California may be a state that prides itself on taking a proactive stance regarding energy conservation and the shift to renewable power, but its brutal summers have most of its citizens flipping on the switches of their air conditioners and other power-using cooling devices.
For this reason, the state has found itself facing an energy crisis every summer for several years now – and those dependent on solar power find themselves in a bind come evening.
A Revolutionary Solution
To alleviate this situation, State Governor Gavin Newsom expressed a desire to purchase a massive amount of sustainably-generated power to keep Californians comfortable throughout the summer of 2023.
Newsom’s proposal involves using the state’s purchasing power to get private firms based in-state to provide a more cost-effective way to generate electricity from renewables. This essentially calls for the construction of large-scale power plants powered by geothermal heat, as well as strong coastal winds.
The California Situation
California has been working to wean itself from fossil fuels, and its state government has passed numerous laws supporting the shift to renewable power, including a ban against the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
However, given the state’s population and economy, its power grid will need an additional 40 gigawatts of power throughout the next decade.
Should Newsom push through with his plan to buy a massive amount of power from offshore wind and geothermal facilities, California may no longer need a fleet of emergency diesel-powered generators.
But what would this mean for Californians in terms of cost? The state is already notorious for having some of the highest energy bills in the United States, and power customers balk at the possibility that Newsom’s plan could slap additional charges onto their monthly bill.
A local consumer group feels that the proposal could actually be a good thing for Californians. After all, state regulators will not be in a position to determine how much to charge until all power projects are operational – and that could still be a long way off and, by then,. the cost of power generation could be much lower.