Solar and wind power struggle as california faces blackouts
In the middle of the dilemma is a state policy requiring that 33% of California’s electricity come from renewable sources like solar and wind power, increasing to a goal of 60 percent by 2030. Yet data demonstrated that power demand peaks just before the sun starts to go down, when overheated individuals turn up their air conditioning in the late afternoon. Meanwhile, the power output from California’s wind farms in August was erratic. However, the August heat wave extended from Texas to Oregon, so there was little to no surplus energy available. According to the San Jose Mercury News, California electricity grid operators cautioned in September 2019 that power shortages might become more and more prevalent when heat waves struck in the coming years.
California still has some natural gas power plants that may be ramped up to supply energy when renewable materials neglect. “That could be a disaster. Last
Nighttime 60 percent of the energy in [the Califor- nia Independent System Operator electricity network] has been generated by those gas plants. They can be your insurance policy to acquire through heat waves.” Really, if anything else, this is a sign that California should accelerate its invest- ments in clean power and energy storage.”
An important fact is missing from the debate: California continues to be bringing down the hammer down on a huge source of secure, dependable, always-on, non-carbon-dioxide- emitting power: nuclear power. In 2013, state regulators forced the closing of the San Onofre nuclear power plant, which supplied electricity to 1.4 million households. By 2025, California regulators plan to shut the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, which may supply electricity to 3 million families.
The issue of climate change, along with the blackouts resulting from the vagaries of solar and wind energy, indicates that Cali- fornia shouldn’t only maintain its nuclear power plants operating but also construct more innovative reactors made to ?exibly back-up variable renewable power generation.