Californians are Wasting Solar Energy

Who knew Californian’s didn’t care about environment?

California’s power-grid operators issue of high supply and low demand for solar energy has lead solar electricity prices to plummet, causing some power-plant businesses to open shop until demand increases to meet the supply later in the day.

According to data from the California Independent System Operator, California wasted solar and wind energy, also called “curtail,” due to lack of usage. Last year 305,241 megawatt hours of solar energy and wind electricity were curtailed—that’s enough carbon-free electricity for around 45,000 California homes for a year. That  was almost double the amount of clean power that was lost in curtailment in 2015.

The U.S. wind and solar industries currently employ over 300,000 people. The wind energy employs nearly 90,000 Americans, 20% more than in 2015. While jobs in the solar department have increased 123% since 2010. This is in comparison to low oil prices resulting in the loss of nearly 100,000 jobs in the oil industry. Guess which one President Trump is funding.

“We need to start finding ways to offset curtailment as we add more renewable sources, or we will be wasting renewable energy,” said Phil Pettingill, Director of State Regulatory Affairs at Cal ISO.

One suggestion is for California to buy and sell power from neighboring states to the east. This strategy would spread out the midday solar surge because the sun rises as much as two hours earlier in Arizona and Nevada.

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