By ONME Newswire
SACRAMENTO, CA—The extreme high temperatures over 102 degrees and spontaneous fires throughout California have taxed the state's energy grid; California is starting its first rolling blackouts in over 19 years, as frustrated Gov. Gavin Newsom is demanding an investigation into the matter to state’s energy regulators who should have been able to predict the energy shortage and impending power disruptions.
However, representatives from California’s business community, including retailers, manufacturers and large business properties, have claimed to predict such an incident would happen, and are once again calling on the governor, state regulators, the California State Legislature and local governments to invest in a diversified energy portfolio that will help keep the lights on during peak energy demands.
“The governor, CPUC and CEC are all pointing fingers about whose fault this is, but the fact is that they have all known for years this was going to happen," said Rachel Michelin, President, California Retailers Association.
Michelin said that last year the Independent System Operator warned that there would be potential resource shortages starting in 2020.
"No one listened and now residents and businesses are paying the price. Retailers support environmental sustainability goals and will continue doing their part to help alleviate the predicted megawatt shortfall, but now is the time to have an honest discussion about California’s energy future," said Michelin.
According to Rob Lapsley, President, California Business Roundtable, the business community has supported California’s climate change goals and established CARE (Californians for Affordable and Reliable Energy) to ensure that the energy transition would maintain a stable and affordable energy supply for business and all Californians.
"Our transition has resulted in some of the highest energy prices in the country, and now we are facing reliability problems in the summer months when our economy should be at its peak, " said Lapsley. "We must have a robust and diversified energy portfolio including a statewide energy plan, which we have sponsored in a previous legislative session."
Lapsley continued that the state needs more reliable energy options like natural gas to meet peak demand during this time.
“Today’s crisis underscores that we need to make immediate policy adjustments in our current renewable and climate change plans so we can ensure that they will succeed in the future, ensure that we can grow our economy and ensure that Californians can turn their lights on when they get home from work. ”
Lance Hastings, President, California Manufacturers & Technology Association, pointed out that manufacturers in California already pay electricity rates 117% higher than the rest of the nation due in large part to California’s climate change policies.
“Hot weather and a cloudy day should not be able to shut down the fifth-largest economy in the world. In fact, we shouldn’t even be claiming that about our economy if we can’t keep the lights on," said Hastings.
"While we support California’s renewable energy goals, we absolutely need system redundancy that allows us to continue to operate and manufacture products for our residents and the world.”
With hot temperatures above 109 degrees, especially in rural areas in the Central Valley, people are facing a matter of life and death during such random energy shutoffs, according to Rex Hime, President, California Business Properties Association.
“We should all be embarrassed that the fifth largest economy cannot keep its lights on. The state has already asked so much of the business community this year, and now we’re being asked to bail out the state for its short-sighted environmental policies. The business community has warned about these policies for years and today we are seeing those warnings become reality.”
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