Blackouts are Happening Now

Blackouts are Happening Now

There is little we can do to prevent storms, such as hurricanes, from causing blackouts, except, possibly, to put more distribution and transmission lines underground.

The fact is, we can’t yet control the weather.

But there is no excuse for a blackout to occur when there isn’t enough electricity to meet demand, because we should always have sufficient reserves available to meet unexpected demand.

For well over a half century, utility companies have maintained reserve generating capacity to meet unexpected demand.

Typically, these reserve margins have amounted to 10 to 15 percent of any prior peak load.

Sudden peak loads, for example, can occur on hot summer days when air-conditioners create unexpected demand. 

But today, the people managing the electric grid are gambling with your safety, because wind and solar are unreliable, i.e., can’t be relied on to produce electricity when needed. 

Such things as cloudy days, hot days when there are doldrums, or ice and snow on solar panels, or wind turbines shutting down when temperatures are below freezing, or the wind blows too hard, are examples of why wind and solar can’t be relied on to supply electricity when needed.

In the past, standby natural gas power plants, and coal-fired and nuclear power plants could be relied on to step in and provide the needed reserve power to keep the lights on. 

But how can we rely on wind and solar for reserve power when they aren’t reliable to begin with?

Yet, that is what grid operators are attempting to do.

They are adding wind and solar as part of reserve capacity. They are saying that wind power will be available when they can’t be sure the wind will blow. They are adding solar as reserve capacity when they can’t be sure the sun will shine.

These are bogus reserves and shouldn’t be included in reserve margins.

Yet, that is what people managing the grid are doing.

This isn’t a hypothetical issue. California is experiencing blackouts this summer because they don’t have enough reserve capacity since they are relying on wind and solar to provide reserve capacity to meet demand on hot summer days.

Quoting the Daily Mail:

“Hundreds of thousands of Californians were plunged into darkness on Friday evening as companies cut power to homes after the state’s Independent System Operator declared a Stage 3 energy emergency.”

Here is the alert CAISO sent to homeowners:

In addition the alert said:

“Between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m., the ISO is urging consumers to:
Set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees, if health permits.” 

The book, The Looming Energy Crisis, Are Blackouts Inevitable?, exposes the dirty little secret about how we are increasing the risk of having to endure dangerous blackouts.

The book is available now at Amazon at 

You can read the introduction and look at the Table of Contents at 

Then Buy the Book from Amazon

. . .



Please follow and like us:

4 Replies to “Blackouts are Happening Now”

  1. Thank you Donn. Please keep on this – reinforced with charts and data.

    • Thanks. I will keep pointing to how the RTO/ISOs are manipulating the grid. Americans need to know why California has had rolling blackouts and that blackouts are bound to happen across the country if we allow RTO/ISOs to continue to use rigged auctions and rely on wind and solar for reserve capacity.

  2. Donn,
    Your subtitle of your new book certainly had it right! Many of us associated with the industry knew the green power mandates would cause serious problems. You took the initiative to document and accurately predict these Blackouts. Thank you!!

    • Thanks for your comment. It was difficult to learn what was happening behind the curtains that RTO/ISOs had erected. But it was that information that eventually exposed the surreptitious way in which they were adding wind and solar while removing coal, natural gas and nuclear power from the grid.