California looks to natural gas to keep lights on this winter By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A wind-driven wildfire burns close to energy line tower in Sylmar, California, U.S., October 10, 2019. REUTERS/Gene Blevins

By Scott DiSavino and Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – After years of limiting the expansion of fossil gas infrastructure, California is seeking to for energy era this coming winter after drought and wildfires go away the state with few different choices to maintain the lights on.

California has spent years shifting away from fossil fuels to scale back planet-warming greenhouse gasoline emissions. However U.S. states like California and Texas have confronted notable challenges to their electrical grid in current months, and worldwide energy crunches have compelled different international locations to ramp up output of coal and different fossil fuels to take care of energy.

This yr, the state has leaned extra on gasoline fired-power crops as excessive drought has minimize hydropower output by greater than half, whereas frequent wildfires usually shut electrical energy imports from different states.

This week, California regulators might take one other step in the direction of boosting reliance on gasoline when utility regulators contemplate two proposals to extend the quantity of gasoline saved at Aliso Canyon, its largest underground storage area. That website skilled a devastating months-long leak in 2015, and the state can be contemplating shuttering it outright.

The state’s Public Utilities Fee (PUC) will vote on Thursday whether or not to increase storage on the Los Angeles-area facility, owned by Southern California Gasoline Co (SoCalGas). Capability on the website was capped at 34 billion cubic toes following the leak, and the proposals would enable that stage to extend by both 21% or 100%.

Pure gasoline costs have surged worldwide as international demand has rebounded quicker than anticipated following pandemic-induced lockdowns, and as vitality shortages power utilities in Europe and Asia to compete for liquefied pure gasoline (LNG) exports. (LINK)

Gasoline provides have been tight in Southern California for years because of pipeline limitations and decreased availability of Aliso Canyon, leading to curtailments to energy turbines and better costs for shoppers.

PUC Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves mentioned in an announcement {that a} smaller capability enhance “will enable us to get by way of this winter whereas we proceed our progress towards planning find out how to scale back or remove our use of Aliso Canyon by 2027 or 2035, or any time in between.”

Environmental teams need the ability closed completely and oppose the proposals.

“As a substitute of pursuing clear vitality options that may remove the necessity for Aliso Canyon completely, California is proposing to increase this harmful facility – placing communities at larger threat of one other catastrophic leak,” mentioned Alexandra Nagy, California director of Meals & Water Watch.

Hydropower’s contribution to electrical energy is about to fall to only 5% in 2021, from a five-year common of 12%, whereas non-hydro renewables, primarily wind and photo voltaic, are anticipated to rise to 37%, authorities information reveals.

Gasoline-fired energy crops, in the meantime, will present about 45% of the facility generated within the state this yr, up from the five-year (2016-2020) common of 41%, in response to the U.S. Power Data Administration (EIA).

In California, common gasoline costs had been just lately at multiyear highs close to $5 per million British thermal items (mmBtu) within the northern a part of the state and over $6 within the south.

Over the summer season, Governor Gavin Newsom mentioned excessive drought and wildfires put California’s energy grid in a “state of emergency” and ordered vitality businesses to take motion.

State businesses have responded by way of varied steps, together with spending $196 million to put in 4 30-MW gasoline generators at two websites in Northern California, maintaining a Redondo Seashore gas-fired plant open by way of 2023, and asking the federal authorities to permit some gas-fired crops to function with out air pollution restrictions for 60 days.

California needs to supply all of its electrical energy from clear sources by 2045.

Source link


News7h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button