Natural Gas-Fired, Combined-Cycle Power Plant equipped with emissions control technology; Wind Turbines visible in the background; East San Francisco Bay Area, California Licensed from 123rf.com

In a surprise about-face in California’s love affair with the climate change darlings of wind and solar energy, it was announced on Friday 8/13 that California’s Department of Water Resources is now in the process of designing, financing, and building five new 30-megawatt natural gas power plants. According to recent news reports, these go “counter” to the state plan of decarbonizing the electricity grid to reduce emissions.

As reported in the Fresno Bee, CA Assembly member Jim Patterson broke the news:

The decision to install the five plants has been a result of flawed policies by decision-makers, he said.

“California has been forced to do this because we now have growing demand on a grid that has flattening supplies and that has caused these Flex Alerts,” he said.

“Our grid is destabilized because of political decisions.”

He’s certainly right about that.

As reported in Bloomberg:

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.

My report on the August 2020 heatwave, Thanks to Climate-Driven Green Energy Mandates, California’s Electric Grid Is Near Collapse, said this about the reason behind power blackouts:

The reason? Solar power, or more accurately, the lack of it. Solar power has a thorny problem: It disappears after sunset. And California’s electric grid is highly dependent on it now thanks to the political mandate known as the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32).

AB32 required that 50 percent of California’s electricity to be powered by “green energy” aka wind and solar, by 2025 and 60 percent by 2030, ending in 100 percent “carbon free” energy by 2045.

It seems they learned a hard lesson from that August 2020 event when the grid nearly collapsed because wind and solar power just couldn’t keep up.

Maybe, just maybe, California lawmakers are waking up to the reality that you can’t have a reliable electricity grid when you are populating it with unreliable wind and solar energy in a vain attempt to chase the elusive “net zero” carbon free footprint being touted by environmentalists.

 

Anthony Watts is a senior fellow for environment and climate at The Heartland Institute. Watts has been in the weather business both in front of, and behind the camera as an on-air television meteorologist since 1978, and currently does daily radio forecasts. He has created weather graphics presentation systems for television, specialized weather instrumentation, as well as co-authored peer-reviewed papers on climate issues. He operates the most viewed website in the world on climate, the award-winning website wattsupwiththat.com.

9 COMMENTS

  1. What if there was a way to keep wind turbines spinning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,rain or shine. There is. My problem is I don’t have the money to prove it and I can’t get anyone to listen to me. If I had the money, I could have new, pollution free power plants on line in 45 days.

  2. This is nonsense ! Comments such that solar power is intermittent due to periods of night and day make no sense; what about battery backups? The continued use of gas powered power plants with essentially zero CO2 capture will ensure a long,but inevitable end to human population on this planet

    • Your comment absolutely makes no sense, because in the 2020 heatwave, both wind and solar slumped at sunset, leaving the grid without capacity, and it came within minutes of collapse.

      Wind typically dies down at night due to lack of solar driven differential heating of the landscape, solar is completely off because there’s no sunlight.

      Battery backups for the entire state of California? Laughable.

      You’re the one with the problem. Educate yourself.

    • Ok if you combine solar and wind with battery packs it can work, but it is very expencive! Do you want a price of about 50 ct./ kwh?

  3. One must question the timing here… newsome is fighting a recall and suddenly 5 NG plants are OK’d…. Anyone actually think these OK’s will survive if he beats the recall? Seriously?

  4. My wife and I left crazy California two years ago. Every day I read this junk makes me happier we got the blank out of there.
    Didn’t the disastrous, and deadly, experience in Texas relying on unreliable wind teach you folks ANYTHING? Good grief.

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