Economy

Expect More Blackouts This Summer

California is blessed with having some of the best year-round weather in the nation. But during the summer and during fire season, temperatures rise highly. While California may have good weather what we lack is a sound energy policy, especially when it comes to using energy during times of high temperatures.

High temperatures lead to rolling blackouts, scheduled blackouts that are intended to save the state’s energy supply. But California has been experiencing a lack of energy as prices go up. Governor Newsom sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo about the delay in imported solar cells and modules to California. Due to this, California could be short of energy equivalent to what it takes to power 1.3 million homes. That number could go as high as 3.75 million if high temperatures and fires threaten power grids. Two years ago, California experienced rolling blackouts for the first time in two decades. While not well known to the rest of the nation, energy is a massive part of California and the policies enacted can have massive ramifications. Energy policy and a massive rise in prices was the primary factor in the successful recall election of then-Governor Gray Davis. 

California is still making attempts to invest even more into clean energy according to Newsom’s letter, but he says that there have been a number of roadblocks. Newsom cites the pandemic and increased price of shipping and lithium as reasons for the state’s inability to finish green energy projects. Another major factor is the drought, as California’s hydropower has been reduced. Despite California’s investment in green energy, the closure of four gas-powered plants along the Southern California coast could be delayed, along with Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant which is set to be closed by 2025. 

Californians are expected to see a spike in electricity, much like in the early 2000s. The State Energy Commission says Californians could see a 4-9% annual rate increase between now and 2025. 

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