California, which imports over 25% of its electricity from out of state, is in no position to lose half (!) of its entire nuclear power capacity. But that’s exactly what happened earlier this year, when the San Onofre plant in north San Diego County unexpectedly went offline. The loss only worsens the broad energy deficit that has made California the most dependent state in the country on expensive, out-of-state power.
Its two nuclear plants -- San Onofre in the south and Diablo Canyon on the central coast -- together have provided more than 15% of the electricity supply that California generates for itself, before imports. But now there is the prospect that San Onofre will never reopen.
Will California now find that it must import as much as 30% of its power?
The problem of California’s energy dependency has been decades in the making. And it’s not just its electrical power balance that presents an ongoing challenge. California’s oil production peaked in 1985. And despite ongoing gains in energy efficiency via admirably wise regulation, the state’s population and aggregate energy consumption has completely overrun supply.
Some will say, however, that California doesn’t need to concern itself with domestic energy production. As an innovation economy, in the manner of Japan or South Korea, many have said California can simply import greater and greater quantities of energy in exchange for its intellectual capital and the services and products it provides to the world. But the problem with such a notion is that it extrapolates the trend too far.
Only a century ago, California was an emerging giant of oil and gas production, building much of its wealth from natural resource extraction. It was inevitable that this would change over time. However, given the state’s high priced electricity, its wrongly devised transportation system (which is heavily exposed to oil prices), and its deep financial distress, the nation’s largest economy is having to exchange greater amounts of capital to keep itself running.
Indeed, the latest data shows that California energy production from all sources -- oil and gas, nuclear, hydro, and renewables -- has just hit new, 50-year lows:
This is an in-depth article posted on Zerhedge to read it in full please click here.
Have a good one!
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