I was pleasantly surprised to read this article today on Fox News. It actually discusses some of the enormous challenges that California will have in trying to live up to some of the “clean energy” promises that have been made.
I am exposed constantly in my industry (HVAC) to the drumbeat of electrification. States, municipalities, and even the federal government are subsidizing electric appliances, vehicles, and other types of equipment and in some cases simply outright banning fossil fuel equipment in new construction.
The thing that has been perplexing me since this show started in earnest a few years ago is exactly what the article addresses. Where do the legislators and others think that the power will come from? Electricity doesn’t fall from the sky and has to be transported to the point of use.
Transmission line projects take years and in the case of California, could a new one even be built at all?
There is a lot to this subject, of course, but at least there was an article published that scratches the surface of some of the “pie in the sky” legislation and addresses the hopes and dreams of those who think installing a huge new base of electrical items won’t cause any issues down the line.
15 thoughts on “A Surprisingly Good Article About Electricity in the MSM”
Fox News is the exception among media sources. Of course, that is why it is hated by progs.
The usual suspects are clueless, as this video demonstrates nicely.
During an unveiling of the new Chevy Volt, Zimmerman demonstrated for the media how the supposedly “green” vehicle is simply plugged into a power source for energy. And this power source, at least in Michigan, is mostly burned coal.
Sad thing is that the article says nothing that has not been out there in the public arena for years, and in some cases for decades. And it gets worse — a Finnish study recently concluded that the planet lacks the mineral resources required to build “renewables” (really “replaceables”, since those windmills & solar panels have a fairly short life). And let’s not get into the African child labor which lets the Leftie swan about in his Prius.
There is an answer — as again has been known for decades. China is leading the world in the construction of nuclear power plants. Russia has an active nuclear power industry. Even oil-rich United Arab Emirates is building nuclear power plants. But not California. Sad! Bad decisions will have bad consequences.
Where is this electricity going to come from? The same place as the federal money, you fool. For legislators, there ultimately doesn’t need to be any real electricity in order to get reelected. Someone else can be blamed. Fixing it will require doing more of the same. See also, foreign countries that don’t really exist on their own, but are just pieces pushed around on a board in order to acquire more power in DC. Get it? The unreal things are believed in, the real things are not believed in. It is the world of words.
I actually do think that because the money is unreal they have trained themselves to believe in unreal things. DC insiders have long called it a “town,” rather affectionately, as in “If you want to get anything done in this town…” but this disguises the fact that they really do see it that way. More than any old farmer from Chichester, they think that what happens in their town is all that really matter. (Okay, maybe New York also.)
They lost me at “zero emission vehicles.”
Everyone, I kid you not – saw a CBS tweet via Instapundit where recharging your EV will cost more than gas. Responding tweets pointed out that much of your charging power will be created by burning coal.
And there were several responses that “Ahkshully, coal is better than gas.”
I’m Catholic, and my religion makes more logical sense than the Church of Gaia.
“Where is this electricity going to come from? The same place as the federal money, you fool.”
Actually not, thankfully. California still doesn’t have the ability to print money, just sell debt to anyone stupid enough to buy it. They’re already in the process of obligating themselves to pay several times the yearly budget in “reparations”, what’s a few trillion on top of that? Hard to believe they’ll ever run out of suckers, but we’ll see.
This is what they voted for, so no sense blaming the politicians. They’re about to get it, good and hard. Of course, the blackouts, when they come, will mostly affect people doing frivolous things like irrigating and processing crops or making things, often in areas that don’t even vote Democrat, so serves them right. How many of those mega-mansions where the important work takes place are being built without the trivial added expense of a backup generator with a big fuel tank? They’re no more going to be without power and air conditioning than they were going to let their plants die in the drought.
California is running out of slack to cover their shortfalls. Today, Diane Feinstein announced that she is not going to be running for re-election in 2024, assuming real elections.
Given that in California, whoever the Left nominates will win because of the difference between votes and ballots, I expect that Governor Gavin Newsom will be fighting for the nomination. There are a bunch of things, including a coming shortage of electricity, that are coming to a head. Newsom is going to desperately want to be in DC rather than Sacramento when the organic waste impacts the rotating airfoil.
Last summer when our (California’s electrical grid was taxed to the hilt) we were asked for a couple of days not to charge our EVs. As to where we will get all of this electricity, it is a mystery to me, too.
Similar in New York – I am thinking of the recent deal with Hydro-Quebec to sell hydroelectric power to NY. There is also an associated agreement to build a power line from the source in Quebec all the way down to NYC. Such are the desperate measures to which the Albany regime must resort in order to make its vision of 100% organic, or I should say inorganic (carbon-free, after all), energy across the state come true – it already has to reach out to not merely other states, but even other countries, to squeeze enough blood from the stone, because there’s no way that New York will be able to support its own energy needs given such preconditions. Therefore it will inevitably have to cheat by making up the shortfall from wherever it can – or just do without, I suppose.
Well at least the Fox article focuses on the key aspect which is “grid.” So much of the popular conversation regarding renewables, not just into media or the man in the street but with our “intelligentsia”, is that it’s simply a problem of addition -just build enough nameplate capacity to equal a certain demand and then (cue SponngeBob) ” magic.” Usually this thinking is based on extrapolating personal, nonscalable experience such as the solar panels on their house or charging their EV from home. Its akin to.saying you can solve world hunger if everyone had a backyard vegetable garden
Electrical grids are engineering marvels delivering power to the exact place and time when needed and underpin modern civilization. Any deviation from this expectation of synchronicity undermines said civilization and is a lowering of.living standards (blackouts and sky high prices) Storage technolgies.such as Hydrogen and batteries will not scale
if you want a reliable grid with renewables then you build a parallel network using hydrocarbon or you could just build one generative system that would be reliable and carbon free and that would be nuclear. Hydro? Please… it can provide some part of the grid but as a general solution is only relevant to particular situations such ax the Canadian shield plus I doubt you could ever build something like the James Bay project ever again. North Sea wind power? What happened during the times over the last 18 months when the wind slackened at Britain had to go to the spot market?
Gavin mentioned limitations in mineral resources for a general build out in renewables and to that I will add the unspoken obstacle of environmentalism. Building a renewable network is going to cause a lot of environmental damage from mining to constructing the huge number of solar and wind farms to the extra transmission infrastructure.
The pro-renewable coalition is composed of 3 parts. The first is the triggers who will make financial and political hay from all the government largess. The second are the ones who cannot do math but want to do what they see as the right thing many of these people probably have a to home shrines to St. Greta. The third are environmentalists and these run the continuum but generally I don’t see them on board with allowing environmental damage to build the renewal network. Big strip mines for rare earths? Thousands of square miles for solar farms? Allowing transmission networks for the full replacement of ICE cars with EV? To ask the question is to answer it. Past history of approval for projects let alone the ability to initiate litigation means it would be many years, if ever, for these projects to see the light of day. Look at what has happened to something as simple as the Northern Pass transmission project for bringing hydro power to New England. I don’t see any environmental groups publicly saying that they would support relaxed enviro rules to bring a renewable future
Why not nuclear? I think the same reason you have a coalition pushing for renewables, you have a coalition strongly against it. You have the political and business grifters who more profit in renewables, you have people who have imbibed 40+ years of anti nuclear propaganda, and you have a significant number of environmentalists who want nothing to do with cheap energy. Paul Ehrlich, our favorite Malthusian, once likened providing cheap energy to giving “..a machine gun to.an idiot child.” I find that a useful prism to viewing how many environmental ists.approach energy. They don’t see the cost and unreliability of renewables.unercutting.modern civilization as a bug, but rather a feature
Yes to all.
New York and New England as well have long used power from Eastern Canada. The Great 1965 Blackout started in a switch-yard in Ontario. The advantage is that the power source will be reliable and predictable. It’s easy to measure the water behind a dam and forecast output into the future, unlike wind and solar. The disadvantage is that a long transmission path is inherently vulnerable to everything from thunder storms to network upsets to, especially in Canada, forest fires. It can and will disappear from one cycle to the next and when it does, you’d better have enough multi-hundred ton steam turbines spun up and switched in to give you a second or so to respond.
MCS: “The disadvantage is that a long transmission path is inherently vulnerable to everything from thunder storms to network upsets to, especially in Canada, forest fires.”
@ Dan from M – I came back to check the comments again and saw that my comment did not read on the page with the tone I intended. The use of “you fool” was purely for comic effect, with no insult intended.
Hydro-electric is out with the environmental set for a few reasons: A) Sometime in the past decade or so they noticed that giant concrete structures can interfere with marine migration. Or at least that the mitigation we’d been building into the dams was no longer considered good enough.
B) Giant concrete structures release too much carbon dioxide.
And C) The current generation of activists sincerely believe either 1) electricity comes from a socket in the wall, and somebody will always make sure that’s the case, or 2) electricity is a luxury, and it doesn’t really matter if the plebes aren’t allowed any. In either case, they don’t actually care about replacing (or expanding) the grid capacity they demand be decommissioned for the grace of Gaia.
Of course, hydro was the only Earth-based ‘renewable’ that could provide base load. One can’t help but think that if the storage issue were magically wished away ‘we’ would suddenly care deeply about birds hitting windmills or the sources for the minerals needed to fabricate solar panels.
@AVI – np
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