California blackouts show natural gas is needed for a stable grid (for now)

FORBES | The California Independent System Operator (CalISO), the entity tasked with managing roughly 80% of the California electricity grid, ordered rolling blackouts last Friday for the first time in 19 years. The finger-pointing began immediately, with various actors blaming renewables, problems at natural gas plants, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and even market manipulators (the cause of the previous blackouts in 2001). No matter the underlying cause, however, the blackouts were ordered because of simple math: CalISO feared that supply was going to be unable to meet demand. The blackouts serve as an important reminder that for all the growth in renewables, natural gas is required in the near term to keep the grid stable and ensure resource adequacy.


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