WSJ says what we're all thinking: California will soon have grid problems

Tools

By: SGN Staff

1

Quick Take: The Wall Street Journal is stating today a concern that many of us have shared for years – namely, that the state's ultra-aggressive renewables mandates will destabilize the grid. In an article titled "California Girds for Electricity Woes," it cites experts who testified at a recent meeting between utilities and California regulators.

One utility executive from Pacific Gas & Electric was quoted as warning: "We see the issue hitting as soon as 2013, 2014, 2015." Although California has plenty of generation (some say a surplus) it doesn't have the right mix. "Many of the solar and wind sources added in recent years of actually made the system more fragile, because they provide power intermittently," said California Energy commission chairman Robert Weisenmiller. He says the state will exceed its renewables targets and "end up closer to 40%."

The Journal says electric utilities are calling for immediate action to prevent rolling blackouts. State officials hope to have a plan in place by July. - By Jesse Berst

 

California's aggressive renewable energy quest could have a serious downside, according to a Wall Street Journal news report. The state has been pushing for more solar and wind power to help cut greenhouse emissions, but the output from those sources fluctuates because they're directly tied to the weather. The bad part: growth of California renewables combined with their inconsistent power delivery could begin gnawing away at electric grid reliability as soon as 2015 and possibly earlier, depending on who you're listening to.