The blackouts that hit California over the past few days exposed the fragility of one of the most-expensive and least-reliable electric grids in North America.
They also show that California’s grid can’t handle the load it has now, much less accommodate the enormous amount of new demand that would have to be met if the state attempts to “electrify everything.”
The push to electrify everything would prohibit the use of natural gas in buildings, electrify transportation, and require the grid to run solely on renewables (and maybe, a dash of nuclear).
But attempting to electrify the entire California economy will further increase the cost of energy at the very same time that the state’s electricity rates are soaring. That will result in yet-higher energy costs for low- and middle-income Californians.
Over the last year or so, the Sierra Club, along with the Rocky Mountain Institute and other groups, have been pushing local governments to prohibit natural gas use and force consumers to rely solely on electricity.