News August 17, 2020

Wolak weighs in on California blackouts

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Today, the Sacramento Bee and San Jose Mercury News both quoted Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Director Frank Wolak in their stories about California’s recent blackouts.  In the Sacramento Bee’s article about the California Independent System Operator declaring a temporary ban on “convergency bidding,” Wolak came out in support of the system comprised of power generators and traders saying that it sends the proper price signals to drive supply. The San Jose Mercury News article said that California electricity shortages will be more common during major heat waves due to the state’s shift away from fossil fuels providing more consistent power to cleaner but more intermittent sources such as solar and wind energy.  “We have a much more risky supply of energy now because the sun doesn’t always shine when we want and the wind doesn’t always blow when we want,” said Wolak. “We need more tools to manage that risk. We need more insurance against the supply shortfalls.”