What does Germany and California have in common? Both are firing back up oil and gas electricity plants


Posted on August 24, 2021

For sake of having a peaceful discussion, let’s set the climate change question on the side.

Germany and California have been long-time examples of the progressive definition of what an energy model should look, and act like. Both have set records with putting in renewable wind, solar and reducing their dependency on fossil fuels. While doing so, they have both reached top honors in the highest kWh to their citizens for the “Greener” movement.

What you are not seeing are some of the underlying numbers. California has publicly advertised that they have cut their dependency on coal-fired electricity. What has actually happened is the amount of coal has been remaining stable in the state for years. Why is this not on the front pages? (We will cover that in another article)

Germany and California are both bringing on additional oil and natural gas power plants online in order to keep the grids up in the next several months.

Reuters published today:

“California, struggling to balance its clean energy push with the need to boost tight power supplies and avoid rolling blackouts, will lean more on fossil fuels in coming weeks to keep the power on if scorching heatwaves stretch its grid.

The Golden State, which has among the world’s most aggressive environmental policies, faces a potential supply shortfall of up to 3,500 megawatts during peak demand hours in the coming weeks. That is about 2.6 million households’ worth of electricity supply.

Governor Gavin Newsom plans to fill that gap in part by allowing industrial energy users to run on diesel generators and engines, according to a recent emergency proclamation. The state says it is devising a plan to offset additional emissions through investments in air quality improvements.

“We’re getting additional reliability at the cost of additional environmental impacts from emissions,” Seth Hilton, an attorney with Stoel Rives who represents energy companies in regulatory proceedings in California, said in an interview.”

“California’s predicament demonstrates the challenges electricity grids face by moving away from natural gas and coal power while incorporating large amounts of wind and solar energy that only run when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining.

California has a goal of sourcing 60% of its power from renewable sources by 2030. Other governments crafting their own energy policies are watching closely.”

The Bottom Line

The real story is: “How do we provide the lowest kWh to everyone with doing the least impact on the environment?

The answer: We as a country plan for an energy policy that takes advantage of all of the best forms of energy production. Let’s set a goal of listening to all sides of the energy solution to see how we can win for all states and our citizens. The United States is the greatest country on the planet, and we can show the best road forward for all humanity.

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