California Ran on 100% Renewable Energy

Grid operators at the California Independent System Operator (ISO), which serves roughly 80% of the state, had enough electricity from solar, wind, geothermal, and small hydropower dams to supply all demand in their area for about an hour on April 30th.

May 16, 2022. By News Bureau

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, California made history in the fight for sustainable energy. On May 8th, the sun shone, the wind blew, and the state generated enough renewable electricity to meet 103 percent of consumer demand. This surpassed the previous high of 99.9% achieved a week before.

Grid operators at the California Independent System Operator (ISO), which serves roughly 80% of the state, had enough electricity from solar, wind, geothermal, and small hydropower dams to supply all demand in their area for about an hour on April 30th. Because there was more electricity created than was required at the time, some were exported to other Western countries.

According to energy experts, the lowering records are evidence of renewable energy's extraordinary progress. However, this does not rule out the use of fossil fuels.

Natural gas power stations in California were still operational when the record was broken.

Nonetheless, natural gas power plants generated around 10% of the electricity on the California ISO's grid at the time the record was set, including power exported out of state. Because such power plants are still needed to keep the lights on later in the day, this is the case.

When the sun sets, solar power quickly fades from the system, forcing grid operators to rely on alternative sources of power. To prevent the entire system from failing, supply and demand must be delicately managed.

Because, despite the rapid expansion of renewable energy, switching off natural gas electricity in California is still impossible. The reason for this is because of a difficult time of day: when the sun sets and solar farms cease to produce. California must swiftly and seamlessly replace the power with other sources such as hydropower and natural gas.
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