It’s déjà vu all over again.
Last year California utility PG&E started a policy of cutting of power to areas where high winds are blowing as a means of preventing power lines from sparking devastating new brush fires. This was driven by the devastation wrought by fires caused by years of neglect by California’s government by restricting or outright banning of brush cutting and controlled burns to reduce the fire hazard.
PG&E was wrongfully blamed as the cause of those widespread fires that destroyed entire towns, hundreds of square miles of forest, and killed incalculable numbers of wildlife and snuffed the lives of many people. While PG&E’s powerlines sparked those fires, it was the state of California’s aforementioned ban on brush cutting and controlled burns that fueled those fires. Decades of brush and undergrowth dried to tinder piled up, requiring only something to ignite it into a conflagration.
Fast-forward to today and the brush-fire season has returned to California. But this time PG&E hasn’t cut power because of fire dangers but because of an extended heat wave driving demand so high that power cuts were required in order to prevent transmission line overloads. There was also generation capacity insufficiency, something self-inflicted by California’s watermelon environmentalist government shutting down power stations, particularly nuclear power stations, and replacing them with ‘green’ power systems (wind and solar) that came nowhere near to meeting demand.
It is yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences coming into play.