California doomed to frequent blackouts due to battery shortage – Bloomberg Green 

Posted: August 20, 2020 by oldbrew in Batteries, Energy, government, ideology
Tags: , ,

A self-induced shortage of reliable electricity generation is the real issue in California but its leaders can’t accept that, for mistaken ideological reasons supposedly related to the climate of the Earth. Instead they create their own problems due to unworkable energy policies, then discover they can’t solve them. Other leaders with similar ideas should take note and learn, but probably won’t, preferring to parrot ‘net zero’.

– – –
Problem is there aren’t enough of these massive batteries to go around right now, says Bloomberg Green.

As the threat of blackouts continues to plague California, officials are pointing to battery storage as a key to preventing future power shortfalls.

But the Golden State is going to need a lot more batteries to weather the next climate-driven crisis—let alone to achieve its goal of a carbon-free grid.

It won’t be cheap, potentially costing close to $19 billion. But more critically, there aren’t enough of these massive batteries to go around right now.

California’s latest energy crisis has several causes. For one, 9 gigawatts of gas generation—enough to power 6.8 million homes—was retired in recent years.

Continued here.

  1. Gamecock says:

    Reactionary government. Their idea is to prevent recurrence of the current problem. At great expense. But they fail to address other possible problems.

    Generals always prepare to fight the last war.

  2. Graeme No.3 says:

    If at first you don’t succeed, keep doing the same stupid thing. I think Einstein said something about that!

    A quick check shows (2018) that California relies on 31.4% “renewables” (officially but the figures add up to 33.5%) for wind and solar (including imports). By my costings they would need more like $480 billion for batteries to cover 24 hours of “unreliables”.**

    Of course batteries are getting much cheaper – I first heard that in the 1980’s.

    **Based on actual cost of “the big battery” in South Australia.

  3. pochas94 says:

    California is the cradle of fantasy.

  4. ivan says:

    Maybe those behind this idiotic scheme don’t know that batteries don’t generate electricity only store it and when the battery is flat there is no more power so the blackout continues.

    The idiots in charge have been told but they are following some utopian dream and can’t see the wood for the forest. A couple of big nuclear power stations, or even coal fired ones, would solve all the problems BUT nuclear is bad (they shut down one plant and the other is to be shut down soon) and we can’t have coal, it is very bad even though the CO2 keeps the world green.

    The only answer is for the plebs to learn to live with blackouts or change the government – their choice.

  5. JB says:

    “Batteries that store excess solar power can ease demands on the system at night, according to Adam Gentner, a vice president at German battery supplier Sonnen.”

    Yeah, IF, and only IF, there is plenty of sunshine the next day before its needed again. And there are no system failures. No battery failures. Everything works according to Utopianist dreams.

    Keep harping on that Utopiano. Its the orchestral instrument of choice of politicos.

  6. oldbrew says:

    They had energy storage in the form of coal but gave it up without any replacement.

  7. stpaulchuck says:

    more like a lack of common sense and intelligence than lack of batteries.

  8. gbaikie says:

    “Problem is there aren’t enough of these massive batteries to go around right now, says Bloomberg Green.”

    Could massive batteries cause massive fires?

  9. Ian W says:

    The problem is not static. While the aim is to decommission all fossil fuel and nuclear power baseload generation, so the shortages will get worse, there are mandates for all internal combustion engine vehicles to be phased out. I doubt whether anyone has calculated how much extra power the vehicle charging will require but it will be far more than the renewables will be capable of providing.

    The politicians are in full NIMTO mode (Not In My Term of Office). The same is happening in UK. This is what happens when there are no engineers in politics.

  10. oldbrew says:

    ‘It won’t be cheap, potentially costing close to $19 billion.’

    And as the article says, batteries on that scale don’t exist anyway. So we can re-phrase it:

    It won’t be possible at all, but even if it was it would cost another fortune within about 20 years, depending on battery life and degradation rate.

    And that’s before the issue of where the power is supposed to come from to keep recharging the imaginary batteries.

    Bloomberg: The amount of battery capacity online at the end of last year was equal to only 1% of California’s peak load forecast on Aug. 17, according to BloombergNEF.
    – – –
    gbaikie says: ‘Could massive batteries cause massive fires?’

    Absolutely, yes. But this idea is in the realms of fantasy anyway, and everyone must or should know that.

  11. cognog2 says:

    Quote: “ officials are pointing to battery storage as a key to preventing future power shortfalls.”
    Batteries do NOT create energy. In fact they consume more energy than they produce.
    This means that renewable capacity to meet anticipated demand must be X times the demand where X is a statistical probability value based on weather patterns.
    So not only do you have the $19billion battery cost but you also have the costs of the increased capacity requirement.

  12. Chaswarnertoo says:

    La la land. Have we reached peak stupidity yet? How come there were ‘no’ blackouts, in the past, without batteries?
    Daddy, what did we use for light before candles? Electricity, son…..

  13. oldbrew says:

    Don’t want a blackout? Well, stop using the power supply!

  14. oldbrew says:

    14 AUGUST 2020 NEWS
    US power generator Vistra receives permit for 1.1GW battery storage

    US power generation company Vistra has received permission to expand a battery facility to become one of the world’s largest energy stores.

    The company operates the Moss Landing gas-fired power plant in California, US. It has applied for multiple phases of energy storage development there, with the most recent having a throughput of 1.1GW and storage of 4.4GWh.

    According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, Vistra has received approval for this expansion. However, president and CEO Curt Morgan said the development would happen only if “market and economic conditions support it”.

  15. oldbrew says:

    Pay more, get less…

    Green California Faces Dark Future
    Date: 21/08/20 Robert Bryce, Forbes

    Californians now rely on an electricity network that looks and acts more like a grid you’d find in Beirut or Africa than ones in Europe or the United States.

  16. oldbrew says:

    California is more populous than the other states, but anyway…

  17. oldbrew says:

    California Reveals That the Transition to Renewable Energy Isn’t So Simple
    AUG 19, 2020

    Storage technologies that last a few days would help, but truly high-renewables systems will likely require seasonal storage technologies that can shift consumption from the hot months to the cool months. Beyond geographically constrained, pumped hydroelectric storage systems, those technologies are largely nonexistent. [bold added]

    Yes, but we’ve known this for decades. It’s become harder to hide it, that’s all. What they call a ‘transition’ isn’t one, it’s disruption.

    They want the impossible *now* and expect ‘technology’ to conjure it up. Could be a long wait unless they re-discover coal, gas and nuclear.

    If this month’s blackouts continue, there is a risk California’s ratepayers will come to associate them with the state’s clean energy transition.
    And they will be correct — except it will be down to the absence of said transition.

  18. Gamecock says:

    Green energy. Pick one.

  19. oldbrew says:

    Media Blame Heat Wave on Climate Change – It’s Called Summer
    By H. Sterling Burnett -August 20, 2020

  20. oldbrew says:

    California Blackout Scapegoating
    Posted on Tue 08/25/2020

    The governor has ordered an investigation of how this happened. No such investigation is needed. Energy analysts have been predicting this moment for many years. There is a lot of blame to spread around, including the guy calling for an investigation as well as the people who voted for him and previous governors.

    The really bad news is that these blackouts are going to be an ever-present reality in California for years to come.
    – – –
    Certainly no sign that CA has any idea how to improve the situation, apart from the sticking plaster of buying some batteries. Closing their last nuclear plant around 2024 isn’t going to help either.

  21. oldbrew says:

    Another statement of what should be the obvious…


    As presented by Hayden, wind and solar cannot be considered reliable forms of electricity generation, and except for pumped-hydro storage, energy storage is a delusion. Electricity storage is only in batteries which are not feasible on a utility scale. Until this problem is addressed, deployment of wind and solar will continue to be unreliable and a waste of resources.
    – – –
    The trouble is, they show little sign of learning. Instead they point the finger and demand their shonky system is made to work better – but it’s impossible with present policies. It will only get worse as the relentless push towards renewables goes on, and no amount of fire-breathing ideological rhetoric can change that.

    The question now seems to be: how much pain will they take before changing tack?

  22. oldbrew says:

    California Apocalypto
    August 25, 2020

    Last week, I asked an elderly patient at the allergy clinic whether, in the 108-degree heat, he preferred to stay outside to breathe smoke and haze, or stay inside his uncooled apartment. He gave a novel answer: He didn’t care about the power outages since he couldn’t pay the exorbitant electricity charges anyway to turn on his air conditioner. And he added that, in California these days, you can’t tell whether mask wearers are fighting the virus, the smoke, or the police.

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