by Lou Binninger
Prior to the left’s takeover of California government, utilities were well-run, rates reasonable and living costs manageable. Power outages were rare and brief. Fires were caused by storms or humans but were rarely ever a holocaust, devouring entire cities and hundreds of people.
Resource rich (water, power, oil) California, once the envy of the world is now a mockery. State leaders are dismantling the state’s infrastructure and discarding natural resources on the altar of global warming. Political leaders full of pride and arrogance have been given over to a spirit of stupidity after decades of despising God.
Why all of a sudden has PG and E founded by George H. Roe after California’s Gold Rush become unable to safely and reliably deliver power at a reasonable rate? By 1984, it had become the nation’s largest electric utility.
Power companies nationwide remove wide swaths through wild lands for power lines. However, a PG&E meteorologist commenting on shutting off power before the Kincade Fire said “It’s likely that many trees will fall, branches will break, which could damage utility infrastructure and start a fire.” Really, did they quit clearing trees near lines? Or was it the state forbidding the maintaining of forests?
If poorly maintained infrastructure is not the reason PG and E cut power to Californians, what might have led them to do so? Some are suggesting that PG and E’s state - mandated reliance on renewable energy (solar and wind) means they don’t have enough power to deliver when a major weather event occurs.
Thousands of acres covered in solar panels are useless at night or in overcast conditions. And, there is not sufficient battery storage to store solar power when it is not immediately needed by the grid.
Richard Trzupek writes in ‘The Epoch Times’ that “The main operating constraint of wind power is, of course, wind speed. At the low end of the scale, you need about a 6 or 7 mph wind to get a turbine moving. This is called the ‘cut-in speed.’ To generate maximum power, about a 30 mph wind is typically required. But, if the wind speed is too high, the wind turbine will shut down. This is called the ‘cut-out speed,’ and it’s about 55 mph for most modern wind turbines.”
Trzupek explains that each wind turbine rotor is connected to an electric generator inside the turbine housing. The connection is through a gearbox that is sized to turn the generator at an exact speed required to produce 60 Hertz AC power.
Though the wind turbines are huge, they are sensitive. The pitch of the blades must be exact and propelled by the right amount of wind speed to deliver power to the electric grid. When the wind blows too hard the blades cannot adjust to produce power and the turbine shuts down, lots of wind but no production.
Meanwhile politicians in the name of Green Energy have taken over the power industry. In 2001, Energy Information Administration data reveals that the state generated 74.3 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels and nuclear. Hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass-generated power accounted for most of the remaining 25.7 percent, with wind and solar contributing only 1.98 percent of the total.
By 2018, the state’s renewable energy was up to 43.8 percent of total generation, with wind and solar now accounting for 17.9 percent of the total. San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear plants are gone. This is a clue to why PG and E is going broke, while rates are skyrocketing and power is unreliable.
Governor Newsom’s appointment of an Energy Czar will do nothing for sustainability, reliability, safety or reasonable rates. It is political window dressing, like the Soviet Union’s five-year agricultural plans, always a disaster. People starved.
The government taking over utilities will create another US Postal Service, Department of Motor Vehicles or California Public Employee Retirement System, all massive losers.
Worse than embarrassing, a state-run utility will be a disaster endangering lives, property and emptying the state of businesses and taxpayers.
(Get Lou’s podcast at “No Hostages Radio” and his articles at nohostagesradio.com)