California’s Green Energy Dream Dies as Blackouts Loom

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By the end of April 2022, Southern California will be cool. I’m not talking about Steve McQueen’s cool. I’m talking about the temperature in Los Angeles at 69 degrees on Saturday, April 30th, 2022.

It was a lovely weekend day. Not too cold, not too hot. SoCal was in a Goldilocks temperature zone of comfortability. Since homes weren’t running air conditioning, electrical use was way down. There wasn’t a massive drain on the electrical grid. There was hardly any drain at all. In fact, April 30, 2022, was something of a unicorn day for California weather and megawatt use. At one point during the day at about 5 p.m., California was using 18,600 megawatts – far less than a usual spring weekday. The wind was blowing, the sun was glaring. “Green energy” approached 100% of the draw.

Green energy geeks act like California has won the lottery.

Then, it was gone. Poof. The sun went down. Summer in California arrived as soon as the sun rose, the clouds covered the big angry ball of the sky, and the wind stopped blowing. Gavin Newsom returned from vacation in September 2022 to plead with Californians not to use power. Goldilocks had officially died. Newsom warned that brownouts would soon be upon us. Charge your EV and stop running your AC.

We wrote in September 2022:

Grid operators sent out “flex alert” texts in mass Tuesday afternoon. They asked the public to keep their air conditioners at 78 degrees or higher and avoid using appliances such as washing machines. This is the 21st century in a First World Country.

Tuesday, blackouts were mostly avoided as utilities just kept up with demand. In the coming days, we’ll find out if the same is true. Although there weren’t many blackouts, some did occur in certain communities. Authorities blamed them on “miscommunication.” This doesn’t instill much confidence.

Newson, while begging Californians not to use their lights at night, was also begging his green energy allies to disconnect their EVs. It’s not the best way to convince people that “we are going 100% renewable!” by causing frequent brownouts or telling them to unplug their EVs because the state has no power.

Yeah, no you’re not.

What will be the electrical draw of California on August 31, 2023? At 7:32 pm Thursday night, California’s megawatt draw stood at 36,636. This is almost exactly double the Goldilocks Day last April. What was the percentage of renewable energy? Zero.

Three years ago there were rolling blackouts throughout California. Californians are moving out of California because it is becoming more expensive, but not enough energy consumers have moved out to prevent the grid from being overloaded and the cost to everyone. Newsom has now greenlit (pun intended), the use of natural gas as the most reliable fuel to run turbines.

Newsom has now “blessed” the continued use and generation of nuclear and natural gas power, which he had campaigned to shut down over time. He’s not just posing for the cameras, but he is dealing with reality. If he wants the lights to stay on and the EVs to be charged, then he has no choice but to continue using gas and nuclear plants. Politico breathlessly reported:

The Public Utilities Commission, appointed by Newsom, is expected to vote on Thursday on whether to approve Aliso Canyon’s expansion. This would increase storage capacity to almost 69 billion cubic feet.

Last month, his administration extended the lives of three old natural gas plants located in Southern California. It also helps keep Diablo Canyon open, the last nuclear power plant in the state, despite the fact that he had previously supported its closure as lieutenant governor.

Newsom’s Sugarplum Fairy fantasy of a grid powered by 100% renewable energy is hitting a wall. Newsom wants to ban all gas-powered cars, which would put more strain on the electrical grid.

Goldilocks is a fairytale. Newsom’s dream of 100% renewable power is also a fantasy. Even Newsom knows that it is a fantasy.