After two days of rolling blackouts that left millions of Californians without electricity and air conditioning during a summer heatwave, the state’s Democratic governor delivered a dose of reality to the progressive “green” energy state.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, told reporters on Monday that it’s time to “sober up” about the state’s renewable energy plan, which progressive are attempting to pattern across the country.
“We failed to predict and plan these shortages,” Newsom said, “and that’s simply unacceptable.”
The same day, the state utility regulator, which Newsom controls, issued a warning that 3.3 million homes and businesses across the state could lose power.
But a third day of power outages never came as many residents appear to have complied with regulatory guidelines to raise air conditioning thermostats and avoid using washing machines and household appliances.
The requests are almost third-world despite California’s massive economy, ranked fifth largest in the world.
Already facing a recall effort, Newsom vowed to continue that state’s march toward 100 percent renewable energy, including a 60 percent benchmark by 2030. But he insisted that the state “cannot sacrifice reliability as we move forward in this transition.”
Newsom took responsibility for the energy crisis and said he’s raising the alarm about solar and wind energy deficiencies so that “we never come back into this position again.”
The crux of the issue is that ramping up reliance on solar energy has been coupled with a decreasing share of natural gas and nuclear power.
However, solar energy evaporates during evening hours, nights, cloudy days and winter months, leaving the electricity grid short on power unless a more reliable energy source, like natural gas, is incorporated. This is not a new problem, contrary to Newsom’s explanation.
It’s also no coincidence that the state utility regulator announced a “State 3 emergency” at 6:30 pm on Friday evening, and later announced that “we had thousands of megawatts of solar reducing their output as the sunset.”
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Newsom says the transition away from fossil fuels has left California with a gap in the reliability of its energy system. He says the state must examine its reliance on solar power and how that fits into its broader energy portfolio.”
A bigger concern is that former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democrat Party nominee for president, has adopted a California-like version of the Green New Deal that commits the entire country to 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2035.