California following New York’s Energy Policies Will Lead to Blackouts

According to the book, Human Tide by Paul Morland the world’s population between Year 1 to 1700 was static; then went to 600 million by 1800, and by the late 1920s populations exploded in the U.S., U.K., Europe and Asia. Current global population is approximately 7.6 billion people, and we can thank the exploration, production and use of fossil fuels for human longevity, innovation and global health at scales never before seen in human history. 

When over 6,000 products come from a barrel of crude oil such as makeup, plastics, and every part of the supply chain for solar panels and wind turbines its easy to understand how intertwined petrochemicals, and deep earth minerals are with history moving in a forward, progressive direction.

However, the French philosopher Auguste Comte supposedly said, “demography is destiny,” which normally isn’t the case, but if California follows New York’s headlong rush into renewables (solar and wind) our demographic shifts towards foolish renewable energy policies voted into existence will bring a new destiny that should never take place in New York or California. Energy only works when it is affordable, reliable, scalable, affordable, and flexible; only fossil fuels and nuclear power plants currently meet this criteria.

Adding chaotically, intermittent renewables –as the main source of electrical generating power – always leads to higher electrical prices for ratepayers, but more importantly, blackouts, which New York experienced last month. Robert Bryce of the Manhattan Institute predicted in a 2017 report, blackouts were in store for New Yorkers over embracing Governor Andrew Cuomo’s energy policies. These are the same ones Governor Gavin Newsome, the California Legislature, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti are currently enacting. 

California already sells excess electricity off the grid from renewables at a massive loss to neighboring states. Senate Bill 100 envisions California relying only on renewables for its electricity by 2045, and Mayor Garcetti is closing three, reliable, natural gas-fired power plants. One California nuclear power plant recently closed, and Diablo Canyon Nuclear power plant is set to cease operations by 2025. Millions of Californians will be foolishly plunged into electrical blackouts over these decisions without understanding the consequences.

Governor Cuomo is bent on only receiving electricity from solar panels and wind turbines, which is beginning to wreck New York’s once, reliable grid after a recent blackout. This isn’t simply a domestic issue: Australia is now coping with blackouts through overreliance on renewables and energy battery storage systems, which aren’t technologically feasible. This issue caused a political crisis in Australia. South Australia like New York returned to the Dark Ages. Even the U.K.’s grid crashed in early August – causing an electrical blackout – when wind turbine farms collapsed, leaving millions of British ratepayers and businesses without power.

New York State Independent System Operator (grid overseer), General Electric experts, and the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance all warned New York policymakers over the folly of believing renewables would ensure grid stability. But renewable backers persisted, and pulled the plug on Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. Governor Cuomo also won’t allow new gas pipelines into the state while banning hydraulic fracturing (fracking) dooming southern New York to poverty.

Does this sound familiar? California is making the same energy, policy decisions, and like New York they attack utility operators, threatening additional regulations and stripping of their licenses while taking away the operator’s ability to use natural gas and nuclear power. Then the utilities and grid operators get blamed when blackouts take place to satisfy environmental constituencies that vote politicians into office who do their bidding on renewable polices that enrich said environmentalists.

These are political decisions to satisfy the “green clergy,” as Joel Kotkin of Chapman University has called these environmental, “smart growth,” billionaire overseers for years. It’s overly coy and naïve to simply believe or say renewable advocates are energy rent seekers wanting taxpayer subsidies, or political spin doctors who gain from voter culpability on the issue when it is actually more complex, yet simple at the same time.

There isn’t a grid in California or anywhere else in the world that can handle “mass load shedding,” or the inevitable chaos that comes from the sun and wind harnessed into electricity. Maybe one day a smart grid will be built, and deployed that has weeks of energy battery storage systems in place, and the ability to load share anywhere the grid is connected – from say, Los Angeles to New York. Otherwise expect brownouts, blackouts, and possible loss of life over expanded renewable energy use.

Todd Royal is an independent public policy consultant focusing on the geopolitical implications of energy based in Los Angeles, California.

This article was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily.