California's power grid transition to renewable energy sources appears to be backfiring. The push into clean energy is not producing enough power to meet demand during hot summer days, and it's becoming harder for the Golden State to avoid rolling blackouts.
A stunning new revelation in the state's top grid operator, California Independent System Operator, filing to US Department of Energy (DoE), titled "Request for Emergency Order Pursuant to Section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act," requested the federal government to declare an "electric reliability emergency" so it can use more fossil fuel power generation to prevent blackouts.
"An emergency order will allow the CAISO to dispatch additional generation that may be necessary for the CAISO to meet demand in the face of extremely challenging conditions including extreme heat waves, multiple fires, high winds, and various grid issues," the filing read.
CAISO wants the DoE to suspend air-pollution rules so it can use natural gas turbines as "back-up power generation and freeing up additional energy capacity to help alleviate electric demand on the electricity grid."
The request was filed on Tuesday ahead of CAISO's statewide flex alert that urges customers to "conserve electricity" in the evening due to hot weather. The grid operator warned, "energy supply is tight at the moment."
Good morning, CA! The California ISO has issued a statewide #FlexAlert for today, Sept. 9, from 4-9 p.m. due to above normal temperatures affecting much of the state and West, and tight energy supply. Urging consumers to conserve electricity. Learn more: https://t.co/GslP8IKUsO pic.twitter.com/LAOJkD3glP— California ISO (@California_ISO) September 9, 2021
The state is struggling to balance its clean energy push, and the request to the DoE is a sore eye for environmentalists who've been on a crusade to ban fossil fuel generation from the grid. It's also negative news for President Biden's infrastructure spending that aims of "achieving 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035."
If the widespread blackouts that shocked Texas earlier this year due to a cold snap that froze wind power generation sources was a lesson for the future of green power grids - then maybe America is not ready for Biden's 2035 decarbonization target.
... and why isn't climate alarmist Greta Thunberg bashing California on Twitter for wanting to burn more fossil fuels?