California says it needs more power to keep the lights on

Posted 48 days ago

From WWW.REUTERS.COM

May 6 (Reuters) - California energy officials on Friday issued a sober forecast for the state's electrical grid, saying it lacks sufficient capacity to keep the lights on this summer and beyond if heatwaves, wildfires or other extreme events take their toll.

The update from leaders from three state agencies and the office of Governor Gavin Newsom comes in response to a string of challenges with the ambitious transition away from fossil fuels, including rolling blackouts during a summer heat wave in 2020.

California has among the most aggressive climate change policies in the world, including a goal of producing all of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045.

In an online briefing with reporters, the officials forecast a potential shortfall of 1,700 megawatts this year, a number that could go as high as 5,000 MW if the grid is taxed by multiple challenges that reduce available power while sending demand soaring, state officials said during an online briefing with reporters.

Supply gaps along those lines could leave between 1 million and 4 million people without power. Outages will only happen under extreme conditions, officials cautioned, and will depend in part on the success of conservation measures.

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