Like a third-world country, California is facing rolling power blackouts

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July 3, 2022

Like a third-world country, California is facing rolling power blackouts

By Andrea Widburg

Unless states and countries are willing to transition almost entirely to nuclear power, so-called “green” energy is a chimera. In the old days, “green” energy was the norm and life was Hobbesian: “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” It was fossil fuel that brought us into a world of plenty but the greenies have been having their way with our fossil-fuel-powered grid and, inevitably, the lights are going off. California, for example, boldly decided to go “green,” closing down existing nuclear power plants and refineries, only to discover that the lights go out when you do that, so now the only option is…drum roll, please…returning to that much-despised fossil fuel.

The Associated Press reported on California’s tough choices, forced upon the state thanks to its stupid policies:

A sweeping energy proposal Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Thursday puts the state in the business of buying power to ensure there’s enough to go around during heat waves that strain the grid. But some critics say the method of getting there is at odds with the state’s broader climate goals, because it paves the way for the state to tap aging gas-fired power plants and add backup generators fueled by diesel.

The debate highlights the challenge some states are facing as they scramble to address heat waves fueled by climate change without compromising on their pledges to transition to non-fossil fuel energy sources like solar and wind.

The only thing I would argue with in the above-quoted language is “heat waves fueled by climate change.” For greenies, the phrase “by climate change” is a reflexive habit, much like the way Muslims reflexively add “peace be upon him” or “pbuh” when referring to the Prophet Mohamed. And like the phrase “pbuh,” “by climate change” is powered by faith. In fact, the first half of the 20th century—which also saw the devastating Dust Bowl—recorded many of the hottest years on record in America. Moreover, the phrase “hottest years on record” is also meaningless because we only began tracking temperatures in the late Victorian period, about 150 years ago. The billions of years before that…well, we’re guessing.

Image: Solar panels at Topaz Solar in California, as far as the eye can see by Pacific Southwest Region. CC BY 2.0.

But back to California, note the careful language in this paragraph:

California gets most of its energy from renewable sources during the day, but doesn’t yet have the storage to dispatch enough solar power after the sun goes down. The bill aims to speed up the building of more renewable energy and storage facilities by removing local governments from permitting decisions. Supply chain issues are also slowing down building.

“Doesn’t yet have the storage to dispatch enough solar power after the sun goes down.” And therein lies the rub. Renewables work when the wind blows or the sun shines. Otherwise, nothing.

Green energy storage is a huge—and currently unaddressed—problem because the batteries lag far behind every nation’s needs. To date, batteries are inefficient and huge. So, in addition to gigantic, hideous, bird-cooking solar arrays across America, or enormous, hideous, bird-slicing wind farms across America, we’ll end up with ginormous, hideous battery arrays across America. And of course, all these things (the solar panels, windmills, and batteries) require massive amounts of non-recyclable, polluting ingredients—with the stuff for the solar panels alone coming mostly from China, the most polluting nation in the world.

When you put your faith in fantasy and eschew reality, reality does not go away. It’s still there. People who pretend that lions and bears are cute domestic pets get eaten and states or nations that pretend that we can do away with the fossil fuels that lifted us out of darkness are inevitably consigned to…well, either darkness or, if they’re smart, fossil fuels and nuclear energy, both of which are anathema to the greenies.

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