In the wake of last season’s horrible wildfires, our electricity providers will now consider shutting off service in advance of impending wind events that could spark a wildfire. They have no choice, as litigation arising from their equipment being culpable in these disasters is threatening the companies with bankruptcy.
While the utilities are planning on shutting off our electricity for days at a time, if not upwards of a full week, at the very same time, our dumbstruck legislators and the Public Utilities Commission are planning to force us to go all electric in our homes and businesses. Lost on these zealots is the value of redundant energy sources, namely natural gas, which is considered a clean burning fuel. That is, in the event of impending long periods of time with no electricity to power our refrigerators, not to mention hospitals and convalescent centers, why must we forego the use of natural gas appliances?
Nevertheless, in order to help California “decarbonize,” the PUC wants to force all buildings and business operations to go all electric despite the tremendous cost and poor return on investment. Most people in this state are living from paycheck to paycheck. They can’t afford an electricity bill that is going to increase three times faster than their gas bill, nor the estimated $7,200 it will cost to convert the average home from gas to electric. Furthermore, electricity not only costs more, but we don’t have the grid capacity to go all electric, especially when you consider the higher voltage system required to recharge car batteries.
These people don’t realize that electricity is a secondary power source. It has to be produced by a primary source. Across America, fossil fuels are still the primary power source of 63 percent of all electricity. Moreover, solar and wind power sources, due to the intermittent nature of their output, must rely on natural gas for backup. Unless and until the state power sources are 100 percent renewable (which is going to take decades), why fool ourselves converting to all electrical appliances, as if electricity itself is green, when in reality the electricity is still being generated by fossil fuels?
Some people think they are going to get around this problem by installing solar panels on their roof and buying very expensive battery systems for their homes. What they don’t realize is that the way most solar systems are designed means they are not going to work when the utility shuts off the power. And most of these batteries can only supply power for a few hours.
Ironically, the only reasonable plan to withstand this impending regulatory disaster is to purchase a generator fueled by a very large gasoline or diesel fuel tank, which is illegal to do so in a residential neighborhood because of the fire/explosion hazard of the same. Nevertheless, we would need the tanks because our gas stations can’t pump gas without electricity.
Honestly, this cure of decarbonization is magnitudes worse than the disease of a “carbonized” but reliable energy supply.