California

Did California ask electric vehicle owners not to charge their cars during peak hours? Here’s the truth.

Did California ask electric vehicle owners not to charge
their cars during peak hours? Here’s the truth. 1

CALIFORNIA- Note to Fakebook “fact-checkers”: You may want to check your “facts.”

During a recent heatwave in California, a meme was widely distributed which noted that California had asked residents not to charge their electric vehicles due to strain on the power grid. The meme, when posted on Fakebook was flagged as being “false information.”

Apparently, the “fact-checkers” had their “facts” wrong.

Breitbart reports that in fact California had made that exact request, asking residents not to charge their electric-powered vehicles except during specific hours. Cutting residents’ access to electricity is nothing new for the Golden State, which over the past few years has engaged in a series of brownouts and “scheduled outages” as the state struggles to meet electric demand.

Now consider this. By 2034, California will ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles, while only just over eight years down the road, 90 percent of miles driving by so-called ride-hailing services must be completed using electric vehicles. It should also be noted that some California cities are already in the process of banning the construction of new gas stations.

This is the future that Democrats have in mind for the entire country. Keep in mind that just this past winter, Texas…which generates a significant amount of its energy from alternative sources…struggled for over a week with providing power for its citizens during a cold snap.

The case in California is instructive because here you have a state which is pushing its residents into electric vehicles, yet the state is already unable to generate enough electricity to charge those vehicles during periods of peak power demand.

As Breitbart notes, fewer than eight percent of new cars sold in California are powered solely by electricity. If the state is struggling now with providing sufficient electricity for a small number of electric vehicles, what will happen when the number of such vehicles doubles or triples? What does this portend for the time when gas-powered vehicles are no longer sold?

For the benefit of the Fakebook fact checkers, here is the information straight from the horse’s mouth, aka the State of California when things heat up:

While the Flex Alert is in effect on Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., consumers are asked to:

  • Set thermostats 78 degrees or higher, if health permits
  • Avoid using major appliances
  • Turn off all unnecessary lights

To be as comfortable as possible during the Flex Hours, consumers are also strongly encouraged to take these steps earlier in the day:

  • Pre-cool your home by lowering the thermostat
  • Close window coverings to keep your home or apartment cool
  • If you need to use major appliances like your dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, do so before the Flex Alert takes effect
  • Pre-charge electronic devices
  • Close window coverings to keep your home or apartment cool
  • Pre-charge electric vehicles [emphasis added for “fact checkers]

Below is the social media alert issued by the state:

The Flex Alerts were rescinded when the weather got cooler, however with the hottest days of summer approaching, one has to believe these alerts will be issued on a routine basis.

The alerts of course go under the assumption that people do not work. For example, say you work a typical 9 to 5 job. Dealing with the California traffic, you may roll in at around 6:00 p.m. if you’re lucky. But the state is in a Flex Alert. “Avoid using major appliances,” they say. So what does that mean, no stoves or ovens until after 9:00 p.m.? No laundry to be done until after that hour?

Not everyone (at least those who work) have the ability to “use major appliances” before the Flex Alert goes into effect at 6:00 p.m.

Now of course, these Flex Alerts are at the moment voluntary. But how long before they are no longer voluntary but become mandatory? What if, as USA Today recently reported either state government or the power companies decide they are going to control when you can run major appliances, when you can charge your cars?

Recently in Texas, owners of smart thermostats had the temperatures in their homes raised by the power companies automatically, without their consent. Does anyone think that given their druthers over-reaching government entities won’t take control of your power if they have the ability to do so?

As Breitbart notes, California has refused to allow the construction of new power plants to keep up with the demand. If there is going to be a move toward more electric-powered devices without likewise adding generation plants to meet the extra demand, it would seem more restrictions will be placed upon residents as to when and how they can use their electric devices.

California has talked about the need to build additional charging stations throughout the state in order to meet the anticipated demand, however nothing is being done to meet what is expected to require a doubling in the state’s energy generation capacity by 2050 to keep up with demand.

California does have some “genius” ideas to deal with the issue:

Many current electric vehicle owners who are used to charging their vehicles overnight may need to shift their charging behaviors to optimize daylight hours, when more energy generated by solar and wind is accessible.

“You may want to make sure that you’re balancing the amount of energy that comes onto the grid versus the energy that’s coming off the grid,” [Matthew Moniot of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory] said. “As long as you have educated drivers and customers—which is going to be a hard part—there’s a lot of room for EVs to participate in this balancing act in a favorable manner.”

So, California will be counting on wind and solar to meet the increased demand over the next 29 years when the required energy generation will need to be doubled. They plan to do this without one of the safest and cleanest forms of energy generation—nuclear power.

One can only assume this mentality will spread across the rest of the blue states. What could go wrong?

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Just last year, Law Enforcement Today reported on issues with the California power grid. For more on that, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Californians locked into an unwanted game of tag with utility companies on Monday, August 17th. Only a flick of a light switch could tell if they were “it.” 

Since Friday, August 14th, three million homes have been plunged into darkness on a rotating basis, as the power grid hits capacity, and the state’s grid operator initiates rolling blackouts in a desperate attempt to keep the system from collapsing. 

It has generated widespread confusion… and countless calls for service to police departments.

“People are afraid,” said one officer.  “They don’t know what to expect and with all of the civil unrest – they’re worried about what’s to come.”

Energy experts say a heat wave was the catalyst. The hotter weather had people turning up the air conditioning, only to find out the state’s power grid can’t handle that level of consumer demand. 

What happened next came as a shock to Californians who are used to heat waves, but not used to forced shutdowns of their power supply. 

The California Independent System Operator, which manages the power grid, tweeted Friday night that a Stage 3 System Emergency had created the need for forced outages. 

According to Breitbart, officials blamed an:

“unexpected loss of a 470-megawatt power plant Saturday evening, as well as the loss of nearly 1,000 megawatts of wind power.” 

Utility companies had not imposed rolling blackouts in the state since 2001. 

Social media outlets immediately exploded with criticism.

A user going by “SaveCalifornia.com” pointed at politics to blame, tweeting:

“If there’s a “rolling blackout” in California, blame the Democrat politicians. Their 60+ years of virtual control in Sacramento should have given us a cheap, stable supply of electricity.”

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

In Texas, a state representative tweeted:

“Dear #txlege colleagues who support increasing renewable energy subsidies and the proliferation of wind power in TX. Bookmark what’s happening in CA. We are next, and more government intervention is not the answer.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom told Bloomberg News: 

“Let me just make this crystal clear: We failed to predict and plan these shortages and that’s simply unacceptable.” 

He is calling for an investigation into why officials failed to predict the need for blackouts. 

The whole experience may prove good practice for what’s to come. 

The state has aggressively shifted away from the use of natural gas, in a push toward clean energy. Bloomberg reports that gas plants have been shuttered. With the closings, state leaders have taken away enough gas generation to power nearly seven million homes. 

Instead, they’re looking to renewable energy to pick up the slack. It has 33% of its electricity coming from renewable sources. We now see how that turns out. 

When a heat wave combined with cloud cover and solar production is not enough, California goes dark.  

Sometimes, the state can tap surrounding states to import power, however, that didn’t happen this time. 

Bloomberg Financial Analyst Brian Bartholomew said:   

“It’s retired a lot of gas. And the storage that’s supposed to help hasn’t yet come online.” 

Environmental activist and political advisor on environment issues, Michael Shellenberger, tweeted about the blackouts, calling the situation in California a “nightmare”, and comparing it to the shift to renewable energy happening in Europe. He tweeted, in part, that it is the “model Democrats want to impose on the rest of US.”

It’s a cautionary tale of what other states could face if they increase reliance on fossil fuels and move to green energy.

The Mercury News reported that last fall, top officials at California’s power grid operator warned electricity shortages would follow when the state ditched consistent energy sources like natural gas. They called it a “most urgent issue” that “really needs timely attention.”

Stanford University economics professor Frank Wolak told the news outlet:

“We have a much more risky supply of energy now because the sun doesn’t always shine when we want and the wind doesn’t always blow when we want. We need more tools to manage that risk. We need more insurance against the supply shortfalls.”

That’s been demonstrated at a particularly dangerous time, through a man-made error that is quickly showing how anti-fossil fuel mandates can lead to electricity shortages, with Californians serving as the unwilling example.

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