More Power Outages for California

You didn’t think that they were done, did you? Blackouts return: Utility cuts off power to 450,000 Californians to avoid igniting wildfires.

Pacific Gas & Electric said it would go through with the planned outages affecting nearly 180,000 residential and business customer accounts, starting at 2 p.m. Pacific Time in the Sierra Foothills and proceeding soon after to San Francisco Bay Area communities. In all, portions of 17 counties will lose power.

There is a great review of the previous blackout from Juan Brown of Blancolirio. (I found that video thanks to The Freeholder.) He notes that this is NOT a function of Global Warming, but a function of deferred maintenance.

The WaPo: “It’s Global Warming!”

I almost didn’t link to them, because they get enough clicks based on this insanity. Pacific Gas and Electric is a company that was just bankrupted by climate change. It won’t be the last..

The fires are totally the cause of Global Warming. PG&E deferring maintenance on the transmission lines, not doing brush clearing around the lines, and environmentalists fighting EVERY attempt at forest management to try and remove at least SOME of the dead trees, had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the fires.

The Sacramento Bee, on the other hand, manages to tell the truth about the situation, even while trying not to. ‘A statewide problem.’ How PG&E’s bankruptcy could soil California’s green-energy movement.

A year later, Williams is out, PG&E is bankrupt – and the utility is making noise about backing out of some of its commitments to use renewable energy. In a court filing Tuesday, PG&E told the bankruptcy judge it wants the authority to cancel some of its renewable-energy contracts – many of which force PG&E to buy power at above-market rates.

Since “deregulation” – right before the Enron disaster – to today, California energy markets have been micromanaged by the State. (Because legislators are SO competent to be in the power-engineering game.) And no, it wasn’t real deregulation, the state controlled what kinds of contracts the utility could sign. Which was only short-term contracts before Enron which left them open to price manipulation in a big way, and only long term contracts after Enron, which locked them into unusually high energy costs for several years. Today it is “green energy.” Because there is nothing the Socialists in California hate more than a free market, where individuals are free to do what they feel is best.

Now, however, the company has more contracts in place, as the California Legislature has dramatically ramped up the requirements on utilities to make use of renewable energy.

The state’s first “renewable portfolio standard” was signed into law by then-Gov. Gray Davis in 2002. The law required utilities to become 20 percent renewable by 2017.

A 2011 law established a 33 percent green-energy minimum by 2020 – the threshold that PG&E boasted about meeting three years early. And last September, former Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 100, requiring utilities to be 50 percent green by 2026, 60 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2045.

Yeah, that sounds TOTALLY like a deregulated energy market. Or maybe not. Any bets on how stable the California power grid will be in 2045? (Hint: Take a look at Australia.) For a review of California’s Camp Fire, see this link.