It is like we are being punished for being human and need to be replaced. CC is the biggest lie to ever be spoken in the history of the world, but how do we fight this reptilian invasion?

William Capron
Reply to  HOJO
June 9, 2022 10:47 am

It seems to me that if the pricing / usage drive enough people out of the state, then a balance will be attained through reduced demand; especially if they are the rich people who won’t settle for life without AC. They may drive the state to the same level as Mexico; servicing the needs of poor people takes a lot less electricity. I don’t see things ending well for California and a whole bunch of the smug East and West coasts.

John Moore
Reply to  William Capron
June 9, 2022 5:32 pm

” . . energy consumers GET a price. . ” ooops. consumers PAY a price . .”

Doc Chuck
Reply to  HOJO
June 9, 2022 4:57 pm

The amoral drivers of this narrative are heroes in their own eyes who deserve accolades and a high living standard rewarding their poetically tender sensibilities for all that is earthy that can be portrayed as depending upon them. As emotive word-crafters, they believe that neither realities or consequences should impose upon their noblest sentiments; nor do they believe that lies in themselves are out of bounds if they will serve to retain their office without getting caught out by those who still do.

Ron Long
June 9, 2022 6:32 am

I will see your (dysfunctional and proud of it) California and raise you (adapting nicely to a Reality Check, than you) India. Except now India has gone off the rails by buying Russian crude and selling the refined product to idiots. It sure looks like humanity is in a downward spiral.

Reply to  Ron Long
June 9, 2022 7:07 am

How has India gone off the rails? Buying Russian crude at a discount and then selling it on to idiots seems like a very sound business.

Reply to  Ron Long
June 9, 2022 7:09 am

India needs the extra cash flow to reopen their coal mines. They were “on the rails” only so long as the West was supplying the engine.

Reply to  Ron Long
June 9, 2022 7:28 am

Sounds like India is just doing the jobs that our western twit leadership won’t allow us to do ourselves.

Can’t really blame them for seeing a market niche and filling it.

Reply to  Ron Long
June 9, 2022 9:25 am

I believe the phrase you are looking for is “off the reservation”.
Off the rails means they have broken down.
Off the reservation means they are no longer doing what those who consider themselves to be the masters, want them to do.

Ron Long
Reply to  MarkW
June 9, 2022 12:31 pm

Woke up, MarkW, “reservation” is no longer allowed by the Thought Police (TP for short, rhymes with Toilet Paper).

jeffery P
Reply to  Ron Long
June 9, 2022 9:42 am

Off what rails? India is doing what it’s government thinks is best for India.

Last edited 2 months ago by jeffery P
Dave Yaussy
June 9, 2022 6:34 am

PG&E just announced its plans to go carbon neutral, on a schedule more ambitious than California requires. As you might expect, it’s long on promise and short on specifics, but the head of PG&E said that goals are important, and have to come first.

I am afraid that a state like California is going to have to fail before we get rid of net zero, and a couple of blackouts won’t do it. It will take degrading service that comes over time, as patches and band-aids no longer work. There will be all manner of excuses offered for failure, other than the obvious inadequacies of the original plan, and the true believers in the electorate will accept them for a long time. It’s going to be a long, sad process.

Patrick B
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
June 9, 2022 11:10 am

With enough money you can “fix” it – i.e. build a backup gas power plant to cover for every solar and wind source. I don’t care if California decides to spend their citizens’ money doing that. My concern is that, just like Covid relief, State decisions will be paid for with federal funds.

Gary Pate
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
June 9, 2022 11:26 pm

Murdering their customers through neglecting maintenance of their infrastructure is a great way to go “carbon neutral”…

Reply to  Dave Yaussy
June 10, 2022 8:20 am

Having just move back to the US after several years living in South Africa, where load shedding (non PC to call them blackouts) is routine and the grid and power sector are in total meltdown, I see the US heading in the same direction. Ignore the inherent unreliability of wind/solar and assume all will be great after the great transition. China is salivating with the conquering of America without firing a shot.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  John
June 10, 2022 3:40 pm

Industry can only prosper when there is reliable, abundant energy available. The US is going to, once again, force industry to move to China or to a Chinese satellite where they can get reliable, abundant energy which will maximize productivity.

The Dems didn’t learn the first time when they started pushing industry to China through wage controls, capital controls, and regulation.

So now they are trying to do the same thing using energy. Do *all* the Democrats have financial ties to China? It sure looks that way! I don’t know why else they would, once again, pushing to make China the worlds manufacturing center!

Reply to  Dave Yaussy
June 10, 2022 4:35 pm

Patrick is right, California will have to be like Germany and ability to generate enough power on wind and solar alone and revert to coal for its primary power. Perhaps using supercritical technology will do it for them

Tom Halla
June 9, 2022 6:43 am

Failure to fix the perverse pricing structure is a problem Texas has as well. Giving intermittents preference will lead to brownouts or blackouts, as dispatchable sources are discriminated against.

Rud Istvan
June 9, 2022 7:05 am

The sooner and bigger California grid fails, the faster this nonsense ends.

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 9, 2022 9:17 am

I agree. Let them have several more months or years of unreliables-induced blackouts. It’s what they want to save the planet, right?

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 9, 2022 9:29 am

I’m afraid that we are going to have to see massive loss of life before most of them wake up to the mess they have made.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  MarkW
June 9, 2022 10:37 am

How about loss of jobs as all the industry moves out of state…that just might work. They can rationalize loss of life for decades before waking up :<)

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 9, 2022 6:44 pm

I thought that only TX had its own isolated grid. Doesn’t CA’s idiocy affect surrounding states as well?

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 10, 2022 9:30 am

Nonsense in California never ends.

June 9, 2022 7:12 am

Since Jerry Brown used Antarctic ice loss BS to engineer more federal funds for high-speed rail to nowhere, they will just have to find another federal program to tap for grid crisis and emergency generator purchases. Maybe the Defense Production Act has some money to dump.

June 9, 2022 7:12 am

“When I drive my EV from San Diego to San Francisco, I don’t care about gas prices. Of course it takes me a week to complete the trip, but I smile every time I pass by a gas station”

– Most democrats

  • by Michael Scott
Bryan A
Reply to  Pauleta
June 9, 2022 9:05 am

And, instead, dump my money into cheap motel expensive Hotel rooms

June 9, 2022 7:14 am

California has had 2 years in a row of massive budget surpluses. Thank you Mr. Stockmarket. That state can afford to buy anything it needs right now.

Reply to  Joel
June 9, 2022 7:31 am

Right now, California needs cheap housing for the homeless 🙂

Last edited 2 months ago by Curious George
Reply to  Curious George
June 9, 2022 8:05 am

You’re not understanding how green energy works. What CA needs is MORE homeless and more illegals. In fact, maybe all of them should head for CA. With more people will come more diversity and more demand on resources which will make the available resources cheaper and easier to obtain.

Reply to  Curious George
June 9, 2022 11:57 am

I know; fly Cali’s indigenous homeless to the island of Lanai, Ellison’s neo-feudal paradise, along with the new illegal aliens for added diversity among the comfort women.

Reply to  Joel
June 9, 2022 6:47 pm

Not likely this year. Did they set anything aside for lean years?

Reply to  Joel
June 10, 2022 7:45 am

Here’s a thought. Maybe the surplus is the result of having the highest fukin taxes in the country?

Kevin Quitberg
Reply to  Joel
June 10, 2022 3:11 pm

Still has $1.5 trillion in unfunded CALPERS arrears. Couldn’t put any $$ into desalination. Nothing more foolish than burning natural gas for baseload power. Absolute and complete stupidity. Emotions trump science every day of the week.

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  Kevin Quitberg
June 10, 2022 9:39 pm

Precisely. We should build another 10 Diablo Canyons to provide 100% of our electrical needs, and then use all the intermittents to power desalinators. It’s easy to “bank” the water in reservoirs and aquifers, so we can live with the variability of the intermittent power supply.

We have all the power and water we could want – we just have idiots in Sacramento.

Michael in Dublin
June 9, 2022 7:17 am

The solution on paper is simple. All Californians should return to being cavemen or cave dwellers. But perhaps this will not work because there are not nearly enough caves in California.

CD in Wisconsin
June 9, 2022 7:47 am

“Government does not solve problems. It subsidizes them.” (Ronald Reagan)


I could be wrong about this, but I seem to also recall Ronald Reagan stating that, “Government is not the solution….Government is the problem.”

I concur with that being true at times, especially with energy and inflation issues today.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
June 9, 2022 9:31 am

He also said that the scariest phrase in the English language is “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”.

H. D. Hoese
June 9, 2022 7:53 am

Circa a half century ago we more rapidly learned the problems with “renewables.” Assuming that we learn it again, what will happen in circa 2070?

Old Man Winter
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
June 9, 2022 8:38 am

1970s = muscle cars!

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 9, 2022 8:05 am

Why federal (national taxpayer) funding to keep a needed supply source on line? Tell us about how wind and solar have ruined margins to make a sunk-cost asset such as Diablo Canyon uneconomic.

Diablo Canyon reactors are the same age and technology as Georgia’s Plant Vogtle units 1 and 2. Vogtle licenses were renewed in 2009 to 60 years total (until 2047 and 2049). I don’t know when the extensions were applied for, but it’s safe to assume review and approval is a multi-year process. In any case, Vogtle had extensions secured 18+ years in advance.

Diabolo Canyon operating licenses expire in 2025 and 2026. Going by Plant Vogtle, the license extension process should have been underway around 2005 and approval should have been secured around 2007. Clearly that didn’t happen and unless an application is in the works now, approval might not be received before reactor 1 license expires. In any case, without an approved extension in hand, I doubt anyone will lend money for needed repairs or upgrades. Maybe that’s what the funds are for.

PG&E announced Diablo Canyon closure in 2016 stating that the incursion of renewables and the preference given them makes running the reactors at only partial capacity uneconomic. It’s likely they withdrew any extension application in process at that time. Since then a number of reviews have warned that the closing will lead to critical shortages. Together they produce 2,256 MW (nameplate) and in 2019 produced net 16,165 GWh.

Nuclear reactors are designed to run continuously at maximum output between refueling service. For example Plant Vogtle has a lifetime capacity factor of 91.25% from initial connection in 1985 and a 95.09% factor for 2017. For technical reasons US commercial reactors can’t be ramped up and down; they need to be left at a steady power level. Running at lower power levels increases the unit cost of each KWh generated. Given the very large capital costs, any significant output reduction pushes them into the red. With coal or gas plants fuel accounts for a majority of the operating expense, so you realize some savings when reducing output. With nuclear there are no savings.

As renewable peak output increases, you need to be able to curtail all other sources to compensate. Once you’ve run through all the flexible generation capacity, you have to reduce output from baseload sources including nuclear. And that means when renewable output is low, you need to make up all the curtailed nuclear capacity with less efficient sources. So you have all the same costs of the nuclear reactors plus additional costs from flexible sources supplying the available nuclear capacity you’re not using, and emitting more CO2 in the bargain. On the books the nuclear plant is losing money.

What appears to have happened is PG&E determined they couldn’t continue running the reactors as they were designed due to the growing renewables incursion and running at reduced power levels didn’t justify the costs. Without an active license extension in review and just three years until the current license expires, they are really up a creek.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 9, 2022 1:14 pm

If I remember correctly, Columbia Generating Station, an 1100 MW nuclear plant in Washington State, can do load following, varying its output from 65% to 100% in about half an hour. It uses variable speed cooling pumps to accomplish this task. I don’t know of any other nuclear power plant in the US which can load follow in real time.

As for Diablo Canyon, it is difficult to see how the plant could be rescued at this late date. In addition to the licensing issues, many of the local utility customers for Diablo Canyon’s power have bought in to the renewables fantasy and will no longer purchase Diablo’s electricity.

Reply to  Beta Blocker
June 9, 2022 1:55 pm

To date the plant has been operated to provide baseload to the grid, although the plant design and license can accommodate more flexible operation including load following. It can ramp between 50% -100% of capacity.

Here is a good report on issue.https://energy.stanford.edu/sites/g/files/sbiybj9971/f/diablocanyonnuclearplant_report_11.19.21.pdf

Kit P
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 9, 2022 2:21 pm

Nuclear reactors are designed to run continuously at maximum output between refueling service. 

Wrong! All commercial and and navy LWR are designed to changed power. The reason commercial US nuke plants are base loaded and do not load follow is economic.

75% of my retirement account stocks are well manged power companies with nuke plants. This includes Southern Company that is building Vogle Units 3 & 4.

I own no stock in Califonia power companies. They are poorly managed and a state that is poorly managed.

Robert Bradley
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 10, 2022 7:00 am

Thank you. Can you email me at robbradley58@gmail.com?

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 11, 2022 5:36 am

I was wrong about the Diablo Canyon reactors being baseload only; their design and license also permit load-following operation. I was also incorrect about the primary reason for the closure decision. Many useful details are in the report linked to by Eisenhower above.

The main driver in the closure decision was a California regulation impacting the cooling intake:

The California Water Quality Control Policy on the Use of Coastal and Estuarine Waters for Power Plant Cooling is designed to protect marine organisms from power plant intakes. In order to comply with the legislation, power plants must either reduce their cooling water intake by 93% compared to the designed flow rate or implement other operational or structural changes to reduce impingement and entrainment mortality to a comparable level. In 2011, PG&E commissioned a study by Bechtel to investigate options that would bring Diablo Canyon into compliance with this legislation. Bechtel examined a number of

options, including forced and passive wet and dry air cooling, which would have reduced the water intake of the plant, and two types of screened intakes, which would not have reduced water flow but would have reduced impingement and entrainment mortality. PG&E chose not to move forward with any of the options examined at the time.

The same report notes that both reactors are in an NRC action class that has no ongoing regulatory issues, meaning they are eligible for license extension.

Extensions were applied for in 2009, but delayed by post-Fukishima regulatory changes and some Diablo Canyon specific concerns, all of which were resolved. Following the 2016 closure decision the application was formally withdrawn in 2018.

License extension applications are normally reviewed and approved within 22 months, but as much of the review was completed earlier it is likely approval can come sooner if the application is re-submitted. NRC allows reactors with an extension request in review to continue operation under to the old license until the review is complete.

In summary, we anticipate that there will be no nuclear regulatory or safety impediments to continuing the operation of Diablo Canyon beyond 2024-2025. The impending shutdown of Diablo Canyon, then, is driven mainly by policies regarding once-through cooling for power plants.

That’s probably what the requested federal funds are for.

The same regulation also impacts the Carlsbad desalination plant where a less costly solution is being tested.

So, apart from the general California hostility to nuclear power, the only impediment to keeping Diablo Canyon running is the cost of meeting the cooling intake regulation. As we keep being told that CO2-driven climate change is an existential threat to all life on the planet, you’d think the CA legislature could waive or at least delay that regulation for the sake of retaining 2.2 GW of carbon-free power.

At the height of the COVID panic there was a picture of a couple riding a motorbike outdoors; they were both wearing masks but neither one was wearing a helmet. That illustrates perfectly that the typical person is incapable of rationally evaluating relative risks. The Diablo Canyon closure decision demonstrates the state of California is equally incapable.

Old Man Winter
June 9, 2022 8:20 am

Brandon’s ultimate goal-

June 9, 2022 8:26 am

“If the public sees this year after year — shortages and blackouts and curtailment — I think there will be a lot of setback for the long-term green energy plan”

So basically they have to cover up the failures of their policies in order to continue implementing their policies.

Reply to  TonyG
June 9, 2022 3:11 pm

The policies are just fine. The public are the problem, they keep wanting power when it isn’t available.

June 9, 2022 8:27 am

Let me translate: If you want to run the air conditioner when it is hot, we’ll charge you an arm and a leg.

Reply to  JamesD
June 9, 2022 8:28 am

“Dynamic pricing”

James B.
Reply to  JamesD
June 9, 2022 9:21 am

“Demand Management”
The plan evidently is just turn off the hoi polloi when demand exceeds supply.

Reply to  JamesD
June 9, 2022 9:34 am

Or the heat when it’s cold.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  MarkW
June 9, 2022 3:16 pm

This is the one that’s going to be the *real* killer! You can actually die from hypothermia with the temperature in the 60’s if you are malnourished and have no source of heat.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  JamesD
June 10, 2022 4:39 am

Flip side: If you want heat when it’s cold, we’ll ensure that electric heat is your only choice – and we’ll charge you an arm and a leg for that. Assuming the power is on, which we can’t guarantee.

June 9, 2022 8:31 am

Ask Texans how demand pricing worked for them last winter.

June 9, 2022 9:01 am

Hey bud, can you spare a kW?

“California sees itself as a global leader in the fight against climate change. But keeping on the lights over the next five summers is likely to increase the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, energy experts said. The nation’s most populous state faces an electricity supply crunch, with projections showing that peak demand could exceed available supplies by as much as 3,500 megawatts. That would leave as many as 3.5 million homes without power.”

I have read that it isn’t just energy that is a problem in California. The coffers are taking a substantial hit.

“…the top one per cent of income-earning Californians pay almost half of all personal income taxes, with the top five per cent paying two-thirds.

This is not well understood, least of all by those around Newsom, and is barely discussed among political leaders. For a decade, California has been losing its share in a host of fields, such as construction, manufacturing and professional business services, to other states – notably, Nevada, Arizona and Texas. Investors are building in these places but rarely in California. Last year, on a per capita basis, new business investment in California was one-13th that of Ohio.”


That is what I would imagine they call de-development

Reply to  fretslider
June 9, 2022 9:37 am

“…the top one per cent of income-earning Californians pay almost half of all personal income taxes, with the top five per cent paying two-thirds.

It’s even more extreme for the federal government.

Yet the know nothings on the left are always whining about the rich aren’t paying their “fair” share.

Reply to  MarkW
June 9, 2022 3:14 pm

Running out of other people’s money?

Kit P
Reply to  fretslider
June 9, 2022 2:40 pm

This not new. A long long time ago, Califonia was a leader in nuclear power. This was at a time when nuclear power was one of the largest US exports. My first job out of the navy was with GE Nuclear in San Jose.. This was before nuclear became a bad word.

All those good jobs went to other states.

Mark Miller
Reply to  fretslider
June 10, 2022 7:11 am

Thanks for the Joel Koktin reference.

CA efforts to keep the lights on while de carbonizing was highlighted here-

“The California Independent System Operator’s new video, “From Idea to Reality: Battery Storage Comes of Age on the California Grid,” tells the story of California’s historic embrace of battery storage to support the grid as we transition to a carbon-free system.”

2021 statistics were summarized here-


One of the reasons for our departing CA, for Ohio, was the costs of energy (even with our PV system) combined with dealing with the never ending PSPS’s.


June 9, 2022 9:04 am

Boris Johnson today:

That is why the British energy security strategy is going for a step change in the quantity of wind power we generate – 50 GW by 2030, returning the UK to the status of the number one offshore wind power producer in the world.


By the beginning of March 2022, the UK had 11,091 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of over 24.6 gigawatts (GW): 14.1 GW of onshore capacity and 10.4 GW of offshore capacity

They installed about 2GW of offshore last year. And no batteries. Dream on.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  michel
June 9, 2022 10:30 am

The UK uses ~700 GWh/day with < 3 GWh battery storage. Their EVs may have at least 5X the
capacity- an extra 1/2 hr supply. If the wind stops blowing on a late foggy afternoon, most of
their storage will be out on the motorway. A petrol car generator may be a wise investment!

Last edited 2 months ago by Old Man Winter
Reply to  Old Man Winter
June 9, 2022 7:18 pm


Too rarely do I see the question,”What is the value of an electric car during a power outage? “

June 9, 2022 10:59 am

Psychic spies from China try to steal your mind’s elation

And little girls from Sweden dream of silver screen quotation

And if you want these kind of dreams it’s Californication

~ Red Hot chilli Peppers, 2000

Michael E McHenry
June 9, 2022 11:05 am

In the latest issue of Wine Spectator West Coast Vintners are concerned about the increasing frequency frosts

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Michael E McHenry
June 9, 2022 12:31 pm

It’s working then

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
June 10, 2022 4:47 am

Caught in their own lies yet again. They claim their power problems are due to “climate impacts” supposedly caused by global WARMING. If they also claim their efforts to cut ’emissions’ are working (more frequent frosts, indicative of COOLING), then they have to admit the power problems are not due “climate change.” If they continue to blame “climate change” for the power problems, then they have to admit their efforts to cut emissions aren’t working.

Andy Pattullo
June 9, 2022 11:45 am

There are two possibilities:

  1. The people in charge who created this mess couldn’t see the problems coming, in which case they are idiots and oblivious to the abundant messaging over decades that predicted this energy chaos, and therefor, they should be removed from any position of responsibility.
  2. The people who created this mess did know what they were creating and went ahead anyway, in which case they are economic and social saboteurs and should be treated as such.
June 9, 2022 2:01 pm

U.S. Utility Rate Database (openei.org)

This is an interesting site for looking up how electricity distributers charge the customers.
I use it in estimating the impact of energy conservation and time shifting on billing. For California commercial businesses, there is a time of use charge that varies with the time of day, day of the week, month of the year, and there are additional charges during ‘special event’ days where they will get additional charges based on their percentage of the load compared with others in the same grid block.
U.S. Utility Rate Database (openei.org)

All of these pricing methods are used to force customers to change power usage instead of fixing the problem of grid stability and power production.

June 9, 2022 3:01 pm

California used to meet all electricity demand easily. Then they added a large amount of renewables generation. Now they do not meet all electricity demand. The pattern is pretty easy to understand.

Like I and others have said a few times: You can’t replace your reliable electricity with unreliable electricity and still have reliable electricity.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Mike Jonas
June 9, 2022 5:55 pm

G’Day Mike,

“Now they do not meet all electricity demand.”


The last graph on the page shows “Imports Trend”. Over the past week that line has gone below zero for just a couple of hours, CA is importing day and night. At 6AM this morning, over 8,000 MW from out-of-state.

June 9, 2022 3:12 pm

There is only one solution for this kind of mindless decision making by clueless politicians, bureaucrats and administrators. Each individual consumer should decide for themselves what power generation sources they will accept. Some will choose renewables, some fossil fuels, some nuclear, some hydro and many any combination that will ensure reliable, affordable and dispatchable energy. Whatever the consumer chooses must be made available and can not be blocked by anyone. Each source must pay it’s own way, if one source can’t deliver what they promised, say solar at night or wind on calm days then THEY must purchase power from those who can deliver. It will only take one season to weed out the true producers from the big talkers. I would see fossil fuels and nuclear expanding and wind and solar falling by the wayside. I don’t see hydro expanding because there is so much opposition and suitable sites are becoming fewer not greater. Hydro suffers one drawback similar to wind and solar which is an enormous footprint.

Reply to  Bob
June 9, 2022 4:36 pm

It is not mindless decision making, it is a deliberate and willful effort to fulfill their Malthusian prophecies. They long ago identified critical infrastructure and human needs: Energy, food, water, transportation and healthcare then they set upon a series of plans that could only result in scarcity of all of those things.

If any charity is to be extended to the intention of the “mindless bureaucrats and administrators”, they pursued the job/role as part of a life mission as misguided as it may be. I submit that many of them are incapable of understanding second or third order effects, most likely lack any empathy towards others, and rely on hearsay, conjecture and wishful/magical thinking from self-proclaimed experts and credentialed authorities to give them guidance and political cover. When some busybody says: “This is a problem”. They poorly explain the problem to the extent of their understanding of the world around them viewed through ideological child-like lens. Of course, as gods they must “fix” the problem and this is where virtue signaling meets peer pressure to take any idea no matter how bat scat insane it is to the “next level” so that others in their field will admire them for their stunning bravery.

And here is where we are. When peer pressure keeps moving the Overton Window within the ranks of the ivory tower types, you get insanity when it is viewed from Reality.

Reply to  AWG
June 9, 2022 5:59 pm

AWG, I agree with you but somehow we have to take control away from those who are hurting us the most, politicians, administrators and bureaucrats. Consumers need to have a far larger say in what they consume. If a consumer chooses unreliable, intermittent, expensive energy I have no problem with that. But for the rest of us, we have a right to affordable, reliable and abundant energy. No one should be allowed to interfere with that.

Reply to  Bob
June 9, 2022 7:00 pm

I suspect that you’ll need Plan C: move to a more rational state

Reply to  Dave
June 9, 2022 7:23 pm

No Dave that is not the answer, it is an answer but doesn’t solve a thing. We have people making very bad and dangerous decisions for us. They have mucked it all up, time for them to lose their power and put it back where it belongs, with the consumer.

Kit P
June 9, 2022 3:14 pm

Let me explain the last 30 years of Califonia for those readers in and out of the state.

California is a leader in being stuck in traffic on the freeways and strip malls. Not protecting the environment or producing renewable energy.
When I retired I could live anywhere. I am a resident of Washington State where I have a sail boat. Thirty years ago there were no wind farms but they are all over the place now to sell power to Califonia.

Just for the record, windfarms are not the problem. The biggest grip I hear is about people moving from Califonia and bring their politics with them. The biggest gripe I hear from friends and family in Califonia is politics.

I only lived a short time in California. Life is easy. Other places not so much. If you get elected and can not clean the snow off the streets, you are gone at the next election.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Kit P
June 10, 2022 5:15 am

No, wind farms and solar farms ARE the problem. Without them, dispatchable and reliable energy generation would be used for all power generation, would be providing electricity consistently and at a reasonable cost.

Wind farms and solar farms make the grid UNRELIABLE and EXPENSIVE. So yes, they ARE the problem.

June 9, 2022 3:27 pm

India will be able to use the profits from selling the USA its purchases of Russian oil to re-open many new coal mines for itself. It will cause the Greens to rise to new levels of Frenzy!

Gary Pate
June 9, 2022 11:22 pm

So glad I moved away from the Peoples Democratic Republic of California & their #ClimateScientology

June 10, 2022 5:58 am

Slow 2050 net-zero scenarios not worth the paper they’re written on, say economists | RenewEconomy
That’s a long winded way of saying unrobust means bullshit.

June 10, 2022 9:56 am

Dr Tim Ball – Historical Climatologist


Book: ‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’

Book: ‘Human Caused Global Warming, the Biggest Deception in History’


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