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California Discovers The Sun Does Not Shine At Night!

August 25, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

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California, a state that has been aggressively weaning its power grid off of fossil fuels, is now working on adding several natural gas-fired plants in an effort to keep the lights on this summer.

The California Department of Water Resources is in the process of procuring five temporary gas-fuelled generators that have individual capacities of 30 megawatts, said spokesman Ryan Endean. The units will be installed at existing power plants and are expected to be operating by the middle of September.

The move comes after California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the power grid on concern about supply shortages during hot summer evenings when solar production wanes. The order, issued last month, aimed to free up energy supplies and speed up power plant development to help avert blackouts. It also temporarily lifted air-quality rules.

Earlier this year, California regulators balked at ordering utilities to add new gas-fired generation after environmental groups said it would run counter to the state’s decarbonization goals. Officials have been scrambling to shore up power resources ever since brief blackouts hit in August 2020 during an extreme heat wave. 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-08-19/california-to-build-temporary-gas-plants-to-avoid-blackouts?mc_cid=4013cbbc49&mc_eid=4961da7cb1

California already imports nearly a third of its power from other states:

 

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https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=46156#:~:text=California%20was%20the%20largest%20net%20electricity%20importer%20of,Source%3A%20U.S.%20Energy%20Information%20Administration%2C%20State%20Electricity%20Profiles

And renewable energy (excl biomass) only supplies 8% of its energy, compared to 73% from fossil fuels.

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https://www.eia.gov/state/print.php?sid=CA

Heaven help the Californians when they abandon fossil fuels completely.

14 Comments
  1. Broadlands permalink
    August 25, 2021 3:28 pm

    ” …declared a state of emergency for the power grid on concern about supply shortages during hot summer evenings.” I guess that replaces the climate emergency…on a temporary basis?

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      August 25, 2021 4:19 pm

      They now have the perfect excuse. More climate change means they need more gas fired generators.

  2. August 25, 2021 4:02 pm

    The solar duck curve eventually pushes the time of peak demand to around sunset, it also eventually pushes all non-solar generators off the grid for long periods during daylight hours, destroying the business model of many of them.

    Maybe California should stop allowing surplus solar power onto the grid.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      August 25, 2021 4:34 pm

      The UK has made domestic solar unviable unless you think you can justify a powerwall as well as solar panels. Perhaps with the way bills are shooting up it will begin to pay for those who have £15,000 to invest and a good South facing sunny roof. But the battery is essential now that export power is metered on new installations, and paid a derisory rate.

      • Joe Public permalink
        August 25, 2021 8:51 pm

        “The UK has made domestic solar unviable ….”

        Surely it’s the lack of cooperation from that bloody big ball in the sky that makes solar unviable in the UK?

  3. Cheshire Red permalink
    August 25, 2021 4:51 pm

    They can pass a new law mandating the sun shines when they demand.

    Isn’t that what left-wing lunatics usually do when they want something?

    • Richard permalink
      August 26, 2021 6:09 am

      That or they cancel night time.

  4. Gamecock permalink
    August 25, 2021 6:05 pm

    Had to check to make sure this wasn’t from the Bee.

    ‘The California Department of Water Resources is in the process of procuring five temporary gas-fueled generators that have individual capacities of 30 megawatts’

    Do these generators know they are temporary? Hard to image a temporary 30 megawatt generator. Does Generac make one?

    Why is the Dept of Water Resources doing this? Very strange.

    ‘The units will be installed at existing power plants and are expected to be operating by the middle of September.’

    How does that work? They show up at a plant with it on a truck, and tell the company running the plant they have to put it in and use it. Where do they get the personnel to run it – ‘temporarily?’ Who pays for wiring it up to the grid and the control systems?

    ‘Earlier this year, California regulators balked at ordering utilities to add new gas-fired generation after environmental groups said it would run counter to the state’s decarbonization goals.’

    Might run counter to a private economy as well. Ordering utilities to add generators?!?!

    ‘The state has been retiring gas plants under a goal to have its grid carbon-neutral by 2045.’

    Oh, the ironing!

    ‘The California Energy Commission approved on Tuesday licenses for the emergency gas generators for up to five years.’

    Emergency! Temporary. Five years. Rather long for an emergency, and for temporary.

    ‘“Governor Newsom’s emergency proclamation makes it very clear that all of our energy agencies have to act immediately to achieve energy stability during this emergency’

    So how many gigawatts of power do your energy agencies produce? Oh. Well, okay, how many kilowatts?

    ‘as well as accelerating plans for construction, procurement and rapid deployment of new clean-energy and storage projects,” Commissioner Karen Douglas said at the meeting.’

    As if they haven’t done a blessed thing up to now. Their problem, of course, is that governments don’t build and operate power plants (though Water Resources seems to want to get into it). Private companies don’t want to risk their money on this foolishness. Cali is on the path to doom, and EVERYONE can see it.

  5. Gerry, England permalink
    August 25, 2021 6:20 pm

    The interesting point made in the WUWT post on this is that adding more solar generation is of no help given that it just provides more energy when it is not needed, and presumably requiring to be given away to neighbouring states or paying them to take it, and so screwing up their grid economics as well.

  6. Andrew Mark Harding permalink
    August 25, 2021 8:56 pm

    Morons led by cretins, what could possibly go wrong?

  7. August 25, 2021 9:43 pm

    Reblogged this on Gds44's Blog.

  8. Graeme No.3 permalink
    August 25, 2021 11:21 pm

    South Australia has the highest percentage of houses with solar panels installed in the nation (about 33%). It has got rid of any coal fired generation (except what it imports from Victoria).
    There was a puff piece last year about solar supplying demand for a WHOLE HOUR!
    It also has lots of “capacity” of wind turbines installed.
    What keeps the lights on at times? Enough (real) capacity in gas and diesel. e.g. August 25 SA currently generating 92% of supply from Gas (+ some brown coal fired from Victoria)
    They are currently importing more from Victoria, than wind is producing.

    So the introduction of renewables – apart from increasing retail prices to the highest in Australia – led to the reliance on brown coal (CO2 emissions over 1100kg/MWh) and OCGTs (emissions 600-700 kg./MWh) and diesel.

  9. REM permalink
    August 26, 2021 5:57 am

    The fossil media, which almost certainly have diesel generators as their own back-ups, don’t appear to have found this story. Odd, that.

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