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California’s Electric Car Controversy Shows the Importance of Load Management

Todd Carney's picture
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Todd Carney is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Communications. He writes on many different aspects of energy, in particular how it...

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  • Sep 6, 2022

This week California received national attention due to the fact that the state is simultaneously forcing an increase electric car use, but also feels the need to limit the charging of electric cars to limit black outs. This conundrum shows how important load management is to the future of emissions.

California enacted a law that would aim to ban the selling of new cars that use gas by 2035. California wants to do this to limit emissions to improve their environment and the world’s environment overall. On its own, this plan is too ambitious and overreaching for some. But what seemed to strike a nerve was that California’s government’s recommendation that people avoid charging their cars during peak hours for the grid.

Some consider this recommendation as a sign of things to come in terms of the government limiting all sorts of use of vehicles. It is difficult to predict when a car will need energy, as errands and other issues can come up that require driving around. But for now, if someone wants to curb emissions from vehicles, electric cars are the main game in town. But for now, electric cars use a lot of energy, so more of them will put a lot of stress on the grid, especially with states like California, where the grid is already pushed to brink.

It seems that California’s government was attempting load management by bringing electric car use into the equation, especially as their use increases. It is possible that states may need to engage in these measures for electric cars, and if they do, then they need to decide whether increasing electric car use is the right answer. In a world where limitations on electric car use do become part of the answer, state governments should still try to come up with other solutions before recommending limitations on cars.

Many energy experts have highlighted the promise of technological advances, such as smart grids. State governments should jump on tech like this. States should also look into other services that are not as important as driving that could face limitations and disrupt people’s lives less. Whatever ultimate solution exists in terms of load management, so long as consumers are using electricity in new ways, governments will need to utilize load management to offset this increased use, especially when the increased use serves a goal such as increased emissions.

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Sep 7, 2022

I think the issues demonstrate the utter stupidity of the elitists governing California while providing yet another really good reason to drop kick democratic politicians out of office.

The whole debacle is based on a religious belief that man is causing the planet to warm and man can control the climate. Utter nonsense.

Let’s step back and look at the big picture. The total amount of the sun’s energy affecting the earth is staggering. The trace gas CO2 affects an exceptionally very minor segment of that energy spectrum. That affect is not present at night, nor does it affect the polar regions. Winter impacts are quite limited. Roll this all up and the energy involving C02 is an extremely minor fraction of the total energy.

Let’s now take a look at how the suns energy is distributed around the planet. The amount incoming energy reaching the planet’s surface is affected by complex mechanisms. Further, highly complex mechanisms transfer energy from the warm equatorial regions towards the polar regions. Basically, involves the flow of energy in the oceans and atmosphere towards the poles. The sun and these extraordinarily complicated mechanisms obviously control the climate. We do not adequately understand these fundamental mechanisms. That means mathematical models attempting to predict the planet’s distant climate future are inherently more or less just wild guesses.

The green energy religion claims that an the extremely minor energy segment involving CO2 controls the climate but are utterly unable to prove the assertion. How convenient. We are suppose to believe their dogma as an act of faith.

Energy policy should be based on providing reasonably clean and reasonably affordable energy. Period. The required energy resources vary, depending on where you live, but in all cases a balanced approach is the wisest policy. The policy concocted by California is stunningly dumb.

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