California had a valuable lesson last year experiencing the inconvenience of severe rolling blackouts. The state learnt well that improper planning and vulnerability of the grid can cost a lot of trouble if not managed closely.
California Is Cautious
Even though the state is better prepared for the fight against power outages, the energy regulators are still cautious considering the grid’s vulnerability to severe heatwaves. This implies that California may eventually experience power outages this year, no matter how prepared the state is. The state officials announced that they had allocated 3500 megawatts of capacity ahead in case the summer demand again skyrockets. Including an additional 2000 megawatts of batteries, the state is storing renewable energy like solar, which stops working when it’s dark.
Power Outages Are More Than Inconvenience
For you to better understand how much difference 3500 megawatts can make, 1 megawatt of energy can power hundreds of residents. However, the main risk posing over the entire country is that the extreme heat is spreading in the West, getting hotter day by day. Rolling blackouts can be more than just causing inconvenience, becoming even deadly for vulnerable residents and bringing forward bigger problems when everything is closely tied to electricity. For instance, In 2018 Paradise town had 85 victims due to devastating wildfires caused by toppled power lines. This brought even more pressure to realize California’s plan to reach a 100% renewable energy goal.
Back-Up Plan For This Summer
California has a back-up plan to fight against power shortages and related unpleasant circumstances. The state plans to buy power from other non-clean resources if needed. The California Public Utilities Commission president Marybel Batjer mentioned that the state is ready to go to those extreme situations just to prevent blackouts by whatever it takes out of health and safety concerns. Nothing is known about those non-clean sources that California plans to use. But what’s important here is seeing that California learned its lesson, preparing even back-up to its back-up plan.
California Rolling Blackouts is a reason for inconvenience and devastation for people, especially during this era of digitalization. Solar energy is a two-end solution against power outages. Firstly, it’s generated from unlimited sun energy, which makes the residents independent from the grid. Secondly, it reduces the carbon footprint of the residents to prevent climate change that results in those extreme heat waves causing the blackouts.
The author of a publication: Elen Gevorgyan