Last summer, Illinois dodged a bullet for about the third year in a row. Moderate temperatures didn’t come as close as the FERC folks thought it would in overwhelming their generation resources. However, each year that passes brings us that much closer to a widespread outage. Will Mother Nature give us another moderate-weather summer? Time will tell.
A couple of years ago, Illinois passed an energy bill that made California’s nutty lawmaking seem almost moderate. It garnered a number of Republican votes because it was the only way Illinois Democrats would offer concessions to keep three of our nuclear plants open.
But with more and more demand (and electric cars), and fewer and fewer coal-fired plants, it’s just a matter of time until the worst happens. Are you ready at home? It would be prudent to get ready if you’re not already.
Sadly, FERC’s answer to this year’s projected threats to power grid reliability is “hope.” That’s right – “hope.”
Hope doesn’t run sump pumps, freezers and refrigeration, well pumps or sewage transfer pumps. Hope doesn’t power the Internet, CPAP machines or electric cars. It might not charge those electric cars, either.
And when it comes to gun owners (and non-gun owners), “hope” doesn’t deter criminal behavior like electricity does. After all, bad guys prefer darkness to ply their trade. And without electricity, it gets pretty dark at night.
Biden plan to avoid summer blackouts: Hope the wind is blowing and the sun is shining when soaring temperatures skyrocket electricity demand.https://t.co/F1oMKMuU5i— John Haughey (@JFHaughey58) May 19, 2023
Hope is a powerful energy, but it won’t keep the air conditioner on when summer temperatures soar and demand for electricity skyrockets, causing an overburdened electrical grid to grind to a stop.
Yet that seems to be the Biden administration’s plan in addressing warnings that nine North American regional electrical grids face an “elevated risk” of power outages this summer, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner Mark Christie maintains.
“I take it as, ‘We hope we can through the summer. We think we have a chance if the weather is normal,’” he said during a May 18 FERC meeting. “We hope we get all good news this summer.”
“We hope…” There’s a lot of hope there.