California was warned of risk of outages: It did nothing

"Despite California’s wealth and savvy energy strategy, Wednesday marked the sixth straight day that regulators warned of possible rolling power outages because the state’s electricity grid is struggling to deal with heavy use of fans and air conditioning during a heat wave."

By

Opinion

August 24, 2020 - 9:22 AM

Rotating power outages in California are back for the first time in nearly 20 years. (Gary Robbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)

It is a point of pride for many Californians that despite business leaders’ continual criticism about high taxes and heavy regulation, the Golden State has the world’s fifth-biggest economy. It is also a point of pride for many Californians that the state is a global leader in seeking to limit climate change by mandating a shift away from fossil fuels.

What should not be a point of pride for anyone is that despite California’s wealth and savvy energy strategy, Wednesday marked the sixth straight day that regulators warned of possible rolling power outages because the state’s electricity grid is struggling to deal with heavy use of fans and air conditioning during a heat wave. The actual outages have been relatively minor, thanks to the public responding to urgent requests to minimize use of electricity.

But given that the outages are occurring on days when statewide electricity demand is significantly less than in the peaks seen in 2006 and 2017, and given that those prior years’ peaks resulted in no rolling outages at all, Californians have reason to be frustrated and angry with their leaders — again.

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