Back in the early 2000’s, the Enron scandal lead to California’s rolling blackouts. 

As a result, as an environmental health and safety specialist, I began including information on handing power outages into company safety manuals.

Now, thanks to “Green Energy”, it looks like I am going to have to revamp those sections. Wayne Lusvardi of Cal Watchdog has the details:

At a special meeting of California energy companies and regulators held Feb. 26, Todd Strauss of Pacific Gas & Electric saw the possibility of state power blackouts emerging in 2013 to 2015.  The reason is that it has suddenly dawned on state power regulators that green power has resulted in a precarious lack of system flexibility in the state’s power grid.

Said Steve Berberich, the head of the California Independent System Operator, “The problem is we have a system now that needs flexibility, not capacity.”

The blackouts during the the California electricity crisis of 2000-01 were caused by a lack of sufficient energy capacity. But now, what experts at Feb. 26 meeting agreed is that any future state energy crisis likely will come from lack of system flexibility.  The diminishing flexibility is a result of the state’s 2011 mandate, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, that 33 percent of all energy must be from green power sources by 2020.

Lusvardi discusses what a loss of system flexibility means to California’s energy grid:

What flexibility means is the need for more power plants with the capability to ramp power up or down quickly to respond to vacillations in green power when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. Coal power plants cannot typically respond fast enough to provide backup power. So this means that greater reliance on natural gas-fired power plants.

The future problem for California is that it does not have the right mix of types of power plants and new environmental regulations are forcing either closure or expensive upgrades to its coastal power plants that rely on ocean water for cooling steam generators.

And since the green-backed politicos in this state frown upon “brown energy”, solutions that enhance flexibility are unlikely to be implemented.

However, this is not the only area in which “green energy” has failed to perform. In his 5-part series on “California in Crisis“, Washington Examiner Senior Editorial Writer Conn Carrol notes that the green industry has been a jobs bust.

But all these new green energy programs must at least be creating thousands of new green jobs, right? Wrong. According to the best numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fewer than 2,500 green jobs have been created in California since 2010. Compare that with the more than 556,000 jobs that California has added in total since the recession ended in June 2009.

Here is a graphic that compares “Green” California with “Brown” Texas, which has aggressively removed obstacles to private-sector development of fossil fuel resources:

It looks like when it comes to power sources, California has chosen unwisely.

But, at least we have some excellent surf and a lot of sunshine, as it looks like we will be outdoors with no jobs to go to!!!