HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » California's blackouts pr...

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 04:56 AM

California's blackouts present an example of what not to do

<The cause of California’s problem was simple: There wasn’t enough electricity to meet everyone’s needs. With more people staying indoors to avoid the coronavirus and a heat wave sweeping the region, electricity demand spiked.

Right now, California relies on wind and solar power for roughly a third of its electricity. Just when people needed electricity the most, the sun stopped shining, the wind stopped blowing — and over 1,200 megawatts of electricity suddenly became unavailable. Admittedly, some of this shortage was due to an unexpected malfunction in some natural gas plants, but much of it was from wind and solar going M.I.A.

Since the sun sets each day, this was expected for solar power. Every night, the disappearing sun takes with it thousands of megawatts of electricity, and it’s a problem that solar plants in California have had for years. Of course, the state has always been able to force other plants to ramp up production quickly to compensate. It’s an expensive strain on the entire system, but it gets consumers through the night. And, in this case, the wind that usually blows through the night simply stopped blowing, removing 1,000 megawatts of electricity — enough to power nearly a million homes.

Here’s the rub: Neither the setting sun nor the calm weather would have been a problem if the state had had sufficient backup power. Wind and solar power, because they depend on the weather, must be backed up by reliable power sources. However, California has spent years closing the very plants capable of backing up and accommodating this variability.

In 2013, California closed a nuclear plant that generated over 2,000 megawatts of emissions-free electricity. This is enough power that, were the plant still running today, the recent blackout wouldn’t have happened. In the same time span, California lost over 6,000 megawatts of natural gas-fired electricity — over four times the shortfall that triggered the blackout. Natural gas plants are unique in their importance to the modern grid in that they can alter electricity generation quickly to accommodate fluctuations in wind and solar energy output.

California regulators are doubling down on these closures instead of wisely understanding that, without reliable backup power, wind and solar are a liability for a stable grid. They’re going to close the state’s last remaining nuclear power plant in 2025, taking even more reliable, emissions-free power out of the equation.>


https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/514955-californias-blackouts-present-an-example-of-what-not-to-do

29 replies, 910 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply California's blackouts present an example of what not to do (Original post)
JI7 Sep 7 OP
PoindexterOglethorpe Sep 7 #1
JI7 Sep 7 #2
former9thward Sep 7 #18
BamaRefugee Sep 7 #3
Hekate Sep 7 #5
BamaRefugee Sep 7 #4
Hekate Sep 7 #6
JI7 Sep 7 #7
SophieJean Sep 7 #9
former9thward Sep 7 #19
coti Sep 7 #27
SophieJean Sep 7 #8
JI7 Sep 7 #10
BamaRefugee Sep 7 #11
JI7 Sep 7 #12
Miguelito Loveless Sep 7 #15
former9thward Sep 7 #20
Miguelito Loveless Sep 7 #25
crickets Sep 7 #26
BamaRefugee Sep 7 #29
judeling Sep 7 #13
JI7 Sep 7 #16
former9thward Sep 7 #22
NNadir Sep 7 #23
The Wizard Sep 7 #14
Igel Sep 7 #24
Klaralven Sep 7 #17
coti Sep 7 #28
NNadir Sep 7 #21

Response to JI7 (Original post)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 05:17 AM

1. The essential problem is that there are too many people.

No one seems willing to discuss that these days.

The Corona virus at its worst only seems to kill about 1% of those it infects. That's not enough to lower the overall population.

I sometimes wonder just what it will take.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 05:24 AM

2. But are there countries with lower population that are completely able to rely on solar and wind ?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JI7 (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 10:32 PM

18. Who?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JI7 (Original post)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 05:27 AM

3. Obviously, we must find volunteers to sacrifice themselves to keep the A/C on for the more deserving

We can motivate them by telling them that 72 virgins await them in Heaven.
72 being symbolic of the perfect temperature that they will let other Californians enjoy their lives in, by their blessed martyrdom.

"When the temp gets high, We choose to die"

from a fellow sweltering Californian.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BamaRefugee (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 05:40 AM

5. Thank you. I don't feel like volunteering to die; the notion is so very Trumpian...

I mean, really. Our population is approximately that of Canada. I think we can handle this intelligently. Gov Newsom is multitasking as fast as he can, and surely he is delegating. Even the LA Times called him “nimble” in the face of a perfect storm of crises.

Nonetheless, God help us all. I mean it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JI7 (Original post)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 05:33 AM

4. So I checked the author, turns out he is from the SHOW-ME INSTITUTE, which has ties to KOCH BROS.and

ALEC, among other things.
That Missouri goober can just fuck right off telling Californians what to do.
https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Show-Me_Institute

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BamaRefugee (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 05:41 AM

6. Well well well. Too right he can eff off.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BamaRefugee (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 05:47 AM

7. I think the point is still a good one. And Nuclear Energy is Clean .

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JI7 (Reply #7)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 06:11 AM

9. NO.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SophieJean (Reply #9)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 10:34 PM

19. YES

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JI7 (Reply #7)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 11:42 PM

27. Nope. You need to figure a way to store excess energy and over-build renewables.

And use solar and wind even more. Build pumped hydro and other storage solutions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BamaRefugee (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 06:10 AM

8. Thank you

I thought it had a right-wing stench but too hot and tired to look it up. Did the author bother to mention climate change, because CA is being overwhelmed by devastating changes in climate patterns. I grew up here and the "weather" has definitely upended. Blaming solar or wind power for not providing adequate power during heat waves is ludicrous. Maybe he should mention PG&E, which has screwed this state long enough. The Hill often pushes right-wing "opinions," and it's obvious that continuing to eviscerate the earth for oil and gas profits is the author's mo. Maybe he has a financial stake in nuclear power as well-there are safety reasons for shutting down aging nuclear power plants in CA. Fuck this Asshole. They would just love to turn CA red.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SophieJean (Reply #8)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 06:45 AM

10. Nuclear Energy doesn't release greenhouse gasses. I didn't blame Wind and Solar for the problem

I said they were not enough to provide for how much energy is needed. Nuclear can help with this and because it is clean energy it helps in dealing with Climate Change.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JI7 (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 07:06 AM

11. Do you live in California? I do. We have these things called "earthquakes". No thanks.

On top of that, no matter how clean we get, the prevailing winds dump the Far East’s pollution on top of us every day.
We’ll figure it out.
That’s what we do in California.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BamaRefugee (Reply #11)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 07:08 AM

12. Yes, I live in California . And Nuclear energy is a form of clean Energy

that can be provided for everyone in the state . It helps in dealing with climate change.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JI7 (Reply #12)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 09:06 AM

15. Provided you ignore all the emissions

Needed to create the massive amount of concrete and steel needed to build a reactor, plus all the emissions required to mine/process/refine uranium.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Miguelito Loveless (Reply #15)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 10:36 PM

20. And creating solar and wind doesn't make those emissions?

They do.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to former9thward (Reply #20)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 10:48 PM

25. They make them once,

then produce power for 25-30 Years.

With nuclear, you have to keep mining and refining fuel.

Also, wind, solar, and hydro are the only generating tech were fuel delivers itself.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BamaRefugee (Reply #11)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 11:35 PM

26. I lived in California for over a decade a while back, and I agree with you.

Earthquakes and nuclear power plants do not mix. Also, two more words no one has brought up yet: radioactive waste. People can dress it up in fancy language and talk about responsible handling and storage methods all they like, but the brutal truth is that the only way to get rid of it is to dump it somewhere. It's so dangerous people are still trying to figure out how to label it so those who stumble upon it thousands of years from now will understand the symbols and know to stay away. Of course, animals can't read.

It's hideously expensive to dig holes deep enough. Once the containers start leaking, and they will, how deep is deep enough? Then there are the idiots who want to dump it in the ocean, and did for a time... 🤦‍♀️

Nope.

We’ll figure it out. That’s what we do in California.


👍

In the meantime, I'm sorry you're all going through this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to crickets (Reply #26)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 11:51 PM

29. the nuclear power plant thing came and went already in California, without MAJOR new developments in

that field I can't see it coming back.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JI7 (Original post)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 07:47 AM

13. Its the grid

plenty of capacity elsewhere just no way to get it to cali.

Just really hard to make nuclear economical.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to judeling (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 09:58 PM

16. Why is it hard to make it economical ? Doesn't France do it ?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to judeling (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 10:40 PM

22. We have nuclear in Illinois.

And low electrical bills.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to judeling (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 10:46 PM

23. The United States built more than 100 nuclear plants in about 25 years, providing the cheapest...

...electricity in the world, using 1950's and 1960's technology.

That, is a fact.

It's really, really, really hard to believe that what has already happened is impossible.

It is also a fact that the highest electricity prices in the world belong to that off shore oil and gas drilling hellhole Denmark, followed closely be Germany.

One really, really, really has to make stuff up to consider that nuclear plants cannot be built economically. Of course, it would be really really, really worthwhile to consider that six to seven million people die each year from air pollution and no one has died from a radiation leak at a nuclear power plant for decades in this country and yet nuclear power plants are required all kinds of systems to make them "safe," in the minds of people who have never opened an engineering text, or even taken a science course in their lives.

That's also the fact.

Facts matter.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JI7 (Original post)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 08:49 AM

14. No mention of hydroelectric.

Smoke from fires blocking the Sun.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Wizard (Reply #14)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 10:47 PM

24. No, but that was reduced by the anti-dam movement. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JI7 (Original post)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 10:20 PM

17. Why is no pumped storage being built? California has lots of mountains.

You whack the top off a mountain and build a reservoir at the top and the bottom. During the day you pump water up. During the night you run hydroelectric generators. It's the most economical form of short term energy storage.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Klaralven (Reply #17)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 11:44 PM

28. Yup. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JI7 (Original post)

Mon Sep 7, 2020, 10:40 PM

21. Wow! Somebody besides me is saying this.

I'm impressed.

I personally oppose all gas plants, coal all wind farms, and most free standing solar facilities, but I'm a huge fan of nuclear power.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread