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It ain't easy being green California prides itself on its.
Sensitive environmental policies but the state now faces possible blackouts and it's all because of its growing dependency on solar and wind energy.
Here to break it down our David -- -- The Heritage Foundation and the -- can then.
Clean energy advocate at environment California.
Thanks for be and whether us.
And David well let let's start with you so the problem here is that a lack of energy because of the the solar and the and the -- stuff they actually gonna have a surplus going into next year so what is the problem.
Does the problem with the wind is that you can't turn up when you need to be down when you don't need it and not -- started -- we don't need it can be just as much trouble.
-- order to account for all this intermittent see the up and down.
You need to balance wind up with something that you can ramp up and down very quickly that's usually natural gas turbines California doesn't have enough capacity now for the amount of -- they have.
It adds it is stability to the grid.
And that's -- gonna get blackouts and have too much or too little Michelle what do you think.
No in fact California is not facing a looming electricity crisis well we are facing though it is and that at a crisis -- -- air pollution.
California is home to nine out of the ten most polluted city in the country.
And that's doing great part -- -- over reliance on fossil fuels and -- creating a major public health crisis.
And it's for that reason that California leaders have rightly so decided to shift towards renewable energy.
And then in addition to the environmental benefits renewable energy is creating a more stable -- -- Let's not forget -- ten years ago California did have been electricity crisis and in that case it's a widely accepted.
That a major part of that prices was our over reliance on fossil fuels and it's incredibly important that we don't the first of.
-- but I -- -- -- -- Michelle you say there's no crisis but the whole reason we're doing this story today.
It because the Wall Street Journal covered this big meeting of state officials and energy industry officials in California yesterday what they said we -- rolling blackouts by 2015.
Because of this intermittent C probably tell why do you say that we're not gonna have the probably clearly state officials themselves admit that we are.
Well what's troubling energy planners today -- not end up.
Over reliance on renewable energy.
What's troubling energy -- has just figuring out how to ramp up our global energy quickly enough and then a balanced manner.
Going forward the good news is that California as well as the rest of the country has a diverse amount of renewable energy.
Maybe pay down what is renewable energy all right let's -- -- yeah.
David -- we know we're no later today did you chuckling so tell us why.
Good to have you back to back when they had their prices everybody else we country with dependent on fossil fuels and I didn't have a bike up the problem -- California had a constrained.
Pipeline system to bring the natural gas they needed for their plants but let's leave that alone.
I'm that you're you're you you do have this -- who brought you do have this trouble balancing yet and that's what's -- -- that's why we see these headlines.
Michelle do you know that last year in the US are carbon emissions dropped.
To a twenty year low not seen since 1992.
Because -- gas prices were so cheap.
That utility stop using coal and on their own they switched over to Nat gas the market drove a decline of twenty years work.
-- carbon emissions.
Yet in California Michelle they -- created by golly by 20/20 13 of all of our energy have to come from green sources Michelle why not.
Not let the market work out what.
Energy supplies come on line.
We'll only see if you look back -- electricity crisis that it really was about our over reliance on fossil fuels and it is important to think about what renewable energy -- Wind power is strongest at night -- our industrial customers need it the most.
Solar power provides us electricity during -- hot summer days.
When more more or less need that electricity and then we have stable sources of renewable clean energy like geothermal.
And biomass which provide electricity 24/7.
And so it's really all -- question of the diversity of our clean renewable energy resources.
Judge David Young the didn't fit the geothermal is a net little part -- war remain a negligible part.
Beat the -- and console you cannot turn it up and down sometimes it -- balance -- -- got lucky sometimes that comes on you've got lucky.
But if you're not lucky you have to do you have to face reality.
And if you don't have a natural gas to balance that you're gonna get blackouts whether you're getting too much from wind -- weather getting too little from the win.
Okay Michelle you know what gas prices around four dollars a gallon for gasoline.
They kept me eight dollars before solar and wind.
Are actually economically viable do you -- -- pay eight dollars a gallon for gasoline so that finally solar is economically a good choice.
You know this costs of solar is coming down rapidly and we see that the best -- -- here in California in fact the cost of solar has come down about 40% in California for commercial systems over the past five years.
So it's a case where you've got a new technology that we're investing in.
And that we -- you think back in a little analogy here if you think back to cellphone usage fifteen years ago.
-- if you told any of us that we'd all be carrying around these little tiny pieces of equipment that would allow us to talk to one another anywhere we work we don't -- your crazy.
But it's time to invest and what we're -- -- -- helped bring it really is investing in solar and wind.
Other renewable technologies -- are bringing the cost down.
OK thanks so much I've been here and that solar -- since 1979.
In my zero hearing college and enough already thank you very much Dave -- Michelle NB.