Eclipse? California is preparing for a lack of energy in the hot dry summer

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California is likely to experience an energy shortage equivalent to what is needed for electricity to about 1.3 million homes if use is at its peak in the hot and dry summer months, government officials said Friday. Regulatory problems hampering the solar industry will create problems for energy reliability this summer and in the coming years, officials said. They represented the California Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, and the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid. (Preliminary coverage of the state’s electricity situation in the video above.) State models estimate that the state will have 1,700 megawatts of energy less than needed in times of greatest demand – usually early in the evening when the sun sets – in the hottest months when air conditioners in full. According to the Energy Commission, one megawatt powers 750 to 1,000 homes in California. In the most extreme circumstances, the deficit could be much worse: 5,000 megawatts, or enough to power 3.75 million homes. “The only thing we expect is to see new and amazing conditions, and we’re trying to be prepared for them,” said Alice Reynolds, president of the California Utilities Commission, which regulates major utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric. The state – and residents – have several tools to avoid power outages. Electricity can be purchased in other states, and residents may reduce their use during peak demand, but electricity shortages are still possible in emergencies, officials said. Reynolds urged people to consider reducing energy consumption by doing things like cooling their homes early in the day and turning off air conditioners when the sun goes down. In August 2020, amid intense heat thousands of customers. Mark Rothleder, senior vice president t for the system operator, said this year the state is more likely to experience power outages again if the entire West is simultaneously hit by a heat wave. That would prevent California from buying surplus energy from other states. Fires could also hamper the state’s ability to sustain electricity, he said. California is in the process of shifting its grid from greenhouse gas-emitting power sources to carbon-free sources such as solar and wind. As older power plants prepare for retirement, including the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, the state has fewer energy options available. Ana Matosantas, secretary to Governor Gavin Newsom’s cabinet, declined to share details of what other actions the administration could take to ensure reliability, only saying Newsom was looking for a “range of different actions”. The Democratic governor recently said he was ready to leave Devil’s Canyon open after the scheduled closure in 2025. Meanwhile, supply chain problems caused by the pandemic are slowing the availability of necessary equipment to create more solar-powered systems with batteries that can store energy for use when the sun is not shining. Government officials also pointed to a U.S. Department of Commerce investigation into imports of solar panels from Southeast Asia as something of an opportunity to impede California’s move toward clean energy.

California is likely to experience an energy shortage equivalent to what is needed for electricity to about 1.3 million homes if use is at its peak in the hot and dry summer months, government officials said Friday.

Threats from drought, extreme heat and forest fires, as well as supply chain and regulatory problems hampering the solar industry, will create challenges for energy reliability this summer and in the coming years, officials said. They represented the California Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, and the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid.

(Preliminary coverage of the situation with the government in the state in the video above.)

State models predict that the state will have 1,700 megawatts of energy less than it needs in times of greatest demand – usually early in the evening when the sun goes down – in the hottest months when air conditioners are running at full capacity.

According to the Energy Commission, one megawatt powers 750 to 1,000 homes in California. In the most extreme circumstances, the deficit could be much worse: 5,000 megawatts, or enough to power 3.75 million homes.

“The only thing we expect is to see new and amazing conditions, and we’re trying to be prepared for them,” said Alice Reynolds, president of the California Utilities Commission, which regulates major utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric.

The state – and residents – have several tools to avoid power outages. Power supplies can be purchased in other states, and residents may reduce their use to peak demand, but power shortages are still possible in emergencies, officials said. Reynolds urged people to consider reducing energy consumption by doing things like cooling their homes early in the day and then turning off air conditioners when the sun goes down.

У August 2020amid the intense heat, a California-based independent system operator has ordered utilities to temporarily cut off electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers.

Mark Rothleder, senior vice president of the system operator, said that this year it is more likely that the state will be cut off power again if the whole West is hot at the same time. That would prevent California from buying surplus energy from other states. Fires could also hamper the state’s ability to maintain electricity, he said.

California is in the process of shifting its grid from energy sources that emit greenhouse gases to carbon-free sources such as solar and wind energy. As older power plants prepare for retirement, including the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, the state has fewer energy options available.

Ana Matosantas, secretary to Governor Gavin Newsom’s cabinet, declined to share details of what other actions the administration could take to ensure reliability, only saying Newsom was looking for a “range of different actions”. The Democratic governor recently said he was open to keep Diablo Canyon open after the scheduled closure in 2025.

Meanwhile, supply chain problems caused by the pandemic are slowing the availability of equipment needed to provide more solar-powered systems with batteries that can store energy for use when the sun is not shining.

Government officials also pointed to U.S. Department of Commerce investigation importing solar panels from Southeast Asia as something that could hinder California’s transition to clean energy.

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