In Calizuela, Californians are discovering the dark truth about solar powered homes and electric cars.
As California firefighters continue to battle the Saddleridge fire in the Los Angeles area, it is being reported that the blaze may have started from a Southern California Edison transmission tower that is located behind a home in Sylmar.
Meanwhile, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is conducting a PR battle for continuing its program of fire-prevention power shutdowns.
PG&E faced hostility and second-guessing over the shut-offs, which prompted runs on supplies like coolers and generators and forced institutions to shut down.
Ryan Fisher, a partner in consumer goods and retail practice at global consultancy A.T. Kearney estimated $100 million in $200 million in fresh food was likely lost because of the outages along with $30 million a day in consumer spending.
PG&E cast the blackouts as a matter of public safety to prevent the kind of blazes that have killed scores of people over the past couple of years, destroyed thousands of homes, and ran up tens of billions of dollars in claims that drove the company into bankruptcy.
The utility suggested it was already seeing the wisdom of its decision borne out as gusts topping 77 mph (122 kph) raked some hilltops where wildfire risk was extremely high.
Meanwhile, despite years of being promised a green energy utopia by its politicians, Californians who followed the eco-promises are waking up to a power outage nightmare.
For example, homes that have solar panels are as dark as those who didn’t install such systems.
That’s because most panels are designed to supply power to the grid — not directly to houses. During the heat of the day, solar systems can crank out more juice than a home can handle. Conversely, they don’t produce power at all at night. So systems are tied into the grid, and the vast majority aren’t working this week as PG&E Corp. cuts power to much of Northern California to prevent wildfires.
The only way for most solar panels to work during a blackout is pairing them with batteries. That market is just starting to take off. Sunrun Inc., the largest U.S. rooftop solar company, said some of its customers are making it through the blackouts with batteries, but it’s a tiny group — countable in the hundreds.
The power-outages, planned and otherwise, are now demonstrating the biggest flaw in electric cars: The contingency systems designed to allow cars to charge during blackouts hasn’t been developed yet.
Tesla is sending a warning to its Northern California customers: Charge up your vehicle now. If you don’t, it’s hard to say when you’ll next have a chance. That’s because Pacific Gas and Electric, the electrical utility for most of Northern and Central California, plans to shut off electrical service to almost a million people as a public safety measure to prevent starting wildfires.
…[I]f you drive a Telsa (or a Volt or a Leaf), you need electricity to charge your battery. Most of you probably do that at home or at one of Tesla’s Supercharger stations spread across the country. But in parts of California, you won’t be doing either during the shutoff.
To be fair, Tesla says that it plans to eventually have all of its Supercharger stations equipped with batteries that will allow them to continue to provide charging capacity during blackouts. But according to Elon Musk this morning on Twitter, the company is still waiting on the go-ahead to install them across the effected areas in California.
And while Californians are struggling with blackouts and wildfires, the usual suspects are using #ClimateCrisis to stoke more green energy inanity.
Heat waves, wildfires and sea level rise: These are some of the threats California will face from climate change in coming decades.
Our story from the archives explains: https://t.co/KtwyfrnNjm
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 12, 2019
Think of the alternative to these power outages and intense wildfires if America tackles climate change.
We can build a smart, safe, and modern electrical grid that gives every American access to clean, cheap, and reliable energy from renewables. https://t.co/DYEUr1CWnz
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 10, 2019
These blackouts are harmful to our most vulnerable communities. We need a plan to address climate change that centers around environmental justice and not the bottom lines of energy companies. https://t.co/m1cE87Zlsd
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) October 10, 2019
PG&E had to spend $42 billion following green energy mandates instead of equipment repairs, system maintenance, and upgrade on technology that didn’t spark conflagrations.
This @susie_c piece (https://t.co/Qh0MNHTVKn) and this NYT’s piece (https://t.co/uAah2HNvPf) are essential context for the PG&E wildfire shutoff. It’s not just climate change. It’s also about a private utility failing to maintain its aging infrastructure. https://t.co/uAah2HNvPf
— Josh Cohen (@jcohenwrites) October 8, 2019
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