Renewable Energy Still A Working Progress As It Develops In California

July 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California is trying to lead the way in renewable energy use but the amount of green energy used on hot summer days may be much less than you think.

CBS13’s Steve Larges went into the nerve center of California’s energy grid.

It’s kind of like air traffic control for California, only it’s for energy.

What they are looking for, especially on hot days, is how much green energy is going into things like keeping the air conditioning running.

Four o’clock in the afternoon is a busy time for California’s power grid.

“We’re going into the air conditioning rush hour in California,” said Stephanie McCorkle, Cal ISO spokesperson.

At 103 degrees outside in Sacramento, the temperature is peaking.

But in California, real-time Cal ISO charts show solar power suddenly sinking.

“It’s reached its high point and it’s going to start coming down slowly,” said McCorkle.

Fires may be part of the reason, as they block the sunshine.

“Because it doesn’t matter if its clouds or smog or smoke, its particulate matter,” said McCorkle.

Green energy on the whole is giving California rate-payers just a small fraction of their total energy needs right now.

At 4:00 p.m., being used is Geothermal, wind, solar, hydro, biomass and biograss, all part of the green power movement.

But it only generates 8 percent of all energy demand across the state.

“One of the things is California has this diverse, beautiful landscape. And so that’s why we’re so renewable rich,” said McCorkle.

California policy requires energy providers to generate 20 percent of their energy from renewables on average for the entire year.

“There’s been some gentle fluctuations in power for as long as there’s been green power,” said McCorkle.

Thursday’s 4:00 p.m. snap shop may not have put solar, in the right light.

Last week the California energy grid broke a new solar generation peak level record that had been set three days earlier.

It is the future, but renewables just aren’t sustaining California’s energy demands right now.

Thursday was not a record breaker for solar. That one thousand megawatt milestone still was not reached, but it likely will be hit before summer is out.

California needed 39,000 megawatts of electricity at its peak today.

California law states by 2020, 33 percent of electricity is required to be from renewable energy sources.

 Renewable Energy Still A Working Progress As It Develops In California

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