A U.S. energy crisis is emerging and electricity power-grid operators are warning of the potential of rolling blackouts as the summer heat arrives.
The peak electric demand period and high temperatures will lead to a shortage of supply, California’s grid operator warned Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Both the Midwest and Texas operators have also signaled potential electricity shortages for the peak demand summer season, according to the report.
“I am concerned about it,” Midcontinent Independent System Operator CEO John Bear told the Journal. “As we move forward, we need to know that when you put a solar panel or a wind turbine up, it’s not the same as a thermal resource.”
An increasing reliance on solar and wind energy streams amid a transition from coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants is leading the concerns. Not only is wind inconsistent, but the large batteries needed to store the power remain under development, the Journal reported.
Supply chain woes have exacerbated the large battery shortage.
“Every market around the world is trying to deal with the same issue,” Electric Reliability Council of Texas CEO Brad Jones told the Journal. “We’re all trying to find ways to utilize as much of our renewable resources as possible … and at the same time make sure that we have enough dispatchable generation to manage reliability.”
California regulators note delays in supplies, potentially through 2025, amid impending closures of gas-fired plants and a nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon. Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom has considered keeping that nuclear plant open to avoid shortages.
“We need to make sure that we have sufficient new resources in place and operational before we let some of these retirements go,” California Independent System Operator COO Mark Rothleder told the Journal.
“Otherwise, we are putting ourselves potentially at risk of having insufficient capacity.”
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