Another Week, Another Outage

Corporate news media do not report the news consistently, so you may have missed some important energy-related developments in California over the past few months:

All new passenger vehicles sold in California after 2035 must be zero-emission. This will encourage people to switch to electric vehicles and mass transit. Since mass transit does not go everywhere and electric vehicles have limited range, this will discourage road trips into remote areas, family vacations, and long drives to visit friends and relatives. But at least we have Facetime, Skype, and Zoom, and who needs a camping trip to reconnect with nature!

Some California communities are moving to outlaw new construction that uses natural gas for cooking or heating. A number of cooks and restaurants prefer to cook with gas, but the goal seems to be to move us away from using fossil fuels and towards using electricity instead. And if the power is out, we can go out to eat (if we have money and if the restaurants are open)!

New gasoline-powered lawn mowers, trimmers, and other such lawn and garden equipment will soon be unavailable for purchase in California. This will hamstring the lawn care and gardening people, but since we won’t have water for gardens or landscaping, they would need to find other work sooner or later, anyway. Electric mowers and such will be OK, but this brings us to a minor but growing problem: the availability of electricity.

We had another unplanned power outage last week, and an average of once a week seems to be the new normal. The state took over the California power grid several years ago, but still does not know how to keep the lights on. Did last week’s problem affect a block or two, or was it larger? In other words, was the problem with the local distribution system or the larger-scale power grid? Corporate news media don’t report all of the power outages, so it is hard to know. But it seems clear that, just as the government central planners have not provided mass transit to replace our passenger cars, they also have not had the foresight to meet a regulation-driven increase in demand for electricity. Nor have they protected grid reliability while moving the state to solar and wind power. But at least California is going green, while state energy planners buy as much power as they can from other states that still have nuclear and fossil-fueled power plants. Meanwhile, the coming ban on gasoline-powered equipment includes portable and emergency-use generators. Go figure.

One thought on “Another Week, Another Outage

  1. The 2024 California regulation will apply to all small enging including golf carts and generators. If you are concerned about the stability of the grid, you might want to beat the rush and start shopping for a generator sufficient to meet your emergency needs. Don’t worry about golf carts, they are not critical necessities. Besides, most golfers would benefit from a little more exercise.


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