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The California Energy Crisis Is Real: Here’s What You Can Do

California Energy Crisis cityscape

For years, Northern Californian’s love of gorgeous landscapes, technological innovation, and pioneering environmental thought has led the Golden State to be the country’s leading state for residential solar power. But as a new California Energy Crisis hits the news, the benefits of rooftop solar power and a solar battery become more apparent every day.

With ever-increasing demand and mounting supply challenges, California’s energy grid causes concern. Going solar in California makes more sense than ever.

Preparing for the Next California Energy Crisis

In early May of 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state is facing an energy shortfall of up to 5,000 megawatts in 2022. That’s the amount of electricity powers roughly 2,500,000 average American homes. But the energy shortfall extends beyond the Golden State’s borders, as Texas and the Midwest brace for energy challenges in the coming months.

Most Californians are already familiar with the state’s Flex Alerts. These notifications inform them that the electric grid does not have enough energy to meet demand, and they should power down energy-intensive appliances. When consumers don’t reduce their power consumption enough, the power companies will have to resort to rolling blackouts.

The long-term outlook for California energy is grim, with many factors putting the supply to your home at risk. In 2018, power management company Eaton crowned California “the official Blackout Queen” after residents endured 4,297 disruptions that year ― and the trend has not improved.

A Shrinking Energy Supply

California committed to renewable energy in ways far beyond other states in the union. Those ambitious goals are being impeded by drought and the long-planned decommissioning of the state’s last nuclear plant.

Elimination of Nuclear Energy: The Diablo Canyon Power Plant is scheduled to shut down in 2025. The last of three nuclear power plants in California, Diablo Canyon generates 8.6% of the state’s power. It supplies energy to 3,000,000 residents in Northern California. Although the plant was designed to function for decades longer, it has been designated for mothballing by the government. Federal funding and new regulatory filings are needed to keep going past the appointed date.

Reduced Hydroelectric Power: For 2020, hydroelectric plants generated over 11 percent of the state’s power. Water produces Hydroelectric power when it flows through a power plant’s turbines, but the water shortage threatens to shut down some of the state’s plants.

California Energy Crisis - hydroelectric dam

California is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in recorded history. Its two largest reservoirs are at critically low levels even before the dry season starts. The ongoing water shortage forced operators to shut down the state’s largest hydroelectric facility in August of 2021. Authorities expect additional severe water restrictions this summer.

Natural Disasters

California has long had a reputation as a magnet for disasters, with earthquakes, tsunamis, and wildfires all making headlines. And there’s plenty of evidence that the reputation is earned. All these disasters impact the power supply, but wildfires have been the most treacherous in recent years.

Increasing Wildfires

As Northern Californians know far too well, droughts often lead to wildfires. The state’s record wildfire seasons show no sign of abating. Another thing Californians know is that wildfires can wreak havoc with a region’s power supply. Even when your home is not in the direct path of a wildfire, it might be necessary to shut off the power to keep firefighters safe and reduce the risk of power lines sparking new blazes.

We’re Going to Need More Power

California’s population had been steadily increasing for decades. Each new person requires power for lights, alarm clocks, iPhones, and electric toothbrushes. For the first time in a long time, California’s population declined in 2020, starting a trend that continued into 2021. But that shift will not bring any relief to California’s electric grid as demand is set to rise due to a new technology.

Electric Cars

California Energy Crisis electric car

In April of 2022, California continued to lead on climate change and environmentalism by announcing aggressive goals to eliminate internal combustion engines and their emissions from the state. With many of the state’s cars and trucks switching to electric vehicles in the coming decade, their collective drain on the state’s already overtaxed power grid will be substantial.

A reasonable estimate for annual power requirements for an electric vehicle is 2,160kw. If Californians traded their 14 million cars for electric vehicles, they would require over 30 gigawatts of power every year. That’s a lot of electricity for a power grid already dealing with the California energy crisis.

The average cost of power in California spiked by 13.6% over the 12 months ending in February 2022. It is hard to imagine the price trending downward any time soon. We all know that when demand goes up, and supply goes down, the price goes up. It has never made more sense to generate electricity on your roof using solar panels.

Solar Makes Financial Sense In California

This all adds up to a significant amount of strain on California’s power grid. The good news is that a well-designed solar system can make you less dependent on a stressed system and can be an economic benefit.

In Northern California, adding a solar system also makes a lot of sense when considering your home’s value. Recent research shows that houses with a solar system are worth as much as 4.1% more than houses without solar arrays. In 2020, California mandated that all new homes include solar.

When you consider what is probably your most valuable asset, can you afford to fall behind?  Having no solar system on your home may put you at a disadvantage. A bonus to that increased home value – it does not affect the value of your home for the purposes of property tax. California has a law that excludes new panels from your assessment.

Long-term cost savings for solar depends on many factors. The amount of sunlight your house receives, how much space you have on your roof, and what tax breaks are available are all part of the equation.

California Energy Crisis homes

Solar Helps with the California Energy Crisis

California is one of the states in the United States where climate change seems real and urgent. Deep in the midst of a mega-drought, the state is poised to impose water rules in many cities. Making electricity on your roof reduces the burden on a stressed power grid, all while saving money.

Be Part of the Solution for the California Energy Crisis

ADT Solar is one of the largest, most experienced rooftop solar contractors in the nation. We offer easy ways for you to go solar so that you can enjoy clean, renewable, and reliable energy. If you’d like to learn more or schedule your free consultation, simply reach out to us today!

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